Texas Law Welcomes New Faculty Members Tara Leigh Grove and Lia Sifuentes Davis

The University of Texas School of Law is delighted to announce two new faculty members: Tara Leigh Grove, who will serve as the Vinson & Elkins Chair in Law, and Lia Sifuentes Davis, the interim director and visiting clinical professor for Texas Law’s Civil Rights Clinic.

Tara Leigh Grove

As the Vinson & Elkins Chair in Law, Tara Leigh Grove will teach courses in federal courts, constitutional law, civil procedure, and legislation. A nationally recognized constitutional scholar, Grove’s research focuses on the federal judiciary and the constitutional separation of powers.

“Tara is deeply committed both to her nationally-impactful research and to her students, and that makes her a perfect fit for Texas Law,” said Dean Bobby Chesney. “She is among the nation’s leading experts on courts and the Constitution, among other things, and is a stellar teacher and delightful colleague. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Grove has published with many law journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and has earned numerous awards for both her research and teaching. Grove is a co-author of Low & Jeffries’ “Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations,” a leading federal courts casebook, and has served as the Chair of the Federal Courts Section of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2021, Grove served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, a bipartisan commission created by President Biden and charged with examining proposals for Supreme Court reform.

“I am excited to join the faculty at Texas Law,” said Grove. “I look forward to getting to know the students and others in the law school community as I begin this next chapter of my career.”

Grove comes to Texas Law after two years as the Charles Tweedy Jr. Endowed Chair in Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. Previously she spent nine years as a law professor at William & Mary Law School, where she was honored with the Walter L. Williams Memorial Teaching Award. Grove also has been a visiting professor at both Harvard Law School and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She started her career as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff.

Grove graduated summa cum laude from Duke University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as the Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review. Grove clerked for Judge Emilio Garza on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Portrait of Lia Sifuentes DavisLia Sifuentes Davis

Lia Sifuentes Davis ’11 returns to her alma mater as the interim director and visiting clinical professor for Texas Law’s Civil Rights Clinic. After her graduation, Sifuentes Davis joined the staff at Disability Rights Texas (DRTx), the federally designated protection and advocacy organization for people with disabilities in Texas. As the senior litigation attorney, she has addressed voting laws and policies that impact people with disabilities and has directly represented individuals with disabilities facing discrimination. Sifuentes Davis supervises the law clerk program and recently led the voting rights team at DRTx.

“Lia’s combination of extensive real-world experience and her long-standing ties to our law school make her the perfect fit for this role, helping our students expand their knowledge of civil rights law and putting their skills to work,” said Eden Harrington, the associate dean for experiential education. “We are thrilled to have her back at Texas Law after knowing her as a student and watching her excel in her career.”

In her time as a Texas Law student, Sifuentes Davis was involved in both the Children’s Rights Clinic and the Housing Clinic. She also was secretary of the Public Interest Law Association and a member of the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association. Sifuentes Davis earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Sifuentes Davis will fill this interim position for the 2022-23 academic year as Ranjana Natarajan, clinical professor and director of the Civil Rights Clinic, will be on leave.