Debra Jo Schleef

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg                                                   

Professional Experience

Professor, University of Mary Washington, 2011-.
Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, UMW, 2007-2014.
Associate Professor, UMW, 2005-2011.
Assistant Professor, UMW, 1999-2005.
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Richmond, 1998-1999.
Instructor, University of Virginia, 1997-1998.


Ph.D., Sociology, Northwestern University, 1997.

Dissertation:  “Elites in Training: Accommodation and Resistance to Professional Socialization in Law and Business School.”

M.A., Sociology, Northwestern University, 1991.
B.A., Sociology, Indiana University‑Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Areas of Interest

Sociology of Law, Occupations and Professions, Professional Education and Socialization, Elites, Race/Class/ Gender, Latino Assimilation, Research Methodology, Popular Culture

Published Work

2009  Latinos in Dixie: Class and Assimilation in Richmond, VA With H. B. Cavalcanti. State University of New York Press

Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“Jumping Ship or Merely Crossing the Aisle? An Analysis of the Circulation of Elite Lawyers.” In Sociology of Work: Networks, Work, and Inequality Vol. 24. ed. Steve McDonald, ed. Greenwich, CN: JAI Press.
“Identity Transformation, Hegemonic Masculinity and Research on Professionalization.”  Sociology Compass.
“The Case for Secular Assimilation? Religion and the Latino Experience in Richmond, VA.”  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 44 (4): 273-83. With H.B. Cavalcanti.
“Cultural Loss and the American Dream: The Immigrant Experience in Barry Levinson’s Avalon.” Journal of American and Comparative Cultures 24 (Fall/Winter 2001): 11-22. With H.B. Cavalcanti.
Schleef, Debra. “Thinking Like a Lawyer: Gender Differences in the Production of Professional Knowledge.”  Gender Issues. (Spring 2001): 69-84.
“The Melting Pot Revisited: Hispanic Integration in Mid-size American Cities.” Hispanic Journal for Behavioral Sciences 23 (May 2001): 115-135. With H.B. Cavalcanti.
Schleef, Debra. “‘That’s a Good Question!’ Exploring Motivations for Law and Business School Choice.” Sociology of Education 73 (July 2000): 155-174.
Schleef, Debra. “Empty Ethics and Reasonable Responsibility: Vocabularies of Motive of Law and Business Students.” Law and Social Inquiry 22 (September 1997): 619-650.
Schleef, Debra. “Lessons from East Germany:  A Comparison of Feminist and Socialist Jurisprudence.”  Social and Legal Studies 5 (June 1996): 219-242.
Schleef, Debra. “Lawyers on Line:  Professional Identity and Boundary Maintenance in Cyberspace.” Pp. 193-214 in Research in Community Sociology, Vol. 6.  Dan A. Chekki, ed. Greenwich, CN: JAI Press, 1996.

Book Reviews
2012   Rascuache Lawyer: Toward a Theory of Ordinary Litigation. By Alfredo Mirandé. Contemporary Sociology.
2012   Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico. By Debra Lttanzi Shutika.  American Ethnologist. 39 (4).
2010   Reproducing Racism: White Space, Elite Law Schools, and Racial Inequality. By Wendy Leo Moore.  Social Forces 88:1488-90.
2006   Cause Lawyers and Social Movements. By Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold, eds. Law and Society Review 41: 503-505.
1995   Lives of Lawyers:  Journeys in the Organizations of Practice.  By Michael J. Kelly.  Contemporary Sociology 24: 375-76.

Other Publications
2007   Cavalcanti, H.B. and Debra Schleef.  “Changing Patterns of Migration? The Latino Experience in Richmond, VA.”  Chapter in Global Issues Reader, James Madison University Social Issues in a Global Context.  Pearson Publishing.
2006   “From the Archives of Drs. Placek and Arriola.”  Femspec: An Interdisciplinary Feminist Journal 7.2 (2006): 97-105. This piece was chosen to appear in the anthology Best of Femspec to be published by Aqueduct Press.

Works in Progress
The Sociology of Intentional Communities (sabbatical project, 2014-2015)
Who’s Watching TV’s Children? The Presentation of Child Care Arrangements on Television. Book manuscript in progress
Re-visioning Socrates for Undergraduates:  Teaching the Sociology of Law using Law & Society Review

Selected Presentations (2003-2013)
Hands-on Sociology: Teaching Quantitative Research Methods by Incorporating Ongoing Research.” Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, March 2012.
“Revisioning Socrates for Undergraduates:  Teaching the Sociology of Law using Law & Society Review.”  International Law and Society Association, Honolulu, June 2012.
“Jumping Ship or Merely Crossing the Aisle? An Analysis of the Circulation of Elite Lawyers.” American Sociological Association annual meeting, San Francisco, August 2009.
“Introduction: Who’s Watching TV’s Children? The Presentation of Child Care Arrangements on Television.” Southern Sociological Society Annual Convention, April 4, 2009,New Orleans.
“Career Intensive, Family Intensive: Law and MBA Student Responses to Work–Family Dilemmas.” American Sociological Association annual meeting, Boston, August 2008.
“The Thirty-Hour Day: Law and Business Student Expectations about Balancing Work and Family.” Law and Society Association annual meeting, Berlin, Germany, July 2007.
With Aaron Frank, Scott Hoffman, and Alexa Thompson. “Reporting on America: Poster Presentations as a Tool for Launching Professionalism in First-Year Seminar Students.” Virginia Social Sciences Association, Richmond, VA, March 31, 2007.
“What Does It Mean to Be Latino in Dixie? Findings from Richmond, VA.” With H.B. Cavalcanti. Southern Sociological Association, New Orleans, March 2006.
“Still Searching for the Thirty-Hour Day: Institutional and Personal Challenges to Tenure-Track Parenting,” Southern Sociological Association, Charlotte, NC, April 2005.  Invited panel.
Debra Schleef and H.B. Cavalcanti.  “The Case for Secular Assimilation? Religion and the Latino Experience in Richmond, VA.”  American Sociological Association, San Francisco, August 2004.
Debra Schleef and Kelly Walsh, “Sociology ‘100’ – Teaching the Large Introductory Class Using a Simulation of U.S. Society.”  Southern Sociological Association, Atlanta, April 2004.

College Service, University of Mary Washington

Member, University Faculty Council, 2011-2015; Chair, 2012-2014.
Member, UMW Enrollment and Retention Committee, 2011-.
Member, James Farmer Visiting Professor Committee, 2011-2014.
Member, James Farmer Post-Doc in Civil Rights Search Committee, 2010-2011, 2012-2013.
Member, UMW Security Task Force Committee, 2010.
Member, CAS Strategic Planning Committee; subcommittee on student work load; 2009-2010.
Member, CAS Dean Search Committee, 2009-2010.
Convener, UMW Chairs’ Council, 2009-2010.
Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, 2007-2014.
Member, First-Year Seminar Advisory Committee, 2005-2007.
Member, Research and Creativity Day Advisory Committee, 2007.
Member, Executive-in-Residence Program Committee, 2002-2010.
Member, Teaching Innovativeness Project, 2005-2008.
Member, Global Awareness Committee, 2002-2005.
Member, Faculty Senate, Senator-at-Large, 2001-2002, 2005-2006.
Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Course Credits, 2001-2002.
Member, Faculty Development and Grants Committee, 2000-2001.
Member, Institutional Research Board, 1999-2006.
Faculty Advisor, Pre-Law Student Organization, 1999-present.

Professional Activities and Affiliations

American Sociological Association.
ASA Committee on Professional Ethics, 2011-2014; Chair, 2013-2014.
ASA Sociology of Law Section Member, and Membership Committee member, 2008-2011, Chair, 2011-13
Law and Society Association.
Sociologists for Women in Society.
Alpha Kappa Delta, Chi of Virginia Chapter, Chapter Representative.
Reviewer for Sociology of Education, Law and Social Inquiry, Gender and Society, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, American Journal of Sociology, and Sociology Compass.
Reviewer for Oxford University Press, Lynne Reinner Press.

Community Consulting, Partnerships and Research

Rappahannock Area Office on Youth
Fredericksburg Area Continuum of Care
Fredericksburg Regional Farmers’ Markets
Rappahannock United Way
District 16 Probation and Parole
Rappahannock Legal Services
Rappahannock Area Community Service Board

Grants and Awards

University of Mary Washington, Sabbatical Grant, Spring 2008.
University of Mary Washington, Professional Activity Grant, Fall 2006.
University of Mary WashingtonJepson Fellow, 2004-2005.
University of Mary Washington Academic Affairs Council, Excellence in Teaching, 2004.
“Fear of Falling: The Effects of U.S.News and World Reports on U.S. Law Schools.” Wendy Espeland and Michael Sauder, Principal Investigators. Law School Admissions Council Grant, 2003-04.
Mary Washington College Professional Activity Grant, 2001.
Mary Washington College Professional Activity Grant, 2000.
Northwestern University Dissertation Year Grant, 1994.
Travel Grant, Law and Society Association Graduate Student Conference, 1992, 1994.
Law and Social Inquiry Graduate Student Paper Competition, Honorable Mention, 1997.
University Fellow, Northwestern University, 1989‑90.
Law and Social Sciences Award, Northwestern University, 1989‑90.
Outstanding Achievement in Sociology, IUPUI, Indianapolis, May 1988.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
Race and Ethnicity
Law and Society
Sociology of Law
Popular Culture
Sociology of Education
Sociology of the Family
Sociology of Sex Roles
Women and Society (Women, Work, and Politics)
Work and Occupations
The Census and Beyond: Large Scale Survey Analysis
Quantitative Research Methods and Analysis
Advanced Research Methods
Power and Privilege: The Sociology of Elites
First Year Seminar:  Measuring America,
First Year Seminar: Tiger Moms, Octomoms, and Off-Ramp Moms: Media Images of Mothers