Sheldon Lyke

Sheldon Bernard Lyke
Assistant Professor of Law


Assistant Professor of Law


Professor Lyke, who holds both a JD and a PhD in sociology, uses empirical methods, comparative law, and property theory to study the role of law and its institutions in the stratification of marginalized people. He joined the Chase faculty in 2018 and teaches Property, Wills & Trusts, and Critical Race Theory. He was previously an assistant professor at Whittier Law School in Orange County, California.

Professor Lyke has been a visiting assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law and at Northwestern University School of Law.  He has taught extensively at the undergraduate level, teaching law and social science courses at Saint Xavier University, Columbia College Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was a lecturer at the University of Chicago, where he taught Race as Property, Contemporary Global Issues, and Sexuality & Human Rights. In 2011, he was appointed as the inaugural Dorr Legg Law and Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute—a social science and public policy think tank researching sexual orientation and gender identity—at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

Professor Lyke has combined his research interests as a legal scholar and as a sociologist to study the social collective action problems associated with shared resources (i.e., commons) and to understand their links to oppression. His doctoral dissertation project examined cosmopolitanism and how high court judges around the world participate in a shared legal knowledge commons by using foreign legal authority in their civil and human rights decisions.


  •  Office: NH541
  •  Email:
  •  Phone: 859.572.5948
  •  Fax: 859.572.5342



  • A.B., Sociology, Princeton University
    J.D., Northwestern University School of Law
    Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago


  • Property
  • Wills & Trusts
  • Critical Race Theory


TRUSTS AND ESTATES (casebook) (Chartacourse, forthcoming)

Making Strange Laws, 35 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 675 (2014)

Is Resistance to Foreign Law Rooted in Racism?, 109 Northwestern University Law Review Online 41 (2014)

Diversity as Commons, 88 Tulane Law Review 317 (2013)

Catch Twenty-Wu? The Oral Argument in Fisher v. University of Texas and the Obfuscation of Critical Mass, 107 Northwestern Law Review Colloquy 209 (2013)

Brown Abroad: An Empirical Analysis of Foreign Judicial Citation and the Metaphor of Cosmopolitan Conversation, 45 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 83 (2012)

Lawrence v. Texas as an Eighth Amendment Case: Sodomy and the Evolving Standards of Decency, 15 William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 633 (2009)


Speaking Engagements and Recognitions

Can Antiproperty Save the Commons?, presented at Ninth Annual John Mercer Langston Writing Workshop at UCLA School of Law. July 6, 2018.

Why Malia and Sasha Obama Need Affirmative Action, presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, New Orleans, Massachusetts, June 2016.

Affirmative Action as Cure, Justice Scalia as Savior?, presented at the SoCal Junior Faculty Workshop. Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, October, 2015.

The Thirty-Five Year Conservative Colorblind Campaign Gutting Affirmative Action in America, presented at the University of Chicago Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Workshop, June 2013.

Diversity as Commons, presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2013.

Racism and Citation to Foreign Law, presented at “Globalization and Race” Fourth Annual Spring 2013 Symposium of the Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law at Notre Dame Law School, February 2013.

Marginality as Commons, presented at The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. November 2011.

Blackness as Anti-Property, presented at the University of Chicago, Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideologies Workshop of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. October 2011.

Towards a Conceptualization of Cosmopolitan Courts, presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. August 2007.