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Heather Gerken

J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law
J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Gerken specializes in election law and constitutional law.  She has published in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, Political Theory, and Political Science Quarterly.  Her most recent scholarship explores questions of election reform, federalism, diversity, and dissent.  Her work has been featured in The Atlantic’ “Ideas of the Year” section and the Ideas Section of the Boston Globe and has been the subject of a festschrift and a symposium.  Professor Gerken clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. After practicing for several years, she joined the Harvard faculty in September 2000 and was awarded tenure in 2005. In 2006, she joined the Yale faculty.  She has won teaching awards at both Yale and Harvard, has been named one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers” by a book published by the Harvard University Press, and has won a Green Bag award for legal writing.  Professor Gerken served as a senior legal adviser to the Obama for America campaign in 2008 and 2012.  Her proposal for creating a “Democracy Index” was incorporated into separate bills by then-Senator Hillary Clinton, then-Senator Barack Obama, and Congressman Israel and turned into reality by the Pew Foundations, which created the nation’s first Election Performance Index in February 2013.

J.D., University of Michigan, 1994
A.B., Princeton, 1991

Courses Taught
Advanced Topics in Election Law