Rebecca French received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1971, her J.D. from the University of Washington in 1974 and her LL.M. (1988) and Ph.D. (1990) in legal anthropology from Yale University.
Her work is situated at the intersections of law, anthropology, legal theory, religious studies and Buddhist legal systems. Her four years of field research in Tibet and India resulted in the first study of the Dalai Lama’s pre-1960 legal system. She has worked with Tibetans and Indonesians on immigration and cultural issues and has delivered public lectures for Amnesty International, the Tibetan Conference, the International Association of Tibetan Studies, Tibet House and many others.
From 2008 to 2010, French served as director of the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, an endowed academic center for interdisciplinary research on law and legal institutions. She joined the UB School of Law faculty after serving as an associate professor of law at the University of Colorado from 1992 to 2001.