The Federalist Society honored Professor William Baude on Saturday night with its prestigious Paul M. Bator Award, which is given each year to an academic under the age of 40 who has
demonstrated excellence in legal scholarship, a commitment to teaching, a concern for students, and who has made a significant public impact. Law School student Victoria Grant, ’17, who served on the selection committee, presented the award at the Federalist Society’s National Student Symposium, which was held at Columbia Law School.
“I speak from first-hand experience when I say that Professor Baude embodies all of the qualities the Federalist Society looks for in the recipient of this award,” Grant said. “His ‘non-stop’ body of work promoting originalism and fidelity to the law is exceptional and inspiring, bringing him to the forefront of conservative constitutional law—and indeed of constitutional law period.”
Baude, the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law, teaches federal courts and constitutional law. His current research projects include papers on constitutional law, legal interpretation, and conflicts of law, and his most recent work includes "Constitutional Liquidation" as well as a new edition of the textbook, "The Constitution of the United States." He is an advisor at the Hoover Institution, an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism, and a member of the American Law Institute, where he has advised on the Third Restatement of the Conflict of Laws.
“The Bator Award is a high honor, and Will is an ideal recipient because of his scholarship, devotion to our students, and his role in the public conversation,” said Dean Thomas J. Miles, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics. “The Law School is tremendously proud.”
The Paul M. Bator Award was established in 1989 in memory of former Law School Professor Paul M. Bator, a renowned scholar and teacher of federal courts and constitutional law who also taught at Harvard and served as principal deputy solicitor general in the Reagan Administration. Previous recipients include Todd Henderson, the Michael J. Marks Professor of Law, who won in 2010, and former Law School Professor Adrian Vermeule, who won in 2003.
“I am honored, grateful, and still a little surprised, to be here,” Baude said as he accepted the award before an audience that included more than a dozen University of Chicago Law School students. “The stereotype of academia is the ivory tower. But being and becoming a law professor is not a lonely process, and I owe thanks to a lot of people, many of whom are in this room.” To the students in the room, he added, “It is not exaggerating to say that you are really the reason I do this. If there were no one to write to and no one to teach, I would be doing something else.”
Elizabeth Kiernan, ’17, president of the Law School’s FedSoc chapter, called Baude an “exceptional” teacher and “a great friend to our chapter.”
“Professor Baude is one of the most engaging and enthusiastic professors I’ve had at the Law School. You can tell he takes every student’s answer seriously; he really engages,” said Kiernan, who has taken two classes with Baude and sought him out as her independent study advisor for next quarter. “He’s really good at helping you see all perspectives. No matter what position you take, he pushes back. Our chapter was really excited that he won—he deserves it.”
In addition to Baude’s honor, the Law School’s FedSoc chapter was given the Thomas Paine “Feddy” Award for Creativity in Publicity, recognizing the group’s digital and social media efforts in the past year.
“I'm immensely proud of the chapter," Kiernan said. "Everyone's dedication and hard work played a role in our success this year. This award would not be possible without the specific work of two of our officers. Our Communications Director Brent Cooper, ’18, and Webmaster Will Soule, ’18, did a phenomenal job revamping our website and upping our social media game to make us one of the most followed Federalist Society student chapters on Twitter in just the span of seven months.”