Associate Professor of Law
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2014
J.D., Harvard Law School, 2002
M.A., Princeton University, 2011
B.A., University of Virginia, 1998
Jessica Lowe specializes in 18th- and 19th-century American legal, intellectual, and cultural history. She 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. Lowe received her B.A. (high honors) from the University of Virginia in 1998 in political and social thought, and also studied at Yale Divinity School (1999-2000), where she was a Marquand Scholar. She received her Ph.D. in American history from Princeton University in 2014. She has held fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the Princeton University Center for Human Values, the Center of Theological Inquiry (a Templeton Foundation grant), and participated in the 2013 Hurst Institute for Legal History at the University of Wisconsin. In 2011, she received the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Lowe is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
At Virginia, Lowe teaches legal history, constitutional history, and classes in crime and punishment. She is the founder of the interdisciplinary Legal History Writing Group, which brings together scholars from Law, History, Politics, and Religious Studies once monthly for informal discussions of works in progress, and co-coordinates the Law School’s Legal History Workshop series. In 2013, she co-organized a conference commemorating the 100th anniversary of Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913). Lowe has also served as a fellow at Brown College, the undergraduate residential college, and is a member of the Early American Studies colloquium at the International Center for Jefferson Studies.
Lowe 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 Revolutionary Virginia, and is a history of a controversial 1791 Virginia murder case. The second project, tentatively entitled Sacred Texts, is a history of ideas of scripture and morality in American law from the Revolution to the Civil War.
Lowe is on leave during fall semester 2016.
Articles and Book Reviews:
Book review, J.S. Hist. (forthcoming) (reviewing Jonathan Bryant’s Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope (2015)).
“Ideas That Matter: Parting Thoughts on Charles Beard on the 100th Anniversary of an Economic Interpretation,” 29 Const. Comment. 525 (2014).
“Radicalism’s Legacy: American Legal History Since 1998,” 36 Zeitschrift für Neuere Rechtsgeschichte 288 (2014).
Book Review, 80 J.S. Hist. 453 (2014) (reviewing Charles F. Hobson, ed., St. George Tucker’s Law Reports and Selected Papers, 1782-1825 (2013)).
“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 111 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013).
“A Separate Peace? The Politics of Localized Law in the Post-Revolutionary Era.” 36 Law & Social Inquiry 788 (Summer 2011).
Murder in the Shenandoah: Commonwealth v. John Crane and Law in Federal Virginia (submitted for publication).
Sacred Texts, Sacred Interpretation: How America Became a Nation of the Word (book manuscript in progress).