Two Professors Lauded for Scholarship

Douglas Laycock, Bertrall Ross Win AALS Awards
Douglas Laycock and Bertrall Ross

Professor Douglas Laycock is an expert on remedies and religious liberty, and Professor Bertrall Ross teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, constitutional theory, election law, administrative law and statutory interpretation. Photos by Ian Bradshaw and Julia Davis

January 5, 2023

Professors Douglas Laycock and Bertrall Ross of the University of Virginia School of Law are being recognized by the Association of American Law Schools for their scholarship.

Laycock won the remedies section’s Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award, and Ross was runner-up in the election law section’s Distinguished Scholarship category.

Laycock, who also is a professor of religious studies at UVA, is the Class of 1963 Research Professor in honor of Graham C. Lilly and Peter W. Low, and the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law.

He is perhaps the nation’s leading authority on the law of religious liberty and also on the law of remedies. Laycock has taught and written about these topics for more than four decades at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas and the University of Michigan, as well as at UVA.

He has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has served as lead counsel in six cases and has also filed influential amicus briefs. Laycock is the author (co-author in the most recent edition) of the leading casebook “Modern American Remedies,” the award-winning monograph “The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule” and many articles in leading law reviews. His writings on religious liberties were recently republished in a five-volume collection.

Laycock resigned as vice president of the American Law Institute and from its Council to become co-reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Remedies. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Ross, who joined the faculty in 2021, is the Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law and a director of the school’s Karsh Center for Law and Democracy.

He teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, constitutional theory, election law, administrative law and statutory interpretation. Ross’ research is driven by a concern about democratic responsiveness and accountability, as well as the inclusion of marginalized communities in administrative and political processes.

Ross’ past scholarship has been published in several books and journals, including the Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review and the University of Chicago Law Review. Two of his articles were selected for presentation at the Yale/Harvard/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum. His paper “Voter Data, Democratic Inequality, and the Risk of Political Violence,” co-authored with University of Colorado law professor Douglas M. Spencer, has sparked a pro-democracy project to widen voter outreach efforts.

Ross has also been awarded the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, the Princeton University Law and Public Affairs Fellowship, the Columbia Law School Kellis Parker Academic Fellowship and the Marshall Scholarship. Ross is currently serving on the Administrative Conference of the United States and recently served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. He is also a member of the American Law Institute.

He earned his B.A. from the University of Colorado, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, M.P.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and J.D. from Yale Law School.

Winners were acknowledged Thursday during an awards ceremony at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting.

Last year, Professor Frederick Schauer won the AALS’ Hart-Dworkin Award in Legal Philosophy, and Professor Rachel Bayefsky won Best Untenured Article on Federal Jurisdiction.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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