Toby J. Heytens

  • Professor of Law

Toby Heytens first joined the faculty in 2006 and then rejoined it in 2010 after having spent three years working in the Office of the U.S. Solicitor General and arguing six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is on leave to serve as Virginia's solicitor general, a role he was appointed to in January 2018.

His teaching and research interests include civil procedure, constitutional torts, criminal procedure and remedies. He has also served as one of the directors of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.

Heytens received a Raven Award in 2015 for “excellence in service and contribution to the University of Virginia” and an All-University Teaching Award in 2016.

After graduating from law school, Heytens clerked for then-Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, served as a Bristow Fellow in the Solicitor General’s Office, and then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He next spent several years working at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., where his practice focused on appellate litigation. Before joining the Virginia faculty, Heytens also served as a visiting assistant professor at Cornell Law School.

During law school, Heytens served as articles development editor of the Virginia Law Review and received the Alumni Association Award for Academic Excellence for having the highest academic average in his graduating class. His student note, "School Choice and State Constitutions," received the Alumni Association Best Note Award.

Heytens is also the head coach of UVA’s undergraduate trial advocacy team, which won its third national championship during the 2016-17 season.


  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • B.A.
    Macalester College

"Changing What Judges Do," 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. Dialogue 151 (2015).
PDF | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Reassignment," 66 Stan. L. Rev. 1 (2014).

"The Framework(s) of Legal Change," 97 Cornell L. Rev. 595 (2012).
SSRN | PDF | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Doctrine Formulation and Distrust," 83 Notre Dame L. Rev. 2045 (2008).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Managing Transitional Moments in Criminal Cases," 115 Yale L.J. 922 (2006).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"School Choice and State Constitutions," 86 Va. L. Rev. 117 (2000).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

Current Courses

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