Rue Landau is the Spring 2021 Beck Chair at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Prior to her appointment at Temple Law, Landau served as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC) from 2008-2020. The PCHR is the quasi-judicial agency empowered to enforce the city’s civil rights laws and resolve community and neighborhood conflicts. The FHC is the city agency charged with addressing unfair rental practices in housing and other landlord-tenant disputes. Prior to her service with the City, Landau was a senior attorney in the Housing Unit at Community Legal Services (CLS) in Philadelphia, where she specialized in landlord-tenant law with a focus on public and subsidized housing.
Under her leadership at the agencies, Landau overhauled and expanded the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance and Fair Housing Ordinance to add civil rights protections including wage equity, fair chance hiring for people with criminal records, reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and good cause eviction safeguards, among others. She also oversaw many efforts to strengthen existing laws to create added protections for marginalized populations such as the LGBTQ community. Recent contributions included her active role with the City’s racial equity initiatives and the ongoing work of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Eviction Prevention and Response.
Landau frequently presents on civil rights issues ranging from race relations and discrimination to hate crimes and bias incidents. She has published multiple op-eds on civil rights issues and produced reports addressing significant community concerns including Widening the Circle of Our Concern: Public Perceptions of the School District of Philadelphia’s Response to Intergroup Conflicts” in 2011, and Inform, Monitor, Report: Addressing Racism and Discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Community in 2017. In 2002, she authored the chapter Criminal Records and Subsidized Housing: Families Losing the Opportunity for Decent Shelter for the Center for Law and Social Policy’s publication, Every Door Closed.
Landau is the recipient of numerous awards for her community leadership and fierce commitment to civil rights, equity, and social justice, including the Equal Justice Award from Community Legal Services (2020), the Cheryl Ingram Advocate for Justice Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Division (2019), the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award on behalf of the PCHR (2016), the Building Bridges, Opening Doors Award from HIAS PA (2010), and “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer (2006).