Blanche Cook

Assistant Professor of Law Wayne State University Law School
Phone: (313) 577-9963

Areas of expertise

racial and gender discrimination
criminal law
criminal procedure
gender discrimination
sex trafficking


Blanche Cook earned her bachelor of arts degree at Vassar College and her law degree at the University of Michigan Law School. Her primary areas of expertise are appellate practice, criminal law and procedue, critical race theory, employment discriminiation, evidence, federal courts, sex trafficking and trial advocacy.

Most recently, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she specialized in large-scale drug and sex-trafficking prosecutions. As a federal prosecutor, she has briefed and/or argued more than 40 federal appeals. 

Professor Cook clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She was also an associate at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Detroit and Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, where she specialized in employment discriminiation, labor law, and sexual harassment litigation and prevention training. While a practing attorney, she taught and/or lectured at American Baptist College and Vanderbilt University. 

She has established herself as a leading expert on sex trafficking by problematizing the entire spectrum of sex-trafficking prosecutions and the commercialization and exploitation of women and girls. She is actively involved in shaping the emerging nationwide discourse on sex trafficking and victims' rights as it relates to evidentiary issues, race-class-gender profiling and sex-trafficking statutes. She writes in areas of victims' rights, critical race theory, human rights, race and gender discriminiation, criminial procedure, black feminist legal theory, womanist thought and the normative gaze of identity. Her current research trajectory focuses on a critical analysis of sex-trafficking prosecutions. 

Watch Professor Cook's Ted Talk, CAUGHT: Calculating the Moves of Power in Our Midst