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


Is Free TV for Federal Candidates Constitutional? (AEI Press, 1998).

Campaign Finance ‘Reform’ Proposals: A First Amendment Analysis (CATO Institute, 1997).

Book Chapters:

“The Invisible Hand of the Marketplace of Ideas,” in Lee C. Bollinger and Geoffrey R. Stone, eds., Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era 232 (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

“Law Professor: The Practically Perfect Job,” in E. Couric, ed., Women Lawyers: Perspectives on Success (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984).


"The State Action Principle and Its Critics" (with John Harrison), 96 Va. L. Rev. 1767 (2010).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Can Freedom of Speech Bear the Twenty-First Century’s Weight?," 36 Pepp. L. Rev. 415 (2009).

"First Amendment Basics Redux: Buckley v. Valeo to FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life,” 2006-2007 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. 77.

“Full of Surprises–And More to Come: Randall v. Sorrell, the First Amendment, and Campaign Finance Regulation,” 2006 Sup. Ct. Rev. 173.

“The Journalist’s Privilege—A Skeptic’s View,” 32 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 467 (2006).

"The First Amendment on the Tracks: Should Justice Breyer Be at the Switch?," 89 Minn. L. Rev. 1280 (2005).

“Controlling Communications That Teach or Demonstrate Violence: ‘The Movie Made Them Do It’,” 32 J.L. Med. & Ethics 47 (2004).

"Copyright, Trespass and the First Amendment: An Institutional Perspective," 21 Soc. Phil. & Pol'y 104 (2004).

"McConnell v FEC:  Not Senator Buckley's First Amendment," 3 Election L.J. 127 (2004).

United States v. American Library Association: Whither First Amendment Doctrine,” 2003 Sup. Ct. Rev. 163 (2004).

"What Ails Us?" (reviewing Ackerman & Ayres, Voting with Dollars: A New Paradigm for Campaign Finance), 112 Yale L.J. 1135 (2003).

“Campaign Finance Regulation: Less, Please,” 34 Ariz. St. L.J. 1115 (2002).

“A Commentary on Public Funds or Publicly Funded Benefits and the Regulation of Judicial Campaigns,” 35 Ind. L. Rev. 845 (2002).

"Intersection and Divergence:  Some Reflections on the Warren Court, Civil Rights, and the First Amendment," 59 W. & L. L.J. 1075 (2002).

"Free Expression in the Warren and Burger Courts," 25 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 191 (2000).

"Mandatory Disclosure, 'Sham Issue Advocacy' and Buckley v Valeo: A Response to Professor Hasen," 48 UCLA L. Rev. 285 (2000).

“The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994: A Surprising Sequel to the Break up of AT&T,” 51 Stan. L. Rev. 1049 (1999).

“The Issue of Issue Advocacy,” 85 Va. L. Rev. 1761 (1999).

“Where Is the Center of Democracy? A Reply to Professor Neuborne,” 93 Nw. L. Rev. 1075 (1999).

“Law, Economics and the Power of the State,” 21 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 5 (1998).

“The Moment and the Millennium: A Question of Time, or Law,” 66 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1112 (1998).

“The New—Unimproved—Federalist Papers,” review of The New Federalist Papers, by A. Brinkley, N. Polsby & K. Sullivan, 1 Green Bag 2d 235 (1998).

“Religion in Congress and the Courts: Issues of Institutional Competence,” 22 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 59 (1998).

“Give and Take: Public Use as Due Compensation in Pruneyard,” 64 U. Chi. L. Rev. 71 (1996).

“The Integrity and Impersonality of Originalism,” 19 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 283 (1996).

“Information about Individuals in the Hands of Government: Some Reflections on Mechanisms for Privacy Protection,” 4 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 455 (1995).

“Campaign Finance Reform: Specious Arguments, Intractable Dilemmas,” 94 Colum L. Rev. 501 (1994).

"Should the Press Be Liable?" American Enterprise (1994).

“Judicial Restraint: An Argument from Institutional Design,” 17 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 7 (1993).

“Some Anxious Thoughts about Utopian Dreams: A Reply to Professor Smolla,” 1993 U. Chi. Legal Forum 187 (1993).

“Competitor Suits for False Advertising Under §43(a) of the Lanham Act: A Puzzle in the Law of Deception,” 89 Va. L. Rev. 1 (1992).

“Rehabilitating Public Forum Doctrine: In Defense of Categories,” 1992 Sup. Ct. Rev. 79.

“On the Enduring Dilemma of Judicial Review,” review of Robert F. Nagel, Constitutional Cultures: The Mentality and Consequences of Judicial Review, 39 Emory L. Rev. 1229 (1990).

“Reconsidering Inducement,” 76 Va. L. Rev. 877 (1990).

“What Privacy Is Not,” 12 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 99 (1989).

“A Comment on Professor Wolfson's 'The First Amendment and the SEC,' Symposium: The First Amendment and Federal Securities Regulation,” 20 Conn. L. Rev. 325 (1988).

“Hands off the Political Process,” 10 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 11 (1987).

“The Free Exercise Clause: A View from the Public Forum, Symposium: Religion and the State,” 27 Wm. & Mary Law Rev. 963 (1986).

“Money and Politics: The First Amendment and Campaign Finance Reform,” 73 Calif. L. Rev. 1045 (1985).

“Justice Powell and the First Amendment's 'Societal Function': A Preliminary Analysis,” 68 Va. L. Rev. 177 (1982).

“Like Mackerel in the Moonlight: Some Reflections on Richmond Newspapers,” 10 Hofstra L. Rev. 311 (1982).

“An Informed Public, an Informing Press: The Search for a Constitutional Principle,” 68 Calif. L. Rev. 482 (1980).

“The First Amendment and Political Speech: An Inquiry into the Substance and Limits of Principle,” 30 Stan. L. Rev. 299 (1978).

Review of C. Donahue, et al, Property: An Introduction to the Concept and the Institution, 73 Mich. L. Rev. 620 (1975).

“Legal Aspects of Airport Noise” (under the name of Lillian R. Altree) (with W.F. Baxter), 15 J. L. & Econ. 1 (1972).


Statement. Campaign finance reform: proposals impacting broadcasters, cable operators and satellite providers 24-34. U.S. House. Committee on Energy and Commerce. Hearing, June 20, 2001.

Statement. The Constitution and campaign reform 41-82. U. S. Senate. Committee on Rules and Administration. Hearings, Mar. 22, 29, Apr. 5, 12, 26, May 3, 17, 2000.

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



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