Melvin J. Kelley IV joined the Northeastern University faculty in 2021 as associate professor of law and business within the School of Law and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Kelley previously served as assistant professor of law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, where he specialized in state and local government law, property law and legal theory. Kelley’s research focuses on the sociopolitical, geospatial and civil rights implications of decentralizing public authority, antidiscrimination jurisprudence governing real estate transactions and community economic development tactics with the aim of proposing possibilities for redressing enduring regional inequities in access to resources that enable upward mobility.

Prior to teaching at Villanova, Kelley served as the first Elizabeth Ann Zitrin Fellow and visiting assistant professor of law with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern Law. Before transitioning to academia, Kelley held professional positions with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. He currently serves on the advisory committee for the College of the Holy Cross’ Slavery, Memorial and Justice Initiative, the advisory board of Northeastern Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project. He received his BA in political science, economics and Africana studies from the College of the Holy Cross and his JD with Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar Honors from Columbia Law School.


  • JD, Columbia Law School
  • BA, College of the Holy Cross