Lillian R. BeVier

  • David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus

Lillian BeVier taught constitutional law (with special emphasis on First Amendment issues), intellectual property (trademark, copyright), real property and torts from 1973-2010 at the Law School, and now teaches a January Term course on judicial philosophy.

At Stanford Law School, BeVier was revising editor for the Stanford Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. Before coming to Virginia, she was associate professor of law at the University of Santa Clara Law School; practiced law with Spaeth Blase Valentine & Klein in Palo Alto, Calif.; served as research associate to Professor William F. Baxter at Stanford University Law School, working on the FAA-ABA study of the legal aspects of airport noise and the sonic boom; and was assistant to the general secretary and assistant staff legal counsel for Stanford University.

BeVier received the University of Virginia Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award in 2006. The Raven Society elected her to membership in 1993 and honored her with the faculty award in 2010. She delivered the Henry Miller Memorial Lecture at Georgia State Law School in 2005, the Coen Memorial Lecture at the University of Colorado Law School in 2000, and the David C. Baum Lecture on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the University of Illinois Law School in 1996. In 1999, at the invitation of the Supreme Court Historical Society, she spoke to the Society on Free Expression in the Warren and Burger Courts. Suffolk University awarded her an honorary S.J.D. degree in 1998. In the fall of 2003, she was a visiting scholar at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Having been nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2003, she served as vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation until 2009. She serves on the national Board of Visitors of the Federalist Society. Within the Charlottesville community, BeVier has served as chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Anne’s-Belfield School and of the Martha Jefferson Hospital. She is currently chair of the board of the Martha Jefferson Health Services Corporation and of Piedmont CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates).

Scholarship Profile: An Inclusive Approach to the Regulation of Free Expression (Virginia Journal 2000)


  • J.D.
    Stanford Law School
  • B.A.
    Smith College


Campaign Finance “Reform” Proposals: A First Amendment AnalysisPolicy Analysis No. 282 , Cato Institute (1997).

Book Chapters

The Invisible Hand of the Marketplace of Ideas, in Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era, University of Chicago Press, 232–255 (2002).
As Law Professor: The Practically Perfect Job, in Women Lawyers: Perspectives on Success, Law & Business, 213–228 (1984).

Articles & Reviews

The State Action Principle and Its Critics (with John C. Harrison), 96 Virginia Law Review 1767–1835 (2010).
Can Freedom of Speech Bear the Twenty-First Century’s Weight?, 36 Pepperdine Law Review 415–426 (2009).
Freedom of Speech vs. Anti-Discrimination Laws, 31 North Carolina Central Law Review 207–238 (2009).
What Is the “Free Press”?, 11 Chapman Law Review 243–275 (2008).
First Amendment Basics Redux: Buckley v. Valeo to FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 2006-2007 Cato Supreme Court Review 77–113 (2006).
The Journalist’s Privilege—A Skeptic’s View, 32 Ohio Northern University Law Review 467–484 (2006).
McConnell v. FEC: Not Senator Buckley’s First Amendment, 3 Election Law Journal 127–145 (2004).
What Ails Us?, 112 Yale Law Journal 1135–1178 (2003).
Campaign Finance Regulation: Less, Please, 34 Arizona State Law Journal 1115–1121 (2002).
Where Is the Center of Democracy?: A Reply to Professor Neuborne, 93 Northwestern University Law Review 1075–1082 (1999).
Religion in Congress and the Courts: Issues of Institutional Competence, 22 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 59–65 (1998).
The Moment and the Millennium: A Question of Time, or Law?, 66 George Washington Law Review 1112–1118 (1998).
The New—Unimproved—Federalist Papers (reviewing Alan Brinkley, Nelson W. Polsby, & Kathleen M. Sullivan (eds.), The New Federalist Papers: Essays in Defense of the Constitution) 1 The Green Bag Second Series 321–326 (1998).
Give and Take: Public Use as Due Compensation in Pruneyard, 64 University of Chicago Law Review 71–82 (1997).
Law, Economics, and the Power of the State, 21 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 5–10 (1997).
Panel Discussion: Revolutionizing Campaign Finance—An Appraisal of Proposed Reforms (with David Simon, Steven Stockmeyer & William Thomas), 13 Journal of Law & Politics 163–198 (1997).
Panel Discussion: Judicial Engineering of Social Policy—Costs and Benefits (with Robert McConnell et al.), 28 Arizona State Law Journal 167–194 (1996).
The Integrity and Impersonality of Originalism, 19 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 283–291 (1996).
Thoughts from a “Real” Woman, 18 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 457–464 (1995).
Campaign Finance Reform: Specious Arguments, Intractable Dilemmas, 94 Columbia Law Review 1258–1280 (1994).
Judicial Restraint: An Argument from Institutional Design, 17 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 7–12 (1994).
Rehabilitating Public Forum Doctrine: In Defense of Categories, 1993 Supreme Court Review 79–122 (1993).
Some Anxious Thoughts about Utopian Dreams: A Reply to Professor Smolla, 1993 University of Chicago Legal Forum 187–195 (1993).
On the Enduring Dilemma of Judicial Review, 39 Emory Law Journal 1229–1244 (1990).
Reconsidering Inducement, 76 Virginia Law Review 877–936 (1990).
What Privacy Is Not, 12 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 99–103 (1989).
Liberty Fund, Inc. Symposium on the First Amendment and Securities Regulation (with Alfred C., Aman et al.), 20 Connecticut Law Review 383–477 (1988).
Hands off the Political Process, 10 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 11–14 (1987).
The Free Exercise Clause: A View from the Public Forum, 27 William & Mary Law Review 963–974 (1985).

Reports & Datasets

StatementCampaign Finance Reform: Proposals Impacting Broadcasters, Cable Operators and Satellite Providers , US Government Print Office 24–34 (2001).
StatementThe Constitution and Campaign Reform , US Government Print Office 41–46 (2000).
Statements (with John C. Harrison)The Propriety of the Taxpayer-Funded White House Data Base , US Government Printing Office 121–145 (1996).
TestimonyCampaign Finance Reform Proposals of 1996 , US Government Print Office 363–370 (1996).
Testimony3 Nomination of Robert H. Bork to Be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States , US Government Print Office 2927–2934 (1989).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

For Corporations, Constitutional Issues: A Guest Column, New Orleans Times-Picayune (November 14, 2009).
No New Ground for Press Freedom, Virginia Law Weekly 1, 3–4 (October 1, 1976).

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.

All Courses

Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech and Press
Copyright Law
Seminar in Ethical Values
Trademark and Unfair Competition Law