Mehrsa-Baradaran
Mehrsa Baradaran | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Mehrsa Baradaran
  • Occupation Law Professor
  • Nationality America
  • Birthplace Orumiyeh, Iran
  • Birth Date Apr 03, 1978
  • Age 43 Years, 5 Months
Author of 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap’

Mehrsa Baradaran | Biography 2021

Mehrsa Baradaran's second book 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap,' was published on September 14, 2017. The book explored the persistent racial wealth gap by examining the history of Black banking, from 1863, the year when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed to the present day. The book was awarded the 'Best Book of the Year' by the Urban Affairs Association and the 'PROSE Award Honorable Mention' in the 'Business, Finance & Management' category. Baradaran was also chosen as a finalist at the ‘2018 Georgia Author of the Year' in the 'History/Biography' category. In 2020, her award-winning book inspired Netflix to commit $100 million to support Black communities.


Mehrsa Baradaran is a law professor and author of the award-winning book 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap' 

Who is Mehrsa Baradaran?

Mehrsa Baradaran is a law professor specializing in banking law at the Irvine School of Law, University of California. She had authored two books, 'How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy' and 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.' Both her books gained significant national and international media coverage.

Early Life and Education

Mehrsa Baradaran was born on April 3, 1978, in Iran in a Muslim family. In 1986, at the age of nine, she immigrated to the United States with her mother, father, and two younger sisters. 

In an interview with MarketWatch in November 2020, she revealed why her family immigrated to the United States. She stated, "I was born in Iran during the years of revolution. My parents had gotten in trouble with the regime there. We were able to get out when I was 9, and came to America." 

According to Baradaran, her parents sacrificed their dreams to bring their daughters to the United States. Her father was a doctor in Iran. But he worked at casinos, drove delivery trucks, and did whatever work he could do to earn for their family, until he was recertified as a doctor in the U.S. She explained, "They worked really hard to get us here; we learned our work ethic from them. It's part of the immigrant mentality. They worked so hard to come to America where you can be anything."

Baradaran grew up as an immigrant in the U.S. But, she had been forced to shout "Death to America" twice a day along with her classmates in her Iranian grade school before her family moved to the U.S. She shared it in a column she wrote for Stale in January 2017. However, she pledged allegiance to the American flag in her American elementary school in just a few years. Her initial days at the Los Angeles elementary school weren't easy due to her inability to communicate in English. She was eventually placed in a separate English-speaking classroom to learn English within three months.

Later, she earned her bachelor's degree, majoring in English and a minor in Chemistry, from Brigham Young University in 2002. When Baradaran was 21 years old, she served Hispanic immigrants in Houston for 18 months as a pre-med student during her undergraduate level. After serving the mission, she realized that she didn't want to do medicine and eventually decided to become a lawyer.

She then went to New York University School of Law, where she graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 2005.She also served as a New York University Law Review member during her time at the New York University.

Career

After earning a law degree, Baradaran began working as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City, where she practiced law from 2005 to 2009. She explained, "After law school, I worked in the banking regulation group of a big law firm in New York. It was a really interesting place to be during the financial crisis of 2008. I had a front row seat to watch the end of the world – or at least that's how Wall Street saw the crisis."

She realized that the whole banking structure was a public system, contrary to what she thought it as a private system ruled by market discipline. Soon, she started writing and publishing articles about banking reform. Her writing landed her an Academic Research Fellowship at New York University. 

She then quit the job at the law firm to care for her daughters, including her newly born daughter, as she could not bear the long hours away from them. Later, a teaching job opened up at Brigham Young University, and she applied. Baradaran explained, "I have always known I wanted to have a career, but I did feel very strongly that I needed to quit my firm job. I didn't really know where to go from there, so I truly felt that when this teaching opportunity opened up for me, it really was a divine message. It is the job I was meant to do."

In June 2010, Baradaran began her teaching career at Brigham Young University, where she primarily taught courses like Banking Law, Property Law, and Administrative Law. She was also named the '1L Professor of the Year' by the Student Bar Association during her time at Brigham Young University. She taught there for two years until May 2012. 

While serving at Brigham, she began lecturing at the University Of Georgia School Of Law in January 2012. Later, she served as an Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives. In her 2014 Faculty Profile, she mentioned that she loved teaching Contracts and Banking Law courses. She stated, "I love teaching first-year students in Contracts. They are my favorite group of students, but banking is my favorite material. Most people think banking is going to be about chequebooks and spreadsheets and – I don't know – boring stuff. To me, my banking law class is about how the world works – it's about politics and history and democracy." In addition to Banking Law and Contracts, she taught Property, Race, Law, and Capitalism.

In August 2019, Baradaran joined the University of California, Irvine School of Law as Professor of Law and became Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She currently has expertise in Banking Law, Contracts, Property, Housing, and Inequality.

Books and Articles

Baradaran had authored two books, 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap' and 'How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation and the Threat to Democracy.' She and her books received significant national and international media coverage and got featured in New York Times, Atlantic, Slate, Financial Times, American Banker, and Washington Journal, among many others.

Baradaran had also written articles in numerous scholarly and popular publications such as Vanderbilt Law Review, Harvard Law Review Forum, Notre Dame Law Review, Emory Law Journal, George Washington Law Review, and SMU Law Review. 

She also penned about several issues covering many topics and titled them as 'Regulation by Hypothetical,' 'It's Time for Postal Banking,' 'Banking and the Social Contract,' 'How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking,' 'Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce,' and 'The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking.' 

Book: 'How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation and the Threat to Democracy' 

Baradaran's first book, 'How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation and the Threat to Democracy,' was published on October 6, 2015. In this book, Baradaran highlighted the inequality in the United States banking system and came out that the country has two separate banking systems - one for the poor and one for everyone else. 

Book: 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap'

Baradaran published her second book 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap,' on September 14, 2017. The book explored the persistent racial wealth gap by examining the history of Black banking, from 1863, the year when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed to the present day.

The book was awarded the 'Best Book of the Year’ by the Urban Affairs Association and the 'PROSE Award Honorable Mention' in the 'Business, Finance & Management’ category. Baradaran was also chosen as a finalist at the ‘2018 Georgia Author of the Year' in the 'History/Biography' category.

In 2020, her award-winning book inspired Netflix to commit $100 million to support Black communities.

Personal Life

Baradaran met her future husband, Jared Bybee, while pursuing undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University. The pair together has three daughters.

Fact-checking and Ethical Concerns

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Fact-checking and Ethical Concerns

We assure our audience that we will remove any contents that are not accurate or according to formal reports and queries if they are justified. We commit to cover sensible issues responsibly through the principles of neutrality.

To report about any issues in our articles, please feel free to Contact Us. Our dedicated Editorial team verifies each of the articles published on the Biographyhost.