Owen Fiss is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law of Yale University. He was educated at Dartmouth, Oxford, and Harvard. He clerked for Thurgood Marshall (when Marshall was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) and later for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. He also served in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice from 1966 to 1968. Before coming to Yale, Professor Fiss taught at the University of Chicago. At Yale he teaches procedure, legal theory, and constitutional law.
Professor Fiss is the author of many articles and books, including The Civil Rights Injunction, Troubled Beginnings of the Modern State, The Structure of Procedure (with Robert Cover), Liberalism Divided, The Irony of Free Speech, A Community of Equals, A Way Out: America’s Ghettos and the Legacy of Racism, Adjudication and its Alternatives (with Judith Resnik), The Law as it Could Be, The Dictates of Justice: Essays on Law and Human Rights, and A War Like No Other: The Constitution in a Time of Terror. In a 2012 study, four of his articles were named as among the top 100 most-cited law review articles of all time. His most recent book is Pillars of Justice: Lawyers and the Liberal Tradition.
Professor Fiss is one of the founders of the Law School programs in Latin America and the Middle East and, along with Anthony Kronman, directs the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization. Professor Fiss is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, Universidad de Chile, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and Universidad de Palermo (Buenos Aires). He was also awarded La distinción Sócrates from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá) and was appointed honorary visiting professor at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Most recently, Professor Fiss was awarded the 2020 Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence by the American Philosophical Society, becoming only the 26th recipient of the prize since it was established in 1888.