University of Virginia School of Law Professor Michael J. Klarman has accepted an offer to join the Harvard Law School faculty with tenure this summer. An expert in constitutional law and history with a particular focus on race, he currently teaches criminal law, constitutional law, constitutional theory, and constitutional history.
“Having Mike Klarman join our faculty is like winning a trifecta,” said Dean Elena Kagan ’86. “He is a pathbreaking scholar whose work abounds with new insights into some of the most important moments in American constitutional history. He is an extraordinary teacher, as Harvard Law students discovered when he was a visiting professor here. And, he is a renowned institutional citizen and colleague. I am thrilled that he will be joining us.”
Since joining the Virginia faculty in 1987, Klarman has been named the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law as well as the Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill Research Professor and Professor of History. He is the author of several books and over 30 articles, including “From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality,” which won the Bancroft Prize in 2005, widely considered to be the most prestigious award in American history writing. Most recently, Klarman wrote “Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History,” which was published in 2007.
Klarman’s articles have appeared in leading law journals including the Michigan Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, and the Supreme Court Review. He also comments frequently in leading publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, USA Today, and Time Magazine.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the Harvard Law School faculty,” Klarman said. “As a visitor in 2005-06, I was incredibly impressed with the talent, motivation, and cordiality of the students. I already have some close friends on the faculty and am a huge admirer of the work of many others. The fact that Harvard is just a long stroll from Fenway Park makes this almost a dream come true. I am especially grateful to Dean Kagan, without whose passion, warmth, and generosity I don’t think this would have happened.”
Klarman’s scholarly work and teaching has garnered him several awards, including the first Roger and Madeleine Traynor Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship given by Virginia Law, the University of Virginia Harrison Achievement Award, the State Council of Higher Education Faculty Award, and the All-University Teaching Award, one of the University’s highest honors for excellence in teaching, research, and service.
Klarman holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a D. Phil in History from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa and was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford. After graduation from law school, Klarman clerked for Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Klarman’s appointment brings the total number of full-time faculty to 94, the largest in HLS history. He is the 22nd tenured or tenure-track professor hired by HLS in the past five academic years.