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Heather Gerken to Join Yale Law School Faculty

Heather K. Gerken, who has taught election law, constitutional law, and civil procedure at Harvard Law School since 2000, will join the Yale Law School faculty as Professor of Law starting July 1, 2006.

Professor Gerken is one of the country's leading experts on voting rights and election law, the role of groups in the democratic process, and the relationship between diversity and democracy.

A native of Massachusetts, Professor Gerken graduated from Princeton University, where she received her A.B. degree, summa cum laude in 1991 and the University of Michigan Law School J.D., from which she graduated summa cum laude in 1994. Thereafter, she served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for Justice David H. Souter of the United States Supreme Court, before entering private practice in Washington, D.C.

She joined Harvard as Assistant Professor of Law in 2000 and was promoted to Professor of Law at Harvard in 2005. An acclaimed teacher, Professor Gerken was the first junior professor in the history of Harvard Law School to receive the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence, awarded annually to Harvard Law School's outstanding instructor.

Dean Harold Hongju Koh of Yale Law School said, "Heather Gerken speaks with one of the most exciting and powerful new scholarly voices in the legal academy. A gifted teacher and energizing colleague, she has already changed the way we think about democracy. Her work shines penetrating light both on why we value diversity, and on what kinds of diversity we should value. Her brilliant teaching, scholarship, and citizenship will make her an anchor for Yale Law School's faculty and a beacon for our students and alumni for many generations to come."

Professor Gerken is the author of many publications, including "Second-Order Diversity and Disaggregated Democracy," 118 Harvard Law Review 1099 (2005), "Dissenting by Deciding," 56 Stanford Law Review 1745 (2005), "Lost in the Political Thicket: The Supreme Court, Election Law, and the Doctrinal Interregnum," 153 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 503 (2004); "The Costs and Causes of Minimalism in Voting Cases Baker v. Carr and Its Progeny," 80 North Carolina Law Review 1411 (2002); and "Understanding the Right to an Undiluted Vote," 114 Harvard Law Review 1665 (2001).

She is currently working on a book on the trans-substantive concept of "second-order diversity" in American public law.