People

People

Micah Schwartzman

Director

Micah Schwartzman ’05 is the director of the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy and the Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law. A scholar who focuses on law and religion, jurisprudence, political philosophy and constitutional law, Schwartzman joined the UVA Law faculty in 2007.

Micah Schwartzman

Schwartzman received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. During law school, he served as articles development editor of the Virginia Law Review and received numerous awards, including the Margaret G. Hyde Award, the Daniel Rosenbloom Award, and the Hardy Cross Dillard Scholarship. After graduating, Schwartzman clerked for Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Prior to joining the faculty, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities.

Schwartzman’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Law & Philosophy, Journal of Political Philosophy, and Political Theory. He co-edited “The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty” (Oxford University Press) and is co-authoring a forthcoming casebook on “Constitutional Law and Religion.”

Q&A With Micah Schwartzman on the Karsh Center's Goals
 

Nicholas Nugent

Program Director

Nick Nugent is the program director for the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy. Nugent earned his undergraduate degrees from Indiana University in computer science and music, and received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University, where he attended on a full scholarship.

Nicholas Nugent

During law school, Nugent served as managing editor for the Vanderbilt Law Review. After graduating, he practiced patent law with Finnegan before working as in-house corporate counsel for Microsoft and then Amazon. He researches in the area of internet governance and has published in the Vanderbilt Law Review and the Colorado Technology Law Journal.
 

Affiliated Faculty

Melody C. Barnes

Senior Fellow

Melody Barnes is co-director for policy and public affairs for the Democracy Initiative, an interdisciplinary teaching, research and engagement effort led by the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. She is the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor and a professor of practice at the Miller Center, and is also a senior fellow at UVA Law’s Karsh Center for Law and Democracy.

Melody Barnes

During the administration of President Barack Obama, Barnes was assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Barnes’ experience also includes service as chief counsel to the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ’59 on the Senate Judiciary Committee and in other government, non-profit and private sector posts.
 

Kristen Eichensehr

Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law

Kristen Eichensehr joined the Law School in 2020 as a professor of law after serving on the faculty of the UCLA School of Law. She writes and teaches about cybersecurity, foreign relations, international law and national security law.

Kristen Eichensehr

She has written articles on, among other things, the attribution of state-sponsored cyberattacks, the important roles that private parties play in cybersecurity, the constitutional allocation of powers between the president and Congress in foreign relations, and the role of foreign sovereign amici in the Supreme Court. In 2021 she became director of UVA Law’s National Security Law Center.
 

Michael D. Gilbert

Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law

Michael Gilbert teaches courses on election law, legislation, and law and economics at UVA Law. His current research focuses on campaign finance law, corruption and the adjudication of “culture war” disputes. He is working on a book-length project on public law and economics.

Michael Gilbert

His research has appeared in multiple law reviews, peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, and he has lectured throughout the United States and around the world, including in Ecuador, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Israel. Gilbert directs UVA Law’s Center for Public Law and Political Economy.  He is a member of the Democracy Initiative’s Corruption Lab for Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law.
 

Linda Greenhouse

Distinguished Fellow

Linda Greenhouse is senior research scholar in law at Yale Law School and teaches The Institutional Supreme Court at UVA Law. Greenhouse covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times between 1978 and 2008 and writes a biweekly op-ed column on law as a contributing columnist.

Linda Greenhouse

She received several major journalism awards during her 40-year career at the Times, including the Pulitzer Prize (1998) and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Kennedy School (2004). In 2002, the American Political Science Association gave her its Carey McWilliams Award for “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.”

Her books include “Becoming Justice Blackmun,” “Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling” (with Reva B. Siegel), “The U.S. Supreme Court, a Very Short Introduction,” and “The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right,” with Michael J. Graetz. Her latest book is “Just a Journalist: Reflections on the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between,” published by Harvard University Press in 2017.
 

Chinh Q. Le ’00

Distinguished Fellow

Chinh Le is a lecturer at the Law School who teaches Public Interest Leadership and Law Reform and Impact Litigation. From 2011 to 2021, he served as legal director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the oldest and largest general civil legal services program in the nation’s capital. In that capacity, he was responsible for the organization’s legal program — including Legal Aid’s individual client representation, systemic appellate and policy advocacy, and impact litigation across all of its practice areas — and oversaw a staff of roughly 60 lawyers and more than a dozen legal assistants.

Chinh Le

Prior to joining Legal Aid, Le was director of the division on civil rights in the office of the New Jersey Attorney General, where he led the state’s enforcement of state and federal civil rights and family leave laws. Between 2001 and 2006, he served as assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., in New York, the first two years as a Skadden Fellow. Le spent the 2008-09 academic year as a practitioner-in-residence at Seton Hall Law School and an adjunct associate research scholar at Columbia Law School, where he was affiliated with the Center for Institutional and Social Change. He has also worked as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block.
 

Robert S. Mueller III ’73

Distinguished Fellow

Robert Mueller is participating in the short course The Mueller Report and the Role of the Special Counsel, sponsored by the Karsh Center, at the Law School in the fall of 2021. 

 
Robert Mueller

Mueller became the sixth director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Sept. 4, 2001, one week before the attacks of Sept. 11. He is widely credited for not only leading the FBI during an extremely challenging time, but also with transforming the FBI from a traditional law enforcement agency to an intelligence-based national security organization. In 2017, Mueller was appointed special counsel by the U.S. deputy attorney general to oversee the investigation of Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and related matters.

Mueller currently is a partner at WilmerHale, where his practice is focused on high-profile investigations and crisis management. 
 

Richard C. Schragger

Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law

Rich Schragger joined the Virginia faculty in 2001 and was named the Perre Bowen Professor in 2013. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and local government law, federalism, urban policy, and the constitutional and economic status of cities. 

Richard Schragger

He also writes about law and religion. He has authored articles on the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, the role of cities in a federal system, local recognition of same-sex marriage, takings law and economic development, and the history of the anti-chain store movement. Schragger has published in the Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Virginia and Michigan law reviews, among others. He teaches property, local government law, urban law and policy, and church and state. He is a senior fellow at the Miller Center.
 

Aaron Zebley ’96

Distinguished Fellow

Aaron Zebley, a partner at WilmerHale, is teaching the short course The Mueller Report and the Role of the Special Counsel, sponsored by the Karsh Center, at the Law School in the fall of 2021. 

Aaron Zebley

Before rejoining WilmerHale in 2019, Zebley served as the deputy special counsel under Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III for the duration of the office’s investigation of Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing and managing all day-to-day investigation and prosecution matters. Zebley’s practice focuses on investigations, national security matters, and defending clients facing government enforcement actions or congressional inquiries.

Zebley has more than 18 years of public sector experience at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice and at a U.S. attorney’s office. He served as chief of staff for the FBI, including when Mueller was FBI director. He was also a senior counselor in the National Security Division at the Justice Department.

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