Richard Briffault

Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation

Office: Jerome Greene Hall - Room 726
435 West 116th Street
New York NY 10027
Tel: 212.854.2638
Fax: 212.854.7946

Assistant Info

Name: Taylor Cook
Phone: 212.854.4282

Courses/Current Research

  • State and local government law
  • Property law
  • Election law


  • Harvard, J.D., 1977
  • Columbia, B.A., 1974

Media Contact:

Detailed Biography:

B.A., Columbia, 1974; J.D., Harvard, 1977. Developments editor, Harvard Law Review. Law clerk to Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1977-78. Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, 1978-80. Assistant counsel to the Governor of the State of New York, 1980-82.

Joined the Columbia faculty in 1983. Member, Mayor Koch's Early Childhood Education Commission, 1985-86; counsel, Governor Cuomo's Advisory Commission on Liability Insurance, 1986; consultant, New York City Charter Revision Commission, 1987-89; member, New York City Real Property Tax Reform Commission, 1993; consultant, New York State Commission on Constitutional Revision, 1993-94. Visiting scholar, Taubman Center for State and Local Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1996-97. Executive director, Special Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 1998-2000.

Publications include "Our Localism," Columbia Law Review (1990); "Who Rules at Home? One Person, One Vote and Local Governments," University of Chicago Law Review (1993); "Balancing Acts: The Reality Behind State Balanced Budget Requirements," (1996); "The Local Government Boundary Problem in Metropolitan Areas," Stanford Law Review (1996); "A Government for Our Time? Business Improvement Districts and Urban Governance," Columbia Law Review (1999). Judicial Campaign Codes After Republican Party of Minnesota v White 153 U. Penn. L. Rev. 181 (2004); Home Rule for the Twenty-first Century, 36 Urban Lawyer 253 (2004); McConnell v FEC and the Transformation of Campaign Finance Law;  3 Election L. J. 147 (2004); The Disfavored Constitution: State Fiscal Limits and State Constitutional Law, 34 Rutgers L. J. 907 (2003); The Future of Reform: Campaign Finance Reform After the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, 34 Ariz. St. L. J. 1179 (2002); Facing the Urban Future After September 11, 2001 34 Urban Lawyer 563 (2002); Bush v Gore as an Equal Protection Case, 29 Florida State U. L. Rev. 325 (2002); Nixon v Shrink Missouri Government PAC: The Beginning of the End of the  Buckley Era?, 85 Minn. L. Rev. 1729 (2001); The Political Parties and Campaign Finance Reform, 100 Colum. L. Rev. 620 (2000); Localism and Regionalism,  48 U. Buffalo L. Rev. 1 (2000); Issue Advocacy: Redrawing the Elections/Politics Line,  77 Tex. L. Rev. 1751 (1999).