Nicholas R. Parrillo
William K. Townsend Professor of Law and Professor of History
Nicholas R. Parrillo is William K. Townsend Professor of Law at Yale, with a secondary appointment as Professor of History. His research and teaching focus on administrative law and government bureaucracy and extend to legal history, remedies, and legislation.FULL BIOGRAPHY
Education & Curriculum Vitae
Ph.D. (American Studies), Yale University, 2012
J.D., Yale Law School, 2004
A.B., Harvard University, 2000
- Administrative Law
- Advanced Administrative Law
- American Legal History
Nicholas R. Parrillo is William K. Townsend Professor of Law at Yale, with a secondary appointment as Professor of History. His research and teaching focus on administrative law and government bureaucracy and extend to legal history, remedies, and legislation. He is a recipient of the ABA’s award for the year’s best scholarship in administrative law and the Law and Society Association’s Hurst prize for the year’s best book in legal history. Parrillo’s articles since 2018 include a study in the Yale Law Journal finding new originalist evidence against a narrow constitutional understanding of administrative regulatory power; a study in the Harvard Law Review giving the first general assessment of how the judiciary handles the federal government's disobedience to court orders; and a study that provided the empirical basis for the U.S. Administrative Conference’s best practices on the federal government’s ubiquitous but controversial use of guidance documents and was the focal point for an online symposium on that controversy. Peer scholars at Jotwell selected each of these three studies as among the “best new scholarship relevant to the law.” Parrillo has testified before Congress, serves as one of forty public members of the U.S. Administrative Conference, and has been an invited speaker before the Second Circuit Judicial Conference, the law-and-science committee of the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Justice’s summit on administrative procedure, and the Federalist Society’s national lawyers’ convention (showcase panel). He is a recipient of Yale Law School’s annual teaching award.
Professor Nicholas R. Parrillo ’04 delivers the inaugural William K. Townsend lecture on Nov. 8, 2021.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Nicholas R. Parrillo ’04 gave his first lecture as the William K. Townsend Professor of Law on whether administrative regulatory power is constitutional.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
In September, 14 early-career legal scholars and 13 senior commenters gathered for the annual Administrative Law New Scholarship Roundtable, this year hosted by the Law School.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
A paper by William K. Townsend Professor of Law Professor of Law Nicholas R. Parrillo on an early exercise of federal administrative power is summarized.
Monday, October 28, 2019
Scholarship by Professor of Law Nicholas R. Parrillo is mentioned in a Regulatory Review article about the Administrative Conference of the United States’ recommendation on interpretive rules.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Professor Nicholas Parrillo ’04 testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on March 14, 2018.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Yale Law School hosted “Administrative Law From the Inside Out: A Conference on Themes in the Work of Jerry Mashaw” on October 2 and 3, 2015.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Professor Nicholas R. Parrillo ’04 has received the Annual Scholarship Award from the ABA Section on Administrative Law for his book Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780–1940.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The Law and Society Association has given the J. Willard Hurst Award, for the year’s best work in English on socio-legal history, to Professor Nicholas R. Parrillo’ 04 for his book Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780–1940 (Yale University Press, 2013).
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The first ever Yale Health Law and Policy Society Conference will take place on February 8, 2014 at Yale Law School. The conference will examine the implementation of the new Health Insurance Exchange Law.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
In new book, Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780–1940, Professor Nicholas R. Parrillo ’04 shows how American law once authorized government officers to make money from their jobs on a profit-seeking basis in a way that would surprise many observers today.
- Selected for review in Jotwell (Administrative Law)
- Related research findings appear in a supplemental paper to this article
- Selected for review in Jotwell (Administrative Law)
- Served as the focal point for an online symposium about guidance
“Fiduciary Government and Public Officers’ Incentives,” in Fiduciary Government, ed. Evan J. Criddle et al. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 146-160.
- Based on author’s interviews with 135 individuals across agencies, industry, and NGOs
- Served as the basis for the Conference’s best practices for agency use of guidance, published in 82 Fed. Reg. 61734-38 (Dec. 29, 2017); these were partly extended to cover interpretive rules in best practices on that subject, 84 Fed. Reg. 38,927 (Aug. 8, 2019)
“Jerry Mashaw’s Creative Tension with the Field of Administrative Law” in Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry Mashaw, ed. Nicholas R. Parrillo (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013).
- Received Annual Scholarship Award (American Bar Association Section on Administrative Law) for the year’s best book or article on administrative law
- Received Hurst Prize (Law and Society Association) for the year’s best book on legal history
- Visit the Book Webpage and read the Introductory Chapter
- Watch a Talk About the Book
- Extended Reviews in The Boston Review and the Harvard Law Review
- Featured in Symposium on Balkinization and in interview on New Books in Law (podcast)
- Featured in “On the Take,” an episode of the radio program Back Story with the American History Guys (30:00 mark)
- Received Cromwell Article Prize (American Society for Legal History) for the year’s best article on American legal history by an early-career scholar.
“Testing Weber: Compensation for Public Services, Bureaucratization, and the Development of Positive Law in the United States,” in Comparative Administrative Law, ed. Susan Rose- Ackerman and Peter L. Lindseth (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2010).
“The De-Privatization of American Warfare: How the U.S. Government Used, Regulated, and Ultimately Abandoned Privateering in the Nineteenth Century,” Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 19 (2007): 1-96.
“Lincoln’s Calvinist Transformation: Emancipation and War,” Civil War History 46 (2000): 227- 253. Republished in On Lincoln, ed. John T. Hubbell (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2014), volume 3 of Civil War History Readers (“a multivolume series reintroducing the most influential articles published in the journal”).
Administrative Law: The American Public Law System: Cases and Materials, 8th ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 2019) (with Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, M. Elizabeth Magill, Jerry L. Mashaw, Richard A. Merrill, and Peter M. Shane).
Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry Mashaw, ed. Nicholas R. Parrillo (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Written Testimony Before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, “Shining Light on the Federal Regulatory Process,” March 14, 2018 (click here for video of hearing; Parrillo opening statement at 36:45)
“Remarks Accepting the Section’s 2014 Annual Scholarship Award for Against the Profit Motive,” Administrative & Regulatory Law News, 40, no. 2 (Winter 2015): 7-9.
“Impartial Decisionmaker,” in Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, ed. Paul Finkelman (New York: Routledge, 2006), 2: 798-801.