Barry Friedman

Prof. Barry Friedman

Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Professor Friedman is one of the country’s leading authorities on constitutional law and the federal courts. He is a prolific scholar, working at the intersections of law, politics and history. Friedman teaches a wide variety of courses including Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, and Criminal Procedure. He writes extensively about judicial review, constitutional law and theory, federal jurisdiction and judicial behavior. His scholarship appears regularly in the nation’s top law and peer-edited reviews. He is the author of widely-recognized The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2009), which examines the history of the relationship between popular opinion and the Supreme Court, from 1776 to the present. Along with his co-author Stephen Burbank, Friedman co-edited and contributed to Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Approach, which questions common assumptions about the nature of judicial independence and how it can be protected. The book has been cited and relied upon countless times by scholars and policymakers alike. Professor Friedman is a frequent contributor to the nation's leading journals, both on-line and print. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, Politico andThe New Republic, among others.

Professor Friedman is a frequent speaker at events of all sorts. Given the interdisciplinary nature of his work, Professor Friedman regularly appears at conferences in law, political science and history. He is a founder and co-convener of the “roughly biennial” Constitutional Theory Conference. He organizes many multi-disciplinary conferences, including one on Modeling Law, and another – done under the auspices of the American Constitution Society – on Reconstruction: America’s Second Founding. He presents papers regularly at home and abroad. He has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy, the Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches sur law Justice Constitutionnelle Aix-en-Provence, Sciences-Po in Aix-en-Provence, and Hong Kong University.

Professor Friedman regularly serves as a litigator or litigation consultant in a variety of matters in the federal and state courts. He has represented a wide range of clients, both public and private. Notably, he represents both civil liberties claimants and state and local governments. He has been active in the areas of reproductive rights, the jurisdictional allocation of cases between the federal and state courts, and the proper scope of the federal government’s commerce power. He has filed a number of amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Actively engaged in a range of important service activities, at NYU Professor Friedman created the Academic Careers Program and founded and is now co-director of the Furman Academic Program. Both programs are dedicated to preparing young scholars for academic careers. In the past he was extensively involved with the American Judicature Society, was President of the Tennessee Civil Liberties Union, served on the Board of the State and Local Legal Center, and on the steering committee of New York University’s Institute for Law and Society. He recently completed a term as Vice Dean of New York University School of Law.

Professor Friedman graduated from the University of Chicago and received his law degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He clerked for the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and also worked as a litigation associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in Washington D.C. He was a professor at Vanderbilt Law School before joining the NYU faculty in 2000. In 1995 he won the Clarence Darrow Award from the ACLU of Tennessee for his work in defense of civil liberties.

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1982


    B.A., University of Chicago, 1978


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