Monday, June 22, 2009

Robert C. Post ’77 Named Dean of Yale Law School

Robert C. Post ’77 has been named Dean and Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Yale University President Richard C. Levin announced today. Post joined the Yale Law School faculty in 2003 as David Boies Professor of Law, specializing in the area of constitutional law, including the First Amendment, equal protection, and legal history. He will assume his duties as dean on July 1, 2009.

“As a leading constitutional scholar and a respected citizen of the legal profession, Robert Post is ideally positioned to move the Yale Law School forward,” said President Levin. “He is greatly admired by his colleagues for his wisdom and judgment, and his commitment to sustaining the excellence of the Law School is unwavering. I look forward to working with him.”

“I am humbled and honored to be asked to serve as dean of Yale Law School, a community that I loved as a student and that I have loved even more as a faculty member,” said Post. “I am eager to work with our faculty, staff, students, and alumni to deepen Yale Law School’s commitment to scholarly excellence, outstanding education, and the achievement of professional and public ideals.”

Post is the sixteenth dean of Yale Law School, succeeding Harold Hongju Koh, who became dean of Yale Law School in 2004 and who awaits Senate confirmation as Legal Adviser to the U.S. State Department. Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, has served as the Law School’s acting dean since March.

“The appointment of Robert Post to be dean is wonderful news for the entire Law School family,” said Stith. “He is dedicated to world-class scholarship, to excellence in public and private service, and to sustaining our special community." 

Koh said, “Robert Post is a gifted teacher, a hugely insightful scholar of First Amendment law, and a leading thinker about constitutionalism at home and abroad in the 21st century. He loves Yale Law School and is deeply committed to its unique values. He will make a superb dean.”

Prior to joining Yale Law School in 2003, Post taught law for 20 years at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he was named the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law in 1994. From 1980 to 1982, he was an associate at the law firm Williams & Connolly in Washington D.C., serving as a litigator. From 1978 to 1979, he was a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the United States Supreme Court, and from 1977 to 1978, he was a law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

He also served as general counsel to the American Association of University Professors from 1992 to 1994 and to California Governor Pete Wilson's Independent Panel on Redistricting in 1991.

He has written dozens of articles in legal journals and other publications, including “Roe Rage: Democratic Constitutionalism and Backlash” (with Reva Siegel, Harvard Civil-Rights Civil-Liberties Law Review, 2007); “Federalism, Positive Law, and the Emergence of the American Administrative State: Prohibition in the Taft Court Era” (William & Mary Law Review, 2006); “Foreword: Fashioning the Legal Constitution: Culture, Courts, and Law” (Harvard Law Review, 2003); and “Subsidized Speech" (The Yale Law Journal, 1996). He has also written and edited numerous books, including For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom (with Matthew M. Finkin, 2009); Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Antidiscrimination Law (with K. Anthony Appiah, Judith Butler, Thomas C. Grey, and Reva Siegel, 2001); and Constitutional Domains: Democracy, Community, Management (1995).

He holds an A.B., summa cum laude, and a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard. His dissertation was titled “Studies in the Origin and Practice of the American Romance: Social Structure, Moral Reality, and Aesthetic Form.” He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he received the Michael Egger Prize and was note editor of The Yale Law Journal.

Post is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute. He serves as Librarian of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; as a Trustee of the National Humanities Center; and as a consultant to the American Association of University Professors.

He has been honored with fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He received the 1998 Hughes-Gossett Award for best article in the Journal of Supreme Court History.

The search committee for the new dean was chaired by Yale Law Professor Paul Kahn ’80. Committee members were Professors Robert Ellickson ’66, Doug Kysar, John Langbein, Daniel Markovits ’00, Tracey Meares, Susan Rose-Ackerman, James Whitman ’88, and Michael Wishnie ’93.