Associate Professor of Law
J.D., Harvard Law School, 2002
M.A., Princeton University, 2011
B.A., University of Virginia, 1998
Jessica Lowe studies 18th- and 19th-century American legal history, and specializes in law at the time of the American founding. Lowe joined the Virginia Law faculty after several years at Princeton University, where she was completing a Ph.D. in American legal history. She has held a number of fellowships, including an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship and a Princeton University Center for Human Values Graduate Prize Fellowship. In 2011, she received the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Lowe received her J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School in 2002; after law school, she clerked in the District of Connecticut and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Lowe also practiced appellate law at Jones Day in Washington, D.C., where she worked on a number of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Lowe received her B.A. (high honors) from the University of Virginia in 1998, and also studied at Yale Divinity School (1999-2000), where she was a Marquand Scholar.
Lowe’s teaching and research interests span law, history and American religion. They include American legal history, the history and legal theory of the Revolutionary and early national eras, Southern legal history, criminal law and sentencing, American religious history, and Christianity and legal theory. She is currently at work on two book projects. One, based on her doctoral dissertation, is titled Murder in the Shenandoah: Commonwealth v. John Crane and Law in Federal Virginia, and is a history of a controversial 1791 Virginia murder case. The second, Sacred Texts, is a history of American biblical and legal textualism from the Revolution to the Civil War.
Lowe is on leave in Fall 2012. In Spring 2013, she will teach Constitutional and Legal History I: 1776-1865, and Crime and Punishment in American History.
"A Separate Peace? The Politics of Localized Law in the Post-Revolutionary Era," 36 Law & Soc. Inquiry 788 (2011).
"Guarding Republican Liberty: St. George Tucker and Judging in Federal Virginia," in Sally Hadden and Patricia Minter, eds., Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History (forthcoming 2012).