Prof. David S. Law

Honorary Professor

BA, Stanford (1993);
JD, Harvard (1996);
MA, Stanford (2000);
BCL in European and Comparative Law, Oxford (2003);
PhD, Stanford (2004)


Professor David Law’s interests include public law, comparative law, law and social science, judicial politics, and constitutional and political theory. His interdisciplinary and comparative approach combines quantitative data analysis and foreign fieldwork.  His scholarship on global constitutional trends has been featured in a variety of media outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, and the Asahi Shimbun and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Romanian.  He has served as a UN consultant on legal and political reform in Yemen and provided training sponsored by the U.S. State Department to Burmese lawmakers on constitutional reform.  His first book, The Japanese Supreme Court and Judicial Review, was published in Japanese by Gendaijinbunsha.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Law served as executive editor of the Harvard Law Review, clerked for the Honourable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and practiced law with Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles. He then earned a Ph.D. in political science at Stanford University while concurrently attending the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar and obtaining the BCL in European and Comparative Law.  Professor Law held joint appointments in the law school at the University of San Diego and the political science department at the University of California, San Diego before joining the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis.  He is a former Fulbright Scholar and has held fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also served on the National Science Foundation’s Committee of Visitors.  A native of Canada, he speaks Mandarin and French and has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, National Taiwan University College of Law, Seoul National University School of Law, and Keio University Faculty of Law in Tokyo and a visiting scholar at the NYU School of Law. During the 2014-15 academic year, Professor Law was the Martin and Kathleen Crane Fellow in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University. He concurrently holds the Sir Y.K. Pao Chair in Public Law at the University of Hong Kong (where he also serves as a member of the University Selection and Promotion Committee) and the Charles Nagel Chair of Constitutional Law and Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis.

Courses Taught: Courts; Comparative Constitutional Law