Michael S. McGinniss

Prof. Michael S. McGinniss

Professor of Law and J. Philip Johnson Faculty Fellow, University of North Dakota School of Law

Michael S. McGinniss is Professor of Law and J. Philip Johnson Faculty Fellow at the University of North Dakota School of Law, where he joined the faculty in 2010 and served as the Dean from 2019 to 2022.  Before entering the legal academy, Professor McGinniss served for twelve years as a Disciplinary Counsel for the Supreme Court of Delaware.  In 2023-2024, he is teaching Professional Responsibility, Federal Courts, Conflict of Laws, and Advanced Legal Ethics; and he serves as Faculty Advisor for the North Dakota Law Review and the UND Law Federalist Society student chapter. 

Professor McGinniss’ research and scholarship interests have significantly focused on legal ethics, including questions involving the professional and moral responsibilities and constitutional rights of lawyers, such as his 2019 article Expressing Conscience with Candor: Saint Thomas More and First Freedoms in the Legal Profession in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.  Since completing his deanship, his scholarly activities have focused on constitutional rights and cultural disputes relating to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and academic freedom, including the April 2023 Academic Freedom, Speech, and Rational Inquiry invited academic colloquium sponsored by the Federalist Society and Liberty Fund.  He has also spoken to Federalist Society lawyer and student chapters across the country about rising challenges to ideological diversity and the growing “cancel culture” in the legal profession and academy.  In June 2023, he participated in the Federalist Society Freedom of Thought Project national webinar The Ethics of Client Coercion, which addressed the growing phenomenon of corporate clients demanding their law firms require their lawyers to refuse or withdraw from representation in legal matters that involve various conservative causes.


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