Sonya Garza

Sonya Garza

Assistant Professor of Law

(901) 678-1624
(901) 678-0753
Law School, Office 364

About Professor Garza

Professor Sonya C. Garza joined the Memphis Law faculty in Fall of 2022. 

After graduating from law school, and briefly working as an associate in the labor and employment section at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld, LLP in Washington D.C., Professor Garza joined Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, now Norton Rose Fulbright, in Houston, Texas as an associate in their family law section. She handled a wide array of highly complex family law cases.

In 2004, Professor Garza began her teaching career at Texas Tech University School of Law as a Visiting Assistant Professor. A year later, Professor Garza was invited to join the full-time faculty at New England Law | Boston. She taught constitutional law, family law, gender and the law, children and the law, the clinical student seminar, and professional responsibility. While at New England Law | Boston, Professor Garza served on the Centennial Planning Committee, served as the faculty advisor of the Women’s Law Caucus and Children’s Law Society, and coached the Child Welfare National Moot Court Team. In the summer of 2008, Professor Garza was a research fellow at Cornell University’s National Data Archive of Child Abuse and Neglect.

In 2009, Professor Garza was invited to join the full-time faculty at Elon University Law School in in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a full-time faculty member, Professor Garza became an active member Greensboro community. She published work and made several appearances on the historical significance of Justice Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Professor Garza also advocated for marriage equality in North Carolina prior to the Obergerfell v. Hodges decision. She also published an op-ed and appeared on several local media outlets after Justice Sonia Sotomayor's historic confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.

After nearly a decade in academia, Professor Garza returned home to Austin, Texas where she worked at the Travis County Domestic Relations Office as the managing attorney for the office’s Visitation Services Program. While in working full-time at the Travis County Domestic Relations Office, Professor Garza continued to teach as an adjunct professor at the business school and the political science department at Texas State University.

In 2019, Professor Garza returned to academia when she joined the full-time faculty at Barry University Dwayne O. Andrea School of Law in Orlando, Florida. While at Barry, Professor Garza served as the faculty advisor for the law school’s secondary law review, the Child and Family Law Journal. She also served as the faculty advisor the Hispanic Law Students Association and was a participant on numerous panels for the affinity groups at the law school.

Professor Garza’s scholarship focuses primarily on the conflict between parents’ constitutionally protected rights and the welfare of children, as well as race, gender, and LGBTQ+ issues in family law, specifically in the child welfare system. 


The University of Texas at Austin, 1997, phi beta kappa and high honors

Stanford University Law School, 2000, Note Editor, Stanford Law Review


State Bar of Texas

Teaching Interests

Family Law, Constitutional Law, Race and the Law, Contracts, Conflicts of Law, Children and the Law


Scholarly Publications:

  • Common Law Marriage: A Proposal for the Revival of a Dying Doctrine, 40 New Eng. L. Rev. 2 (2006)                                                                                                                                                       
  • The Troxel Aftermath: A Proposed Solution for State Courts and Legislatures, 69 La. L. Rev. 927 (2009)

Other Selected Publications:

  • Co-Author, Same-Sex Marriage Measure a Travesty, Greensboro News-Record, September 23, 2011 at H1 (with Andy Haile and Michael Rich).
  • With Sotomayor, Justice is Served, Greensboro News-Record, August 9, 2009 at H1.
  • Co-Author, Perceptions of Favoritism in Constitutional Law, The Law Teacher, Spring 2009 (with Lawrence Friedman).
  • Harvard Prof., Ex-SJC Judge Expounds, Opines on Liberty, Mass Lawyers Weekly, March 26, 2007 (reviewing Charles Fried, Modern Liberty (2007)).  Harvard Prof., Former Judge Expounds, Opines on Liberty, The daily Record, March 28, 2007 (reviewing Charles Fried, Modern Liberty (2007)).