Suk gains tenure as professor of law at Harvard

Jeannie Suk ’02

Credit: Nina Subin “The law makes fewer distinctions in human interactions and regulates so much more than might be ideal for protecting autonomy in the home.”

Jeannie Suk ’02 has gained tenure as a professor of law at Harvard. The faculty voted to grant tenure on Oct. 14 and Harvard University approved it immediately thereafter.

Suk—whose research interests include criminal law and procedure, family law, art law, and entertainment law—joined the law school faculty as an assistant professor in 2006. She currently teaches courses on criminal law and on performing arts and law.

Suk is the first tenured Asian-American woman at the law school.

“Jeannie Suk’s imaginative, probing, and sometimes provocative scholarship builds bridges between criminal and family law, between law and the humanities, and between theory and practice,” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. “Her superb teaching and intellectual leadership model the life of the mind and I know her colleagues and students are thrilled to celebrate the recognition of her accomplishments signified by her promotion to the post of tenured Professor of Law.”

Suk said: “Harvard has been the most exciting and supportive place possible to do work I love to do, and to have my faculty vote tenure for me for doing this work makes me feel very fortunate.”

Suk is author of two books, “Postcolonial Paradoxes in French Caribbean Writing” (Oxford University Press 2001) and “At Home in the Law: How the Domestic Violence Revolution is Transforming Privacy” (Yale University Press 2009).

Her book, “At Home in the Law,” which examines how legal feminism is transforming privacy in the home through the regulation of domestic violence, won the Herbert Jacob Prize from the Law and Society Association this year.

In 2009, Suk was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to research the legal construction of trauma, and was the inaugural Senior Fellow of the Humanities Center at Harvard. Her third book, “The Trauma Society,” is forthcoming.

Her writing has appeared in the Yale Law Journal,  Columbia Law Review, Wall Street Journal, Slate, and elsewhere.

Last year, Suk co-authored a highly influential article in the Stanford Law Review (vol. 61, issue 5, March 2009) arguing that American fashion designers should have their designs protected by law against close copies. [See Boston Globe profile]

Suk—who immigrated to the United States from Seoul, Korea as a child—received her bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale University. She earned her doctoral degree from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and went on to attend Harvard Law School on a Paul and Daisy Soros scholarship.

She has served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court and to Judge Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Suk has been recognized as a “Top Woman of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and will be honored with this award in December.