Frank Rudy Cooper

Director, Program on Race, Gender & Policing
William S. Boyd Professor of Law
Expertise: Criminal Law, Policing, Race Theory, Race and Law, Civil Rights


Frank Rudy Cooper is the director of the Program on Race, Gender & Policing at UNLV's William S. Boyd School of Law.

Cooper's expertise includes the intersection of race and law, in addition to civil rights, critical race theory, and diversity and inclusion. He also conducts research centered on feminist theory, gender and the law, and masculinity theory. He is often called upon by local and national media to provide insight into current issues including police reform and police brutality. 

Prior to UNLV, Cooper practiced law in Boston and taught at Villanova University School of Law, Boston College Law School, and Suffolk University Law School.

His work has been published in journals including the Boston University Law Review, the University of California, Davis Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, and the Arizona State Law Journal.


  • J.D., Duke University School of Law
  • B.A., Political Science & English, Amherst College

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Frank Rudy Cooper In The News

Washington Post
June 17, 2020
Our years of studying constitutional civil rights have taught us that police policies and even criminal statutes are not enough to overcome the “blue wall of silence” among officers. What’s needed are state laws that create an affirmative duty for bystander cops to intervene to prevent use of excessive force or other civil rights deprivations, and that allow civil suits against cops who don’t.
Las Vegas Review Journal
June 13, 2020
We are saddened and frightened by the shootings in Las Vegas during recent protests. A Metro police officer was shot, and, in a separate incident, police killed another person believed to be an armed protester. We hope for the survival of the officer and grieve the loss of the civilian’s life. These shootings are not representative of the community-wide protests and vigils, but they arise in a city that has long been simmering with tension between police and local residents.
June 10, 2020
Congress seems uniquely united that something needs to be done about policing throughout the country.
The Nevada Independent
June 5, 2020
This week on IndyMatters, reporter Michelle Rindels and host Joey Lovato talk with Republican Assemblyman Tom Roberts about police reform after he issued a call on Twitter for a special session on the matter. After that, Michelle and Joey talk with Boyd School of Law Professor Frank Rudy Cooper about his recent op-ed on how Supreme Court precedent makes it difficult to prosecute police misconduct.

Articles Featuring Frank Rudy Cooper

A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus NewsJuly 2, 2020
A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.
A portrait of law professor Frank Rudy Cooper standing outside on campus
PeopleJanuary 22, 2019
One of Boyd Law’s newest professors shares his Las Vegas experiences since moving from the East Coast.