Peter W. Low

  • Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law Emeritus

After earning his law degree, Peter Low clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. He joined the Virginia law faculty the next year, 1964, and retired in 2014. For about half of the period from 1965 until 1985, Low served as assistant and then associate dean. In 1989 he was appointed academic associate dean, a position he held until Jan. 1, 1994, when he was named the acting vice president and provost of the University. He became the vice president and provost of the University in July of 1994 and served in that position until Sept. 1, 2001. He then returned to the law faculty. After his return, he continued to serve in various capacities for the next 13 years as the University’s representative to an international consortium of universities (see www.universitas21.com).

Low became the Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law in 1975. He was the first recipient of the John V. Ray Research Professorship in Law in 1987, a two-year appointment. His major teaching areas were criminal law and federal courts, in both of which he co-authored widely used teaching casebooks. At various times, he also taught federal criminal law, civil rights litigation, civil procedure, constitutional law, conflict of laws and a number of specialized seminars in one or another of these fields. He taught in the initial session of the Law School’s summer LL.M. program for judges. He lectured frequently to state and local police and FBI agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., from 1972 to 1982, and served as the academic coordinator for law-related instruction at the academy from 1970 until 2000. He was a member of the faculty at the law session of the Salzburg Seminars in American Studies in 1972, and was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University in England for six months in 1970. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford law schools in the 1970s. He is a member of the Raven Society, and a Life Member of the American Law Institute. He served as Reporter for the Commentaries of the Model Penal Code from 1970 until 1978 and for an American Bar Association Committee on Standards for Criminal Justice in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was also a Consultant to the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws and the Virginia Commission on Constitutional Revision during the same period.

Education

  • LL.B.
    University of Virginia School of Law
    1963
  • A.B.
    Princeton University
    1959

Books

A Case Study in the Insanity Defense: The Trial of John W. Hinckley, Jr. (with Richard J. Bonnie & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (1–4 ed. 1986–2021).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations, 2020 Supplement (with Curtis A. Bradley & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (9 ed. 2020).
Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with John C. Jeffries Jr., Pamela S. Karlan & 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 & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (9 ed. 2018).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (4 ed. 2015).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Curtis A. Bradley & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (8 ed. 2014).
Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution 2011 Supplement (with John C. Jeffries Jr., Pamela S. Karlan & George Rutherglen), Foundation Press (2011).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Curtis A. Bradley & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (7 ed. 2011).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (3 ed. 2010).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (6 ed. 2008).
Criminal Law, West (3 ed. 2007).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (2 ed. 2004).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (5 ed. 2004).
Federal Criminal Law, Foundation Press (2 ed. 2003).
Criminal Law, West (2 ed. 2002).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (4 ed. 1998).
Criminal Law (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1997).
Federal Criminal Law (with Joseph L. Hoffman), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1997).
Civil Rights Actions: Section 1983 and Related Statutes (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (1–2 ed. 1988–1994).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (3 ed. 1994).
Criminal Law, West (Revised ed. 1990).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (2 ed. 1989).
Civil Rights Actions: Section 1983 and Related Statutes (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (1–2 ed. 1988–1994).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1987).
Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (with Richard J. Bonnie & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (2 ed. 1986).
Criminal Law, Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy (1 ed. 1984).
Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (with Richard J. Bonnie & John C. Jeffries Jr.), Foundation Press (1 ed. 1982).
Model Penal Code and Commentaries: Part II, Definition of Specific Crimes (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), American Law Institute (1980).
Standards Relating to the Administration of Criminal Justice: Compilation with Index, American Bar Association Project on Standards for Criminal Justice (1974).
Final Report: A Proposed New Federal Criminal Code (Title 18, United States Code), National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws (1971).
Standards Relating to Probation, American Bar Association Project on Standards for Criminal Justice (1970).
Standards Relating to Appellate Review of Sentences, American Bar Association Project on Minimum Standards for Criminal Justice (1968).
Standards Relating to Sentencing Alternatives and Procedure, American Bar Association Project on Minimum Standards for Criminal Justice (1968).

Articles & Book Chapters

Changing the Vocabulary of the Vagueness Doctrine (with Joel S. Johnson), 101 Virginia Law Review 2051-2116 (2015).
Lambert Revisited (with Benjamin Charles Wood), 100 Virginia Law Review 1603-1681 (2014).
Review of Frankel, Criminal Sentences, (reviewing Marvin E. Frankel, Criminal Sentences: Law without Order) 87 Harvard Law Review 687-692 (1974).
Reform of the Sentencing Process, 29 Cambridge Law Journal 237-257 (1971).
Comment on Forgery and Fraud Offenses: Sections 1737, 1738, 1751-1758, 2 in Working Papers of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws 959-982 (1970).
Comment on the Sentencing System: Part C, 2 in Working Papers of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws 1289-1337 (1970).
Comment on Theft Offenses: Sections 1731-1741 (with Richard A. Green), 2 in Working Papers of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws 913-957 (1970).
Preliminary Memorandum on Sentencing Structure, 2 in Working Papers of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws 1245-1287 (1970).
Special Offender Sentencing, 8 American Criminal Law Quarterly 70-104 (1970).

Reports & Datasets

Statement, Measures Relating to Organized Crime US Government Print Office 184-213, 542 ( US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 1969, ).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Monrad G. Paulsen: Dean 1968-76, Virginia Law School Report 14-16 (1988).
Police Legal Education (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Virginia Law School Report 21-23 (1979).
Constitutionalizing the Criminal Law? (with John C. Jeffries Jr.), Virginia Law Weekly 1, 3-4 (March 25, 1977).
Monrad Paulsen, 63 Virginia Law Review 170-173 (1977).
Low Analyzes Reforms Submitted to Congress, Virginia Law Weekly 1-4 (September 24, 1971).

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