Tonya M. Evans is an Associate Professor of Law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with expertise in the areas of intellectual property, entertainment law (literary and music), and trusts & estates (among other disciplines). Professor Evans joined the faculty as a visiting professor in 2007 and tenure-track professor in 2008. She received tenure in Spring 2014. She serves as Faculty Advisor to the Widener Law Journal. Professor Evans has also served as Adjunct Professor of copyright, publishing and licensing at York College of Pennsylvania and will visit at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law during the summer of 2016.
A select list of her publications include, Statutory Heirs Apparent?: Reclaiming Copyright in the Age of Author-Controlled, Author-Benefiting Transfers, 119 W. Va. Law Rev. __ (2016), Safe Harbor for the Innocent Infringer in the Digital Age, 50 Willamette L. Rev. 1 (2013), Reverse Engineering IP, 17 Marquette Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 61 (2013); and Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My! How Hip Hop Music is Scratching More Than the Surface of Copyright Law, 21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 843 (2011). Safe Harbor was judged one of the best law review articles related to entertainment, publishing and/or the arts published in the 2013-14 academic publishing cycle and selected for inclusion in the 2014 edition of the Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts Handbook, an anthology published annually by Thomson Reuters (West). [Visit Widener Law Commonwealth Faculty Page]
Professor Evans is also author of an award-winning series of legal reference guides for writers and publishing industry professionals and was selected by Writer’s Digest Book Club as a club selection for its members. Professor Evans is also a nationally recognized speaker who presents to various audiences regularly on publishing law and intellectual property law.
Professor Evans attended Northwestern University on a four-year tennis scholarship, and thereafter she competed on the women’s professional tennis circuit and played most notably in the US Open, Virginia Slims of Philadelphia, and Lipton in 1993. After retiring from the tennis circuit in 1995, she attended Howard University on an academic scholarship. During law school, Professor Evans interned with the Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, with U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah and with the Honorable Theodore A. McKee in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Professor Evans also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Howard Law Journal (1997-1998).
After graduating with honors, Professor Evans clerked for the Honorable Theodore A. McKee in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for one year and thereafter worked at two national firms in Philadelphia until establishing her own firm in 2002. During that time, she also founded an independent publishing company now known as Legal Write Publications.
Professor Evans is also a performance poet and author of two poetry books: Seasons of Her: A Collection of Poetry and SHINE! (book/CD). Additionally, her short story, Not Tonight, appears in an anthology titled Proverbs for the People, published by Kensington.
Professor Evans is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Third Circuit and New York.