Paul Gewirtz

Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director, the Paul Tsai China Center


Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and is also the Director of Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center. Professor Gewirtz teaches and writes in various legal and policy fields, including constitutional law, federal courts, antidiscrimination law, law and literature, Chinese law, and American foreign policy.

FULL BIOGRAPHY
Paul Gewirtz

Contact Information



Faculty Assistant


Ann-Marie Cooper

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School

B.A., Columbia University

Courses Taught


  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal Courts
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Workshop on Chinese Legal Reform
  • Chinese Law and Policy

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School. He is also the Director of the Paul Tsai China Center. Professor Gewirtz teaches and writes in various legal and policy fields, including constitutional law, federal courts, antidiscrimination law, law and literature, Chinese law, and American foreign policy. Among other works, his publications include the books Law’s Stories, The Case Law System in America, and nine volumes of readings and materials on comparative constitutional law.

The Paul Tsai China Center, which Professor Gewirtz founded in 1999 as The China Law Center, carries out research and teaching on legal development in China and on U.S.-China relations, and also works with a wide range of Chinese counterparts to help advance legal reform in China and to advance greater understanding and cooperation between the United States and China more generally. Through the Center, Professor Gewirtz is currently co-leading a Track II Dialogue on U.S.-China Relations involving prominent former government officials from both countries.

In 2015 Professor Gewirtz was named to Foreign Policy magazine’s Pacific Power Index, a list of “50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship.” From 1997–1998, Professor Gewirtz was on leave from Yale University and was a part of President Bill Clinton's administration, where he served as Special Representative for the Presidential Rule of Law Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. In that post, he developed and led the U.S.-China initiative to cooperate in the legal field that President Clinton and China's President Jiang Zemin launched at their October 1997 Summit. He has recently developed a course at Yale Law School on American Foreign Policy.

For ten years, Professor Gewirtz was also the director of the Global Constitutionalism Seminar, a program that brings leading Supreme Court judges from around the world to Yale each year. He is the inaugural Jones Day Chair Professor in Globalization and the Rule of Law at Peking University Law School and a member of the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations. Before joining the Yale Law School faculty, Professor Gewirtz served as law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court and practiced law in Washington, D.C. at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and the Center for Law and Social Policy. He received his B.A. degree summa cum laude from Columbia University and his law degree from Yale.

Monday, February 4, 2019


Brookings-Yale Workshop Looks at the Way Forward for U.S.-China Relations

On October 30, 2018, the Paul Tsai China Center of Yale Law School and the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution jointly held a high-level, closed-door workshop to discuss U.S.-China relations today and going forward.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Distinguished Diplomat Named Senior Fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center

Former Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan A. Thornton will join the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School as a Senior Fellow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


South China Sea code 'should be binding', says Chinese scholar

Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of The Paul Tsai China Center Paul Gewirtz is quoted in an article on The Code of Conduct (COC) being negotiated between China and Asean countries. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Getting More Cooperation From China on North Korea—A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz and Joe Onek ’67

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and Joe Onek ’67 is a Principal in The Raben Group and a national security advisor to TCP.

Friday, July 7, 2017


How China Misread Donald Trump—A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the Paul Tsai China Center.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


No Winners or Losers, Please—A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and is also the Director of Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Impulsiveness, Law, and the Immigration Order—A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz ’70

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and the Director of Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Why law can’t solve the South China Sea conflict—A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and the Director of Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center. 

Monday, June 27, 2016


Gewirtz Publishes Article on Limits of Law in South China Seas

Professor Paul Gewirtz offers his perspective on the role law has to play in addressing the contentious claims to sovereignty and safe passage in the South China Sea, one of the world's most pressing geopolitical questions.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Limits of law in the South China Sea

Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the Paul Tsai China Center Paul Gewirtz published a paper on the South China Sea.

Monday, March 21, 2016


China Center Receives $30 Million Gift in Honor of Dr. Paul Tsai

Yale Law School has received a gift of $30 million in honor of its distinguished alumnus, the late Dr. Paul C. Tsai, LL.M ’54, J.S.D. ’57, to support the continuing work of the Law School’s China Center.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Jerome Cohen ’55 to Speak on China’s Law and Power

Jerome A. Cohen ’55 will give a lecture titled “Law and Power: China’s Ongoing Struggle” on February 3, 2016, at 12:10 p.m. in Room 122. Cohen, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, is the leading public intellectual on Chinese law and human rights outside of China and the founder and director of NYU’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Professor Gewirtz Named to Foreign Policy Magazine’s Pacific Power Index

Paul Gewirtz, Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of The China Center at Yale Law School, has been named to Foreign Policy magazine’s Pacific Power Index, a list of “50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship.”

Thursday, January 1, 2015


The Pacific Power Index: From moguls to migrants, Harvard to Huawei: 50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship

Paul Gewirtz, Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of The China Center at Yale Law School, has been named to the Pacific Power Index.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Obama’s Chance to Get China Right - A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz

Paul Gewirtz '70 is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and Director of The China Center.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


What China Means by ‘Rule of Law’—A Commentary by Paul Gewirtz

Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and is also the Director of Yale Law School’s China Center.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Admiral Gary Roughead, Former Chief Of Naval Operations, to Deliver Lecture on the Role of Navies in the 21st Century

Admiral Gary Roughead, a four-star admiral who recently retired as the United States' Chief of Naval Operations, will deliver a lecture entitled "Sea Power and National Security in the 21st Century: Why Navies Matter" at Yale Law School on Thursday, April 17. The lecture, which will take place from 4:10-5:30 p.m. in Room 128, is open to the public.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Former Ambassador/General Karl Eikenberry to Deliver Lecture on Afghanistan

Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Commanding General of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, will deliver a lecture titled "The End of America's Long War and the Future of Afghanistan" at Yale Law School on Thursday, April 10, 2014. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


State Department Policy Planning Director and Hillary Clinton Advisor Jake Sullivan ’03 Will Discuss American Leadership Friday

Jake Sullivan ’03, head of the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning office, will discuss “American Leadership in a Changing World” on Oct. 28 at Yale Law School.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Professor Gewirtz Meets with President Obama on U.S.-China Summit

President Obama held an unusual 75-minute meeting with Professor Paul Gewirtz at the White House on January 14 to discuss the upcoming Summit meeting between Obama and China’s President.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


International Supreme Court and Constitutional Justices Meet at Yale Law School

The fourteenth Global Constitutionalism Seminar took place at Yale Law School September 22-25, 2010.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series—Jerome Cohen ’55 Speaks on Law and Life in Asia

Jerome Cohen ’55 will lecture February 2, 9, and 23 about law and life in Asia.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


China Law Center Co-Hosts Anti-Discrimination Workshop in Chengdu

Yale Law School's Jack Balkin (behind left), Paul Gewirtz '70 (left), and Reva Siegel ’86 (right) attended. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Professor Robert Post Delivers First Lecture in New Series on Free Expression

The China Law Center and Peking University kicked off a new lecture series in Beijing on May 18, 2007, with a lecture by YLS Professor Robert Post.  His address, part of a day-long program, was the first in a new series on “Information and Expression in a Transforming Society.”

Monday, September 12, 2005


Panel of YLS Professors to Discuss, "The Roberts Nomination: What's at Stake?" Sept. 14

On Wednesday, September 14, 2005, Yale Law School will host a discussion of the future of the U.S. Supreme Court, titled "The Roberts Nomination: What's at Stake?" The talk will start at 12:10 p.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. in Room 127.