James Phillips is an assistant professor of law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law where he teaches courses in civil procedure and law and religion. James has published over two dozen academic articles in journals such as the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Southern California Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the Journal of Supreme Court History. His research topics include constitutional interpretation, law and corpus linguistics, the First Amendment, Supreme Court oral argument, and empirical studies examining discrimination. He designed and supervised the initial stages of the creation of the Corpus of Founding-Era American English (COFEA) and is one of the pioneers of applying corpus linguistics to constitutional interpretation. His shorter writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the LA Times, and the National Review, among other outlets.
After law school James worked for a Supreme Court and appellate specialist, was a visiting assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School (where he taught administrative law), clerked for Justice Thomas R. Lee of the Utah Supreme court and for Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was a constitutional law fellow for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, worked in private practice focusing primarily on First Amendment issues and Supreme Court litigation, and was a nonresident fellow with Stanford University’s Constitutional Law Center.
He has a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. James earned a law degree from UC-Berkeley School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif, where he was on the California Law Review as well as an executive editor (symposium edition) of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. James also has an M.A. in Mass Communication from Brigham Young University, and a B.A. in history from Arizona State University.
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