John C. Jeffries Jr.

  • David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Counselor to the President

John Jeffries joined the Virginia law faculty two years after earning his law degree in 1973. His primary research and teaching interests are civil rights, federal courts, criminal law and constitutional law. Jeffries has co-authored casebooks in civil rights, federal courts and criminal law and has published a variety of articles in those fields. He also wrote a biography of Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

In 1986, Jeffries was appointed the inaugural Emerson Spies Professor of Law, a position created to honor a long-time teacher and former dean. Jeffries has also held a variety of other academic appointments, including the Arnold H. Leon Professorship. He served as academic associate dean from 1994 to 1999. In the fall semester of 1999, he was acting dean during the sabbatical of Dean Robert Scott. He became dean in the fall of 2001 and served until June 2008. In 2017 he received the Thomas Jefferson Award for excellence in scholarship; the awards are the highest honor given to members of the University community. From August 2018-January 2021 he was senior vice president for advancement at the University of Virginia. He now serves as counselor to UVA President Jim Ryan.

During law school, Jeffries served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review. He received the Z Award for the highest academic average and the Woods Prize for the outstanding graduate. Immediately after graduation, he clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., before serving in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.

Scholarship Profile: A Central Figure at Virginia Law (Virginia Journal 2014).

Education

  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law
    1973
  • B.A.
    Yale University
    1970

Books

A Case Study in the Insanity Defense: The Trial of John W. Hinckley, Jr. (with Richard J. Bonnie & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (1–4 ed. 1986–2021).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations, 2020 Supplement (with Curtis A. Bradley & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (9 ed. 2020).
Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with Pamela S. Karlan, Peter W. Low & George Rutherglen), Foundation Press (1–4 ed. 2000–2018).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Curtis A. Bradley, Curtis A. Bradley & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (9 ed. 2018).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (4 ed. 2015).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Curtis A. Bradley & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (8 ed. 2014).
Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution 2011 Supplement (with Pamela S. Karlan, Peter W. Low & George Rutherglen), Foundation Press (2011).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Curtis A. Bradley & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (7 ed. 2011).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (3 ed. 2010).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (6 ed. 2008).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (2 ed. 2004).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (5 ed. 2004).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (4 ed. 1998).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1997).
Civil Rights Actions: Section 1983 and Related Statutes (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (1–2 ed. 1988–1994).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (3 ed. 1994).
Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Scribner’s (1994).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (2 ed. 1989).
Civil Rights Actions: Section 1983 and Related Statutes (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (1–2 ed. 1988–1994).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1987).
Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (with Richard J. Bonnie & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (2 ed. 1986).
Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (with Richard J. Bonnie & Peter W. Low), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1982).
Model Penal Code and Commentaries: Part II, Definition of Specific Crimes (with Peter W. Low), American Law Institute (1980).

Articles & Book Chapters

The Liability Rule for Constitutional Torts, 99 Virginia Law Review 207-270 (2013).
“Charge to the Class” in Honor of Lillian Bevier, 96 Virginia Law Review 943-947 (2010).
What’s Wrong with Qualified Immunity?, 62 Florida Law Review 851-869 (2010).
Reversing the Order of Battle in Constitutional Torts, 2009 Supreme Court Review 115-137 (2009).
Structural Reform Revisited (with George Rutherglen), 95 California Law Review 1387-1422 (2007).
Training Business Lawyers, 1 Virginia Law & Business Review 6-7 (2006).
Bakke Revisited, 2003 Supreme Court Review 1-25 (2003).
A Political History of the Establishment Clause (with James E. Ryan), 100 Michigan Law Review 279-370 (2001).
Disaggregating Constitutional Torts, 110 Yale Law Journal 259-292 (2000).
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and the Art of Judicial Selection, 112 Harvard Law Review 597-602 (1999).
The Athlete as Judge, 66 University of Chicago Law Review 495-505 (1999).
The Right-Remedy Gap in Constitutional Law, 109 Yale Law Journal 87-114 (1999).
In Praise of the Eleventh Amendment and Section 1983, 84 Virginia Law Review 47-82 (1998).
The Non-Retrogression Principle in Constitutional Law (with Daryl J. Levinson), 86 California Law Review 1211-1249 (1998).
Review of Yarbrough, Judicial Enigma, (reviewing Tinsley E. Yarbrough, Judicial Enigma: The First Justice Harlan) 101 American Historical Review 1628-1629 (1996).
The Federalization of Organized Crime: Advantages of Federal Prosecution (with John Gleeson), 46 Hastings Law Journal 1095-1126 (1995).
Freedom of Expression, in John Norton Moore, Frederick Samson Tipson, & Robert F. Turner, eds., National Security Law, Carolina Academic Press 971-999 (1990).
Ineffective Assistance and Procedural Default in Federal Habeas Corpus (with William J. Stuntz), 57 University of Chicago Law Review 679-728 (1990).
Punitive Damages and the Rule of Law: The Role of Defendant’s Wealth (with Kenneth S. Abraham), 18 Journal of Legal Studies 415-425 (1989).
A Comment on the Constitutionality of Punitive Damages, 72 Virginia Law Review 139-158 (1986).
Legality, Vagueness, and the Construction of Penal Statutes, 71 Virginia Law Review 189-245 (1985).
Rethinking Prior Restraint, 92 Yale Law Journal 409-427 (1983).
Commercial Speech: Economic Due Process and the First Amendment (with Thomas H. Jackson), 65 Virginia Law Review 1-41 (1979).
Defenses, Presumptions, and Burden of Proof in the Criminal Law (with Paul B. Stephan), 88 Yale Law Journal 1325-1407 (1979).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

A Tribute to Earl C. Dudley, 94 Virginia Law Review 1281-1283 (2008).
A Tribute to Glen O. Robinson, 94 Virginia Law Review 1289-1292 (2008).
A Tribute to Graham Lilly, 93 Virginia Law Review 827-829 (2007).
A Tribute to Richard A. Merrill, 93 Virginia Law Review 833-835 (2007).
A Tribute to Robert M. O’Neil, 93 Virginia Law Review 841-843 (2007).
Introduction of Judge William A. Fletcher, 93 Virginia Law Review 651-652 (2007).
Tribute to Justice Antonin Scalia, 62 NYU Annual Survey of American Law 11-13 (2006).
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and the Birth of Legal Services, Virginia Lawyer 7-9 (December, 1998).
Emerson Spies, Virginia Law School Report 36 (1991).
Constitutional Issues in Punitive Damages Litigation: An Agenda for Defense Counsel (with George Clemon Freeman), For Defense 9-19 (January, 1989).
Police Legal Education (with Peter W. Low), Virginia Law School Report 21-23 (1979).
Constitutionalizing the Criminal Law? (with Peter W. Low), Virginia Law Weekly 1, 3-4 (March 25, 1977).

Current Courses

All Courses

Civil Rights Litigation
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law
Seminar in Ethical Values

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