George Rutherglen

  • Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Earle K. Shawe Professor of Employment Law

George Rutherglen joined Virginia's law faculty in 1976. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.

While he was a student at law school, Rutherglen was articles editor of the California Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation, he clerked for Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Diego, and Justices William O. Douglas and John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He has written widely on employment discrimination, civil rights and admiralty.

Scholarship Profile: Connecting Civil Rights and Civil Procedure (Virginia Journal 2006)


  • J.D.
    University of California at Berkeley School of Law
  • A.B.
    University of California at Berkeley


Works in Progress


The United States Courts of Appeals: Reexamining Structure and Process after a Century of GrowthAmerican Bar Association Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements (1989).


Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with John C. Jeffries Jr., Pamela S. Karlan & Peter W. Low)Foundation Press (1–4 ed. 2000–2018).
Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue)Foundation Press (4 ed. 2018).
Transnational Civil Litigation (with Michael G. Collins & Joachim Zekoll)Foundation (2013).
Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue)Foundation Press (3 ed. 2012).
Major Issues in the Federal Law of Employment Discrimination (with Kris Markarian)Federal Judicial Center (5 ed. 2012).
Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution 2011 Supplement (with John C. Jeffries Jr., Pamela S. Karlan & Peter W. Low)Foundation Press (2011).
Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory, 2011 Supplement (with John J. Donohue)Foundation Press (2011).
Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue)Foundation Press (2 ed. 2009).
Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue)Foundation Press (1 ed. 2005).

Book Chapters

Territoriality and Its Troubles (with Paul B. Stephan & Sarah H. Cleveland eds.), in Paul B. Stephan & Sarah H. Cleveland, eds., The Restatement and Beyond: The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Foreign Relations Law, Oxford University Press, 371-390 (2020).
The Origins of Arguments over Reverse Discrimination: Lessons from the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (with Christian G. Samito ed.), in Christian G. Samito, ed., The Greatest and the Grandest Act: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 from Reconstruction to Today, Southern Illinois University Press, 209-233 (2018).
Civil Rights Act (with Robert S. Rycroft ed.), in Robert S. Rycroft, ed., The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty, Grenwood, 369-372 (2017).
Thirteenth Amendment (with Stephen L. Schechter ed.), in Stephen L. Schechter, ed., American Governance, Macmillan Reference USA, 189-193 (2016).
“The Great Task Remaining Before Us”:  Lincoln and Reconstruction (with Sean Conant ed.), in Sean Conant, ed., The Gettysburg Address: Perspectives on Lincoln's Greatest Speech, Oxford University Press, 191-210 (2015).
Sovereignty, Territoriality, and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments (with James Y. Stern), in Paul B. Stephan, ed., Foreign Court Judgments and the United States Legal System, Brill Nijhoff, 13-24 (2014).
Concrete or Abstract Conceptions of Discrimination (with Deborah Hellman & Sophia Moreau eds.), in Deborah Hellman & Sophia Moreau, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Discrimination Law, Oxford University Press, 115-137 (2013).
The Badges and Incidents of Slavery and the Power of Congress to Enforce the Thirteenth Amendment (with Alexander Tsesis ed.), in Alexander Tsesis, ed., The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment, Columbia University Press, 163-181 (2010).
Civil Rights in Private Schools: The Surprising Story of Runyon v. McCrary (with Myriam E. Gilles & Risa L. Goluboff eds.), in Myriam E. Gilles & Risa L. Goluboff, eds., Civil Rights Stories, Foundation Press, 111-130 (2008).
Sovereign Immunity (with Frank L. Wiswall ed.), in Frank L. Wiswall, ed., Benedict on Admiralty, Matthew Bender, 4-1 to 4 (2004).
Affirmative Action in Faculty Appointments: A Guide for the Perplexed (with Celia Wolf-Devine ed.), in Celia Wolf-Devine, ed., Diversity and Community in the Academy: Affirmative Action in Faculty Appointments, Rowman and Littlefield, 181-204 (1997).
Claims of Employment Discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (with Mikel Aickin & D. H. Kaye eds.), in Mikel Aickin & D. H. Kaye, eds., Statistical Methods in Discrimination Litigation, Marcel Dekker, 33-54 (1986).

Articles & Reviews

Universal Injunctions: Why Not Follow the Rule?, 107 Virginia Law Review Online 300-316 (2021).
Admiralty, Human Rights, and International Law, 62 Virginia Journal of International Law 181-202 (2021).
Disaggregated Discrimination and the Rise of Identity Politics, 26 William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice 391-423 (2020).
Reconstruction in Legal Theory, 105 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 95-110 (2020).
Statutes of Limitations: Claims Forgotten, Forgiven, or Foregone?, 72 Rutgers University Law Review 1-37 (2019).
The Thirteenth Amendment in Legal Theory, 104 Cornell Law Review Online 160-172 (2019).
In What Sense a Coup? A Review of The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution by Michael J. Klarman (reviewing Michael J. Klarman, The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution) 34 Journal of Law & Politics 117-130 (2018).
The Rights of Aliens under the United States Constitution: At the Border and Beyond, 57 Virginia Journal of International Law 707-734 (2018).
Fisher II: Whose Burden, What Proof?, 20 The Green Bag Second Series 19-32 (2016).
Personal Jurisdiction and Political Authority, 32 Journal of Law & Politics 1-42 (2016).
The Constitution and Slavery Overseas, 39 Seattle University Law Review 695-725 (2016).
Title VII as Precedent: Past and Prologue for Future Legislation, 10 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties 159-189 (2014).
Constitutionalizing Employees’ Rights: Lessons from the History of the Thirteenth Amendment, 27 Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, & Society 162-175 (2012).
The Way Forward After Wal-Mart, 88 Notre Dame Law Review 871-898 (2012).
Wal-Mart, AT&T Mobility, and the Decline of the Deterrent Class Action, 98 Virginia Law Review in Brief 24-31 (2012).
Review of Tsesis, We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law (reviewing Alexander Tsesis, We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law) 28 Law & History Review 887-889 (2010).
Ricci v DeStefano: Affirmative Action and the Lessons of Adversity, 2009 Supreme Court Review 83-114 (2009).
Textual Corruption in the Civil Rights Cases, 34 Journal of Supreme Court History 164-169 (2009).
Public Employee Speech in Remedial Perspective, 24 Journal of Law & Politics 129-168 (2008).
State Action, Private Action, and the Thirteenth Amendment, 94 Virginia Law Review 1367-1406 (2008).
Structural Reform Revisited (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), 95 California Law Review 1387-1422 (2007).
Deforming the Federal Rules: An Essay on What’s Wrong with the Recent Erie Decisions (with Earl C. Dudley Jr.), 92 Virginia Law Review 707-748 (2006).
Lawyer for the Organization: An Essay on Legal Ethics, 1 Virginia Law & Business Review 141-164 (2006).
Private Law and Public Reason, 92 Virginia Law Review 1503-1515 (2006).
Controversy, Consensus, and the Concept of Discrimination, 49 St. Louis University Law Journal 1021-1028 (2005).
Teaching Procedure: Past and Prologue, 47 St. Louis University Law Journal 13-20 (2003).
International Shoe and the Legacy of Legal Realism, 2001 Supreme Court Review 347-374 (2001).
Sovereign Immunity, 31 Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce 317-334 (2000).
Dead Ships, 30 Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce 677-690 (1999).
Ironies, Inconsistencies, and Intercollegiate Athletics: Title IX, Title VII, and Statistical Evidence on Discrimination (with Earl C. Dudley Jr.), 1 Virginia Journal of Sports & Law 177-233 (1999).
A Farewell to Tournaments?: The Need for an Alternative Explanation of Law Firm Structure and Growth (with Kevin A. Kordana), 84 Virginia Law Review 1695-1705 (1998).
Pleasure Boating and Admiralty: Increasing Conformity and Decreasing Significance, 29 Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce 305-316 (1998).
Disabilities, Discrimination, and Reasonable Accommodation (with Pamela S. Karlan), 46 Duke Law Journal 1-41 (1996).
The Federal Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Cases: A Verdict of Quiescent Years, 27 Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce 581-607 (1996).
Discrimination and Its Discontents, 81 Virginia Law Review 117-147 (1995).
From Race to Age: The Expanding Scope of Employment Discrimination Law, 24 Journal of Legal Studies 491-521 (1995).
Sexual Harassment: Ideology or Law?, 18 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 487-499 (1995).
Reconstructing Erie: A Comment on the Perils of Legal Positivism, 10 Constitutional Commentary 285-296 (1993).
The Theory of Comparable Worth as a Remedy for Discrimination, 82 Georgetown Law Journal 135-146 (1993).
Abolition in a Different Voice, 78 Virginia Law Review 1463-1480 (1992).
Dilemmas and Disclosures: A Comment on Client Perjury, 18 American Journal of Criminal Law 267-278 (1992).
Legal Theory and the Common Law (reviewing Melvin Aron Eisenberg, The Nature of the Common Law) 76 Virginia Law Review 1441-1447 (1990).
The Contemporary Justification for Maritime Arrest and Attachment, 30 William & Mary Law Review 541-579 (1989).
Affirmative Action under the Constitution and Title VII: from Confusion to Convergence (with Daniel R. Ortiz), 35 UCLA Law Review 467-518 (1988).
Theories of Free Speech (reviewing Eric Barendt, Freedom of Speech) 7 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 115-124 (1987).
Notice, Scope, and Preclusion in Title VII Class Actions, 69 Virginia Law Review 11-84 (1983).
Title VII Class Actions, 47 University of Chicago Law Review 688-741 (1980).
Sexual Equality in Fringe-Benefit Plans, 65 Virginia Law Review 199-256 (1979).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

The Legacy of a Moderate, SCOTUSblog (May 26, 2010).
A Tribute to Earl C. Dudley, 94 Virginia Law Review 1283-1287 (2008).
John McCoid: Colleague and Friend, 80 Virginia Law Review 1203-1206 (1994).
Friendly Adversaries, Judicature 49-50 (July, 1993).
Legal Issues Raised by Policy (with Earl C. Dudley Jr.), University Journal 3 (February 18, 1991).
Tribute: Retirement of Sanford Kadish, 79 California Law Review 1413-1414 (1991).
Legal Education: The Artificial Reason of the Law, Virginia Law School Report 11-12 (1989).
Affirmative Action: Confusion, Compromise, or Consensus? (with Daniel R. Ortiz), Virginia Law School Report 17-21 (1987).

Current Courses

All Courses

Employment Discrimination
Institute for Practical Ethics Co-Sponsored Seminars
Professional Responsibility
Sex Discrimination
Seminar in Ethical Values




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