About the Program

UVA Law is home to outstanding scholars of both the religion clauses and the speech and press clauses of the First Amendment. As the freedom of speech becomes an ever more important and contested right within our society, and as the religion clauses become an active and controversial area in Supreme Court jurisprudence, scholars at the Law School are at the forefront of the debates, in law reviews and philosophical journals, as well as in courthouses and the public square.

Among the school’s First Amendment scholars are Professors Frederick Schauer and Douglas Laycock. Schauer is one of the world’s leading legal theorists, and has made substantial contributions to thinking on free speech. His books include Schauer is the author of “The Law of Obscenity” and “Free Speech: A Philosophical Enquiry.” Laycock is perhaps the nation’s leading expert on religious liberty, and has argued such cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and served as lead counsel six times. He has also authored several influential amicus briefs, and his many writings on religious liberty have been collected and published in a five-volume series.

Faculty Director(s)
Leslie Kendrick
White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs
Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill Professor of Law
Director, Center for the First Amendment
Special Advisor to the Provost on Free Expression and Inquiry
Fellow, UVA Shannon Center for Advanced Studies