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

Leslie Kendrick is director of the Center for the First Amendment at UVA Law. Her scholarship and teaching focus on freedom of speech, torts and property law.

Kendrick’s work has appeared in the Harvard Law ReviewColumbia Law ReviewMichigan Law Review, Virginia Law Review, the Supreme Court Review, and Philosophy & Public Affairs, among other journals. She is co-authoring the fifth edition of the casebook Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress, with John C. P. Goldberg, Anthony J. Sebok and Benjamin C. Zipursky.

Kendrick is a member of the American Law Institute. She is past chair of the AALS Section on Torts and Compensation Systems and a member of the Harvard Higher Education Forum. In 2017, she received the University of Virginia’s All-University Teaching Award.

A member of the Virginia State Bar, Kendrick serves on the executive committee of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association. She has recently litigated cases before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Western District of Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

Kendrick received a B.A. in classics and English as a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her master’s and doctorate in English literature at the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. During law school at UVA, she was a Hardy Cross Dillard Scholar, served as essays development editor for the Virginia Law Review and received several academic awards, including the Margaret G. Hyde Award.

Before joining the faculty in 2008, Kendrick clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Justice David Hackett Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States. She has been a visiting professor at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School.

Scholarship Profile: A Fresh Look at the First Amendment (Virginia Journal 2016)


  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • D.Phil.
    University of Oxford
  • M.Phil.
    University of Oxford
  • B.A.
    University of North Carolina


Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress (with John C.P. Goldberg, Anthony J. Sebok & Benjamin C. Zipursky), Wolters Kluwer (5 ed. 2021).

Book Chapters

Miami Herald v. Tornillo: Freedom of Speech for Whom?, in Painting Constitutional Law: Xavier Cortada’s Images of Constitutional Rights, Brill, 78–94 (2021).
Culpability and Negligence, in Oxford Studies in Private Law Theory: Volume 1, Oxford University Press, 137–159 (2020).
The Answers and the Questions in First Amendment Law, in Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequity, University of Virginia Press, 70–81 (2018).
Brandeis, Speech, and Money, in Louis D. Brandeis, Then and Now: Essays from Brandeis University’s Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Appointment of Louis D. Brandeis to the United States Supreme Court, Brandeis University, 183–196 (2016).

Articles & Reviews

Must Free Speech Be Harmful?, 2020 University of Chicago Legal Forum 105–115 (2020).
A Fixed Star in Shifting Skies: Barnette and Civil Rights Law, 13 Florida International University Law Review 729–740 (2019).
Lies and Free Speech Values, 38 Law & Philosophy 495–506 (2019).
On “Clear and Present Danger”, 94 Notre Dame Law Review 1653–1669 (2019).
There’s No Such Thing as Affirmative Duty (with Kenneth S. Abraham), 104 Iowa Law Review 1649–1698 (2019).
Tinker at 50, 105 Virginia Law Review Online 155–158 (2019).
Another First Amendment, 118 Columbia Law Review 2095–2116 (2018).
The Etiquette of Animus (with Micah J. Schwartzman), 132 Harvard Law Review 133–170 (2018).
Use Your Words: On the “Speech” in “Freedom of Speech”, 116 Michigan Law Review 667–704 (2018).
Free Speech as a Special Right, 45 Philosophy and Public Affairs 87–117 (2017).
Are Speech Rights for Speakers?, 103 Virginia Law Review 1767–1808 (2017).
Foreword: Tort Law as Regulatory Tool, 10 Journal of Tort Law 1–2 (2017).
How Much Does Speech Matter? (reviewing Seana Shiffrin, Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law) 129 Harvard Law Review 997–1022 (2016).
First Amendment Expansionism, 56 William & Mary Law Review 1199–1219 (2015).
Free Speech and Guilty Minds, 114 Columbia Law Review 1255–1295 (2014).
Nonsense on Sidewalks: Content Discrimination in McCullen v Coakley, 2014 Supreme Court Review 215–242 (2014).
Speech, Intent, and the Chilling Effect, 54 William & Mary Law Review 1633–1691 (2013).
Content Discrimination Revisited, 98 Virginia Law Review 231–300 (2012).
Content Neutrality and Compelling Interests: The October 2010 Term, 98 Virginia Law Review in Brief 14–23 (2012).
Disclosure and Its Discontents, 27 Journal of Law & Politics 575–596 (2012).
The Lockean Rights of Bequest and Inheritance, 17 Legal Theory 145–169 (2011).
A Test for Criminally Instructional Speech, 91 Virginia Law Review 1973–2022 (2005).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

The Impossibility of Impossibility Preemption, TortsProf Blog (March 17, 2013).

Current Courses




Charge to the Class of 2022

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