The faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law is on the vanguard of scholarly thought regarding First Amendment issues, leading philosophical debate and, quite often, influencing the decisions of the courts.

The school not only has some of the nation’s top thinkers on free speech and religious liberty, including Frederick Schauer and Douglas Laycock, but also rising talent such as Micah Schwartzman ’05, who explores the ethics of public reasoning and works out its implications in the context of law and religion, and Leslie Kendrick ’06, who aims to understand the big-picture questions about why we have freedom of speech. Other scholars, including Deborah Hellman and her work on campaign finance, focus on topics that intersect with free speech.

Barbara ArmacostBARBARA ARMACOST ’89 | Bio

  • Served as attorney adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Holds a master’s degree in theological studies from Regent College at the University of British Columbia.
  • Explores legal issues that touch on questions of morality, including police misconduct.


John HarrisonJOHN HARRISON | Bio

  • An expert in constitu­tional law and original­ism, Harrison clerked for Judge Robert Bork on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Served as counselor on international law in the Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State.
  • Worked with the Justice Department in numerous capacities, including deputy assis­tant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel (1990-93).

Deborah HellmanDEBORAH HELLMAN | Bio

  • An expert on dis­crimination and equality, Hellman also writes about the constitutionality of campaign finance laws and the relationship between money and rights.
  • Board member of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization that protects the rights of Americans to participate in the political process.
  • Has written articles on free speech such as “De­fining Corruption and Constitutionalizing De­mocracy” and “Money Talks But It Isn’t Speech.”

A. E. Dick HowardA. E. DICK HOWARD ’61 | Bio

  • Was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, and is now one of the nation’s foremost experts on the court.
  • Was executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia’s current constitution and directed the successful referen­dum campaign for its ratification.
  • Has been consulted by constitutional draftsmen around the world.
  • In 2013 the University of Virginia recognized Howard with its Thomas Jefferson Award — the highest honor given to faculty members at the University.

Leslie KendrickLESLIE KENDRICK ’06 | Bio

  • Scholarly research has focused on understand­ing the boundaries of free speech, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s inter­pretations.
  • Clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter and for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III ’72 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • A frequent commenter in the media on free speech issues, Vice Dean Kendrick’s scholarly work has appeared or is forth­coming in the Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Virginia Law Review and Legal Theory.
  • Received her master’s and doctorate in English literature at the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.


  • A leading authority on the law of religious liberty, as well as rem­edies.
  • Lead counsel in numerous cases in the courts, including six in the Supreme Court, most recently Holt v. Hobbs, Town of Greece v. Galloway, and Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and vice presi­dent of the American Law Institute.
  • His many writings on religious liberty are being collected in five volumes.

Daniel OrtizDANIEL R. ORTIZ | Bio

  • Founding director of the Law School’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
  • His scholarly and research focus includes campaign finance reform and electoral law.
  • Argued several cases before the Supreme Court through the clinic, most recently Epic Systems Inc. v. Lewis.
  • A Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, where he completed M.Phil. in English studies.


  • A luminary on free speech and legal reason­ing, Schauer is the author of numerous books, including “The Law of Obscenity,” “Free Speech: A Philosophical Enquiry,” and most recently, “The Force of Law.”
  • Co-author, with Jesse Choper, of West Publish­ing’s First Amendment casebook, “The First Amendment – Cases, Comments, Questions.”
  • Formerly Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (also taught courses on evidence and freedom of speech at Harvard Law School).
  • Was founding co-editor of the journal Legal Theory.
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Richard SchraggerRICHARD SCHRAGGER | Bio

  • Teaches and writes about church and state in addition to the intersec­tion of constitutional law and local government law, federalism, urban policy, and the consti­tutional and economic status of cities.
  • Author of the book “City Power: Urban Gov­ernance in a Global Age.”
  • 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.

Micah SchwartzmanMICAH SCHWARTZMAN ’05 | Bio

  • Co-editor of the book “The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty,” Schwartzman’s work focuses on law and reli­gion, jurisprudence and political philosophy.
  • Helped lead amicus briefs signed by more than 45 leading consti­tutional law scholars in Fourth and Ninth Circuit cases involving the Donald Trump adminis­tration’s travel ban.
  • Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he earned his doctorate in politics.
  • Schwartzman’s scholar­ship has explored the First Amendment’s reli­gion clauses, the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause.

Steven WaltSTEVEN D. WALT | Bio

  • Ph.D. and M.A. in phi­losophy from the Univer­sity of Chicago.
  • Recent article with Micah Schwartzman argues that whether corporations have rights, and the sort of rights they have, is a question of moral theory.
  • The author of numerous books, book chapters and articles on topics such as contracts, sales/commer­cial paper, legal philoso­phy, bankruptcy and secured transactions, Walt has received several academic awards, includ­ing a Whiting National Fellowship in the Hu­manities.

G. E. WhiteG. EDWARD WHITE | Bio

  • White’s 17 published books have won numer­ous honors and awards, including the final listing for the Pulitzer Prize in history.
  • Has written several articles and two book chapters on the history of free speech.
  • Former fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and twice a senior fellow of the Na­tional Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sci­ences, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and a member of the American Law Institute.
  • Clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Morant, Lithwick and Carlin

George Washington University Law School Dean Blake Morant ’78, Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick and media personality Kelly Carlin discussed free speech at the 2016 Jefferson Symposium, a biennial event the school sponsors with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

The Curriculum and Beyond

UVA Law's classroom instruction in the First Amendment encompasses both the theoretical and the practical, with the First Amendment Clinic, taught in conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Center, providing legal experience in timely First Amendment disputes.

2015-18 COURSES

Advanced Campaign Finance
Advanced Topics in Constitutional Law
Comparative Constitutional Design
Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar
Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech and Press
Constitutional Law II: Money and Constitutional Rights
Constitutional Law II: Religious Liberty
Constitutional Theory
Constitutionalism: History and Jurisprudence
Constitutionalism: Nation, Culture and Constitutions
Corporate Rights
First Amendment Theory
Legal History of the 1960s
Money and Rights
Originalism and Its Critics
Religious Liberty and the Scholarly Process
Separation of Church and State


First Amendment Clinic
Supreme Court Litigation Clinic

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