Akhil Reed Amar

Sterling Professor of Law

(on leave, fall 2016)

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.


Contact Information

Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae

J.D., Yale Law School, 1984

B.A., Yale University, 1980

Courses Taught

  • Constitutional Law
  • Reading the Constitution: Substance and Method

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale College, summa cum laude, in 1980 and from Yale Law School in 1984, and clerking for then Judge (now Justice) Stephen Breyer, Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985 at the age of 26. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than 30 cases—tops in his generation. In various comprehensive surveys of judicial citations and/or scholarly citations, he invariably ranks among America’s five most-cited legal scholars under age sixty. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 he received the DeVane Medal—Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence. He has written widely for popular publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate. He was an informal consultant to the popular TV show The West Wing, and his work has been showcased on more recent TV shows such as The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose, and The MHP Show. Professor Amar is the author of dozens of law review articles and several books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles (Yale Univ. Press, 1997), The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House, 2005), America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012), and The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic (Basic Books, 2015). His newest book, The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era, is being published in September 2016—just in time for what promises to be a momentous election.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Author Bob Woodward to Give Book Talk

Bob Woodward, recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, will be in conversation with Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’84 on October 19, 2015, at 4:30 pm in Room 127.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Akhil Amar to National Council on the Humanities

On May 20, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Professor Akhil Amar ’84 to be a member of the National Council on the Humanities. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Akhil Amar ’84 Authors Book of Essays on the Constitution and the States

Sterling Professor of Law Akhil Reed Amar ’84 has written a book of essays, The Law of the Land (Basic Books, April 14, 2015), on the difference states make on American jurisprudence.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

YLS Professor Akhil Amar ’84 to Teach Open Online Course

Four of Yale’s most distinguished scholars are inaugurating the University’s new free online course program. Among them is Akhil Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, whose online course on “Constitutional Law” begins on January 27. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Releases by Professors Amar and Witt Named to Best Books of 2012 Lists

Professor John Witt’s book, Lincoln’s Code, and Professor Akhil Amar’s book, America’s Unwritten Constitution, have been named notable books of 2012 by two top newspapers.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

America’s Unwritten Constitution by Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’84

In his new book, America’s Unwritten Constitution, Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’84 guides readers through the landmark cases, implicit principles, common practices, and more that make up our country’s unwritten Constitution.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reaction: Supreme Court Rules on Health Care Law

Yale Law School faculty members and lecturers comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the health care law.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Professors Amar ’84 and Levinson To Debate: Does the Text of the Constitution Matter?

Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’84 and Visiting Professor Sanford V. Levinson will debate “Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy: Does the Text of the Constitution Matter?” as part of the “Debating Law & Religion” series on Dec. 6.

Thursday, 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.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Prof. Akhil Reed Amar Interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition

Professor Amar was interviewed for a National Public Radio story
titled “Supreme Court More Conservative, Fragmented.”