Pendo, J.D.

Visiting Professor and Senior Scholar at the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy


Professor Pendo earned her B.A. with Honors from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law. After graduation, she clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practiced at a litigation firm and in the Employee Benefits / ERISA group at MetLife in New York. She is a member of the State Bars of California and New York.

Professor Pendo is an expert in disability law, bioethics and the law, and health law and policy. She is a specialist on the Americans with Disabilities Act, disability health disparities, legal obligations of providers, institutions, and employers under anti-discrimination laws, and equity issues in private and public insurance.

Professor Pendo uses a disability justice framework to study the impact of health care and anti-discrimination laws on outcomes and experiences of people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups in order to increase access, opportunity, and equity in our health care systems, workplaces, and communities. In 2020, she co-authored a report on using law and policy to promote health for people with disabilities for the Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy Project, a partnership between the HHS ODPHP, the CDC, and the CDC Foundation funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is also a co-investigator on a project funded by the Greenwall Foundation identifying promising practices and legal resources needed by state medical boards to better protect patients.

She has published more than 40 law review articles, books, and other publications in Health Affairs, NEJM, Yale Journal of Health Policy and Ethics, Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Arizona State Law Journal, Wake Forest Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review and Utah Law Review, among others, and is one of the authors of a leading casebook, Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems (West).  She published a pioneering series of articles exposing the connection between inaccessible medical and diagnostic equipment, disability bias, and health disparities.  She is part of a collaboration analyzing the first national study of U.S. physicians to understand their knowledge of the ADA, responsibilities under that law, and perceptions of caring for patients with disabilities.  She also has published works exploring the application of the ADA during the pandemic, including access to life-saving health care, employment protections, vaccination policies, and mask requirements.  She is a frequent speaker at academic conferences and symposia, to the legal profession, with community groups, and to the media.


  1. YWCA Leadership Award

    In recognition of leadership in the Saint Louis University community

  2. Eileen H. Searls Service Award

    Given by the Saint Louis University School of Law Women Law Students’ Association

  3. Women’s Justice Legal Scholar Award

    Awarded by the Saint Louis Daily Record