November 6, 2008
Akhil Amar '84 Appointed Sterling Professor of Law
Akhil Reed Amar, newly designated as Sterling Professor of Law, is a scholar of constitutional law, the Bill of Rights and criminal procedure.
Amar is a co-editor of a leading law casebook, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking, and is the author of several books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction and, most recently, America's Constitution: A Biography.
Amar has written widely on constitutional issues for such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, The New Republic and Slate. He is also a contributing editor to The American Lawyer. His many law review articles and books have been widely cited by scholars, judges and lawmakers. The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have invoked his work on more than 20 cases, and he has testified before Congress on a wide range of constitutional issues.
A 1980 graduate of Yale College, Amar earned his J.D. in 1984 from Yale Law School, where he served as editor of The Yale Law Journal. Before joining the Yale faculty in 1985, he clerked for now-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer when he was a judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Amar teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and the Yale Law School. His undergraduate course is among the most popular college offerings.
In 1994, Amar received the Paul Bator Award from the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, and in 1995 the National Law Journal named Amar one of 40 "Rising Stars in the Law." Two years later, The American Lawyer placed him on its "Public Sector 45" list. His book on the Bill of Rights earned Amar the American Bar Association's Certificate of Merit and the Yale University Press Governor's Award. He received an honorary degree from Suffolk University in 1997.
Amar has delivered endowed lectures at over two dozen college and universities. In the spring of 2009, he will be a visiting professor at Harvard University.
In addition to his teaching and research, the Yale law professor has also been a consultant to the television show The West Wing.
A Sterling Professorship is one of the University's highest faculty honors.