Farah Peterson

Farah Peterson

Professor of Law

Farah Peterson is a legal historian who focuses on statutory interpretation. Peterson holds a PhD in American history from Princeton University. She earned her JD from Yale Law School, and received her bachelor’s in history from Yale as well.

After law school, Peterson clerked for Associate Justice Stephen Breyer on the US Supreme Court and Judge Guido Calabresi on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Princeton University

PhD in American History, 2015
MA in History with Distinction, 2009
Dissertation: Statutory Interpretation and Judicial Authority, 1776–1860

Yale Law School

JD, 2012
Coker Fellow, Torts with Professor Jules Coleman, Fall 2011
Teaching Assistant, Civil Procedure with Professor Owen Fiss, Fall 2010
Black Law Students Association
Fellowship for the Study of Professional Ethics at Auschwitz, Summer 2011

Yale University

BA with distinction in History, 2005


University of Chicago Law School

Professor of Law, Summer 2020–present

Georgetown University Law Center

Visiting Professor, Fall 2019

University of Virginia School of Law

Associate Professor, 2018–Spring 2020

Jones Day

Associate, Issues and Appeals, 2016–2017

Hon. Stephen G. Breyer, US Supreme Court

Law clerk, 2015–2016

Hon. Guido Calabresi, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Law clerk, 2012–2013

Book Sections

  • "Monuments and Memory: How the Law Writes American History," (Forthcoming).
  • "Debtor Constitutionalism," in Festschrift Honoring Hendrik Hartog (Forthcoming).

Journal Articles

  • "On Our Knees," American Scholar __ (2021). www
  • "Expounding the Constitution," 130 Yale Law Journal 2 (2020). www
  • "The Patriot Slave: The Dangerous Myth that Blacks in Bondage Chose Not to be Free in Revolutionary America," 89 American Scholar 32 (2020). www
  • "Constitutionalism in Unexpected Places," 106 Virginia Law Review 559 (2020). www
  • "Black Lives and the Boston Massacre," 88 American Scholar 34 (2019). www
  • "Foreword," 104 Virginia Law Review Online __ (2018) (Special Issue Responding to White Supremacists in Charlottesville.). www
  • "Interpretation as Statecraft: Chancellor Kent and the Collaborative Era of Statutory Interpretation," 77 Maryland Law Review 712 (2018). www
  • "Illness and Identity," 42 Ploughshares 89 (2016).
  • "Modernity and Regret: A Barbados Family and Its Place in the British Empire 1676–1842," 70 Princeton University Library Chronicle 369 (2009).