Nicholas R. Parrillo
Professor of Law
(on leave, fall 2019)
Nicholas R. Parrillo is a Professor of Law at Yale. His principal field is administrative law, and he also studies remedies, legislation, and American legal history.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 a Professor of Law at Yale. His principal field is administrative law, and he also studies remedies, legislation, and American legal history. He is a specialist on the role of law in the practical workings of bureaucratic power. He was commissioned by the Administrative Conference of the United States to study how the federal government's ubiquitous but controversial use of guidance documents—which the public often has a strong incentive to follow though they are not binding law—can be appropriately managed. The resulting research, published in part as "Federal Agency Guidance and the Power to Bind," provided the empirical basis for the Conference's new best practices on guidance, resulted in Parrillo testifying as an expert on the subject before Congress (video), and was the focal point for an online symposium on the subject. Parrillo is also the author of the first general assessment of how the judiciary practically handles the federal government's disobedience to court orders, "The Endgame of Administrative Law: Governmental Disobedience and the Judicial Contempt Power," published in the Harvard Law Review. Parrillo's book, Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), received the Annual Scholarship Award of the ABA Section on Administrative Law for the year's best book or article on administrative law, as well as the Hurst Prize of the Law and Society Association for the year’s best book on legal history. The book shows how American lawmakers remade governance by shifting public officers’ monetary compensation away from profit-seeking arrangements—such as fees-for-service and bounties—and toward fixed salaries. (Read the book's introductory chapter. Watch a talk about the book.) His article “Leviathan and Interpretive Revolution: The Administrative State, the Judiciary, and the Rise of Legislative History, 1890-1950” appeared in the Yale Law Journal and received the Cromwell Article Prize of the American Society for Legal History for the year’s best article on American legal history by an early-career scholar. Parrillo is a recipient of Yale Law School's annual teaching award, which is conferred by Yale Law Women according to a competitive vote of the student body. He is one of forty public members of the Administrative Conference of the United States. He holds a secondary appointment at Yale as Professor of History.
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)
- 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.