JD, 1999, Loyola University of Louisiana
BA, 1996, Tulane University
Lucia Blacksher Ranier is a Professor of the Practice and Director of the Tulane Law School Civil Rights and Federal Practice Clinic, where she has taught since 2009. She has expertise in the areas of housing equity, disability rights, and constitutional rights.
Blacksher Ranier began her career as a trial attorney in the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. While at the Department of Justice, she represented the government in pattern and practice cases alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act in employment, public accommodations, and services provided by state and local governments. She helped to obtain a consent decree in a suit challenging a surgeon’s discriminatory refusal to operate on a patient with HIV. She also reached a comprehensive settlement, which required a Utah hospital to pay damages and provide sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids to ensure effective communication with patients and companions who are deaf and hard of hearing. She was recognized for her work in Ash v. Department of Youth Services and Garrett v. University of Alabama, cases remanded by the Supreme Court for factual findings on waiver of Eleventh Amendment immunity.
In 2004, Blacksher Ranier became general counsel for the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC), where she oversaw litigation filed on behalf of persons alleging housing discrimination in sales, rental, public housing, and exclusionary zoning practices. After Hurricane Katrina, she represented GNOFHAC and an individual landlord in litigation challenging St. Bernard Parish’s enactment of a “blood relative ordinance,” which restricted the rental of single-family residences in St. Bernard Parish to those related by blood to the owner of the property. The case was cited by the Supreme Court in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusionary Communities Project, Inc. She also assisted with GNOFHAC’s investigation of and challenge to the Road Home Program’s racially discriminatory calculation of homeowner grants post-Katrina.
As a supervising attorney in the Tulane Law School Civil Rights and Federal Practice Clinic, she teaches third-year law students federal pre-trial and trial practice while representing clients in a range of civil rights matters, including housing and employment discrimination and Section 1983 litigation. She has supervised litigation on behalf of several incarcerated persons making constitutional claims against correctional facilities in Louisiana, including the Orleans Parish Prison and the St. Tammany Parish Jail. She also worked on a First Amendment challenge against the New Orleans Police Department, and a challenge to the Louisiana Public Defender Board’s policy of charging clients a fee when they plead guilty to a criminal charge. She has supervised students’ work in multiple cases alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, including discrimination on the basis of disability, sex, national origin, familial status, and race.
Blacksher Ranier received the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division’s 2001 Special Commendation Award and 2002 Special Achievement Award; the 2007 Loyola University School of Law’s Gillis Long Public Interest Law Award; the 2007 City Business “Leadership in Law” Award; the 2006 Gambit Weekly “40 Under 40” award; the 2019 City Business “Leadership in Law” Award; and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center’s 2019 Fair Housing Hero Award on behalf of the Tulane Civil Rights and Federal Practice Clinic.