Professor Neal Katyal ’95 to Deliver Dean’s Lecture on The Architecture of Government
The lecture is titled “The Architecture of Government: Institutionalizing Dissent,” and will take place at 1 pm in Room 129 at Yale Law School. Lunch will be provided. The talk is open to Yale Law students, faculty, and staff.
Since graduating from Yale Law School, Katyal has become one of the top lawyers in his field, arguing 17 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He will be arguing five more cases before the High Court this year.
The lecture will launch Professor Katyal's new project, which attempts to bring together his academic work over the last 15 years since leaving Yale, including experiences as an advocate, both serving as the federal government's top courtroom lawyer as well as litigating against the government in major cases. His work has focused specifically on constitutional law, separation of powers, and the role of bureaucracy as well as criminal law and the role of architecture in altering behavior.
"I have been lucky to have had the deepest and most rewarding set of experiences a lawyer could have," said Katyal. "What I want to do now is apply that practice to theory. Launching the project at this lecture at Yale Law School is simply perfect, as I can think of no better environment for helping me think through the theory, and allow me to blend it with lessons learned at my home institution at Georgetown. I look forward to returning to the school which has given me everything and has taught me so much."
Currently, Katyal is a partner at the firm Hogan Lovells. He recently served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States (and before that Principal Deputy Solicitor General). In those roles, Katyal argued several major Supreme Court cases, including successfully defending the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, and his unanimous victory against 8 states who sued the nation’s leading power plants for contributing to global warming.
In 2006, as a Georgetown professor, he won the landmark Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case in the Supreme Court, which challenged President Bush’s Guantanamo and Geneva Convention policies.
Considered an expert in a variety of legal matters, Katyal is known for embracing his theoretical work as the platform for practical consequences in federal court. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Edmund Randolph Award in 2011, the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice. His articles have appeared in nearly every major national law review and newspaper in the country and he has appeared in a variety of broadcast venues, including three times on the Colbert Report.