Laura Weinrib

Laura Weinrib

Professor of Law, Associate Member of the Department of History

Laura Weinrib is Professor of Law and an Associate Member of the University of Chicago Department of History. A legal historian, her scholarship explores the intersection of constitutional law and labor law. She is the author of The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise (Harvard University Press, 2016), which traces the emergence during the first half of the twentieth century of a constitutional and court-centered concept of civil liberties as a defining feature of American democracy.

Weinrib is a 2003 graduate of Harvard Law School. She completed her PhD in history at Princeton University in 2011. In 2000, she received an AB in literature and an AM in comparative literature from Harvard University. After law school, Weinrib clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. From 2009 to 2010, she was a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History at the New York University School of Law. 

Weinrib's teaching and research interests include American legal history, civil liberties, constitutional law, and labor law.

EDUCATION

Princeton University
PhD in history, 2011

  • Organizer, Modern America Workshop
  • Graduate Associate, Program in Law and Public Affairs
  • Dissertation: The Liberal Compromise: Civil Liberties, Labor, and the Limits of State Power, 1917-1940

Harvard Law School
JD, magna cum laude, 2003

  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
  • Board of Student Advisers

Harvard University
AM in comparative literature, 2000

Harvard College
AB, magna cum laude with highest honors in literature, 2000

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, Harvard International Review

EXPERIENCE

The University of Chicago Law School
Herbert and Marjorie Fried Teaching Scholar, 2015-present
Assistant Professor of Law, July 2011-present
Instructor of Law, 2010-2011

The University of Chicago Department of History
Associate Member, 2013-present

New York University School of Law
Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History, 2009-2010

Princeton University Department of History
Preceptor, American Legal History, 2009

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Wilmington, DE
Clerk, the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro, 2003-2004

Harvard Law School
Instructor, First Year Lawyering, 2001-2003

NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund New York, NY 
Summer Legal Intern, 2002

Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Boston, MA
Project Coordinator, Kinship Care Project, 2001-2002

Let's Go Publications Cambridge, MA
Editor, Let's Go: Israel and the Palestinian Territories, 1999-2000

Books (Author)

  • The Taming of Free Speech (Harvard University Press, 2016).cu www

Books (Editor)

  • Nitzotz: The Spark of Resistance in Kovno Ghetto and Dachau-Kaufering Concentration Camp. (Syracuse University Press, 2009). cu

Journal Articles

  • "The Right to Work and the Right to Strike," 2017 University of Chicago Legal Forum 513 (2017).
  • "From Left to Rights: Civil Liberties Lawyering Between the World Wars," Law, Culture, and the Humanities __ (2016). www
  • "Freedom of Conscience in War Time: World War I and the Civil Liberties Path Not Taken," 65 Emory Law Journal 1051 (2016). cu
  • "Civil Liberties Outside the Courts," 2014 Supreme Court Review 297 (2015). ssrn cu www
  • "Book Review (reviewing Leigh Ann Wheeler, How Sex Became A Civil Liberty)," 32 Law and History Review 728 (2014). cu www
  • "The Sex Side of Civil Liberties: United States v. Dennett and the Changing Face of Free Speech," 30 Law and History Review 325 (2012). ssrn cu
  • "From Public Interest to Private Rights: Free Speech, Liberal Individualism, and the Making of Modern Tort Law," 34 Law and Social Inquiry 187 (2009). cu
  • "Protecting Sex: Sexual Disincentives and Sex-Based Discrimination in Nguyen V. INS," 12 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 222 (2003). cu
  • "Kinship Care Reform: A Proposal for Consent Legislation in Massachusetts," 23 Massachusetts Law Review 23 (2002). cu
  • "Reconstructing Family: Constructive Trust at Relational Dissolution," 37 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 207 (2002). cu

Book Sections

  • "Rethinking the Myth of the Modern First Amendment," in The Free Speech Century, Geoffrey R. Stone & Lee C. Bollinger eds. (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). www

Working Papers

  • "Freedom of Conscience in War Time: World War I and the Civil Liberties Path Not Taken," University of Chicago Public Law & Legal Theory Paper Series, No. 553 (2015). ssrn cu

Other Publications

  • The Liberal Compromise: Civil Liberties, Labor, and the Limits of State Power, 1917-1940. cu
  • "Before the Culture Wars (reviewing Mary Ziegler, After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate)," The New Rambler, December 7, 2015. www

Panelist, “Author-Meets-Reader: Catherine Fisk, Writing for Hire: Unions, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue,” Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Mexico City, Mexico, 22 June 2017

Panelist, “Symposium on The Taming of Free Speech: America's Civil Liberties Compromise, Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 26 May 2017

“The Collapse of the Civil Liberties Consensus?” Lecture at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 17 May 2017

“Rethinking the Civil Liberties Settlement: Reflections from the History of Free Speech,” Raymond Pryke First Amendment Lecture at the University of California, Irvine, 6 March 2017

“Class and Classification: The Role of Disgust in Regulating Social Status,” Paper Presented to the Conference on Prejudice, Stigma, Discrimination: Combating Exclusion Through Policy & Law, University of Chicago Center, Delhi, 18 December 2016

“The Right to Work and the Right to Strike,” Paper Presented to the University of Chicago Legal Forum Symposium on Law and the Disruptive Workplace, Chicago, 4 November 2016

Panelist, “Author-Meets-Reader: Risa L. Goluboff, Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Meaning of the 1960s,” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Law and History, Toronto, 28 October 2016

“The Radical Roots of the Modern First Amendment,” University of Chicago Harper Lecture, Dallas, 23 October 2016

“Free Speech and Free Enterprise: The New Deal Origins of First Amendment Protection for Commercial Speech,” Presentation at the Conference on Commercial Speech and the First Amendment: Past, Present, and Future, Northwestern University Law School, Chicago, 14 October 2016

“The Taming of Free Speech,” Lecture at the National Archives, Washington, DC, 21 September 2016

“Freedom of Conscience in War Time,” Paper Presented to the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, 3 June 2016

“The History of Courts and Individual Rights,” History of the Federal Judiciary Conference, Federal Judicial Center, 7 April 2016.

“World War I, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights,” Ryland Symposium, University of Richmond, 1 March 2016

“The Second New Deal and the Fourth Courtroom Wall: Law, Labor, and Liberty in The Cradle Will Rock,” Paper Presented to the Money in Law and Literature Conference, University of Chicago Law School, 20 February 2016

“Freedom of Conscience in War Time,” Chicago’s Best Ideas Faculty Lecture Series, 17 February 2016

“Civil Liberties in Class War Time,” Paper Presented to the NYU Law School Legal History Colloquium, 1 February 2016

“Civil Liberties in Class War Time,” Paper Presented to the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Workshop, 16 July 2015

“Law, Labor, and the Interwar ACLU,” Paper Presented to the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, 28 May 2015

“Civil Liberties in Class War Time,” Paper Presented to the Cornell Law and Humanities Colloquium, 22 April 2015

“From Left to Rights: Civil Liberties Lawyering Between the World Wars,” Paper Presented at the University of Alabama School of Law, 10 April 2015

“Civil Liberties Outside the Courts,” Paper Presented to the Emory Law Journal Thrower Symposium, 5 February 2015

“Labor, Civil Liberties and the New Deal State,” Paper Presented to the Brown University Watson Institute, 8 October 2014

“Saying ‘No’ to War–WWI, the Vietnam War and Conscientious Objectors,” ACLU Conference: Civil Liberties in Times of War, Princeton University, 19 September 2014

“Civil Liberties Outside the Courts,” Paper Presented to the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Workshop, 5 June 2014

“The Interwar Civil Liberties Movement and the ACLU’s Jewish Lawyers,” Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, 30 May 2014

“Civil Liberties Enforcement and the New Deal State,” Yale Law School Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference, 3 May 2014; University of Virginia Legal History Workshop, 20 January 2014; American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, 9 November 2013

“History and Its Constitution,” DePaul University Conference on Judaism and Constitutional Law, 3 April 2014

“From Left to Rights,” University of Minnesota Legal History Workshop, 21 October 2013

“From Left to Rights: Civil Liberties, Labor, and the Early ACLU,” Yale Legal History Forum, 9 April 2013

“Free Speech When Constitutionalism Was Unpopular,” Chicago’s Best Ideas faculty lecture series, 7 November 2012

“The New Battleground: Radical Labor, Academic Freedom, and the Early ACLU,” Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, 5 June 2012

“The Right of Agitation,” University of Chicago Law School faculty workshop, 19 April 2012

“Collective Bargaining Rights: Past, Present, and Future,” University of Chicago Labor & Employment Law Society and American Constitution Society, 20 February 2012 (roundtable with Kenneth Dau-Schmidt and Tom Geoghegan)

Hague v. CIO and the Civil Liberties Consensus,”American Bar Foundation/Illinois Legal History Seminar, 22 March 2012

“Free Speech or Fair Labor,” University of Chicago Law School faculty workshop, 19 May 2011

"The Liberal Compromise," NYU Law School Legal History Colloquium, December 2010

"Free Speech or Fair Labor: The ACLU and the New Deal Origins of Liberal Legalism," American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, 20 November 2010

"When Free Speech was Just Good Policy: Rights-Skepticism and the Early ACLU," Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, 30 May 2010

"Lawyers, Libertines, and the Reinvention of Free Speech, 1920-1933," NYU Law School Legal History Colloquium, 30 September 2009

"Hague v. CIO and Free Speech for Radicals in the American Liberal Mainstream," Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, 29 May 2009

"Free Speech, Friendly Courts: The Rehabilitation of Rights in the Interwar Period," University of Pennsylvania Legal History Consortium, 7 April 2009

"The Civil Liberties Movement and the Origins of Liberal Legalism," Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, 31 May 2008

"The Sex Side of Civil Liberties: United States v. Dennett and the Changing Face of Free Speech," American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, 26 October 2007

"The Incorporation of Nonpolitical Speech into the American Civil Liberties Agenda, 1927-1933," Law and Society Association Annual Meeting and Research Committee on Sociology of Law, 25 July 2007

"United States v. Dennett: 'A Test Case of Vital Importance,'" Northeast Regional Law and Society Meeting, 22 May 2007

"Same Sex Marriage in New Jersey: History and the Next 180 Days," Modern America Workshop, Program in American Studies, and Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, 9 November 2006 (roundtable with Mary Anne Case, Rebecca Davis, and Katherine Franke)

MEMBERSHIPS AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Bar admission, New York 

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Paul L. Murphy Award, American Society for Legal History (2013)
  • Surrency Prize, American Society for Legal History (2013)
  • William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Dissertation Prize (2012)
  • William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Early Career Fellowship in Legal History (2008)
  • Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Dissertation Fellowship (2007-2008)
  • Princeton University Center for Human Values Graduate Prize Fellowship (2007-2008)
  • Kathryn T. Preyer Scholarship, American Society for Legal History (2007)
  • Law and Society Association and Research Committee on Sociology of Law Graduate Student Workshop Grant (2007)
  • J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School (2007)
  • Law and Society Graduate Student Workshop Grant (2006)
  • Davis Merit Prize, Princeton University Department of History (2004-2006)
  • Harvard Law School Association Alumnae Committee Fellowship (2002)
  • Harvard Law School Association of New York City Public Interest Fellowship (2002)
  • Upper Round Ames Moot Court Competition Semi-Finalist (2002)
  • First Year Ames Moot Court Best Brief Award (2001)
  • Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for Outstanding Senior Thesis (1999)
  • John Harvard & Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Scholarships for Academic Achievement of the Highest Distinction (1998-2000)

SERVICE

  • Committee on Public Interest Law (2012-present)
  • J. Willard Hurst Prize Committee, Law and Society Association (2013-2014)
  • Faculty Appointments Committee (2012-2013)
  • Reid Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History (2012, 2013)

EDITORIAL WORK

  • Referee, Law and History Review

EVENTS

  • Co-organizer, Public Law and Legal Theory Workshop (2011-present)
  • Co-organizer, Maurice and Muriel Fulton Lecture in Legal History (2011-present)