Reese Prize: Professor Gillian E. Metzger
Professor Gillian E. Metzger ’96, a leading expert on constitutional law, administrative law, and federalism, has been selected to receive the 2014 Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching by this year’s graduating class. Metzger, Columbia Law School’s Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, serves as vice dean for intellectual life and is the faculty director for the Law School’s Center for Constitutional Governance.
A February 1996 graduate of Columbia Law School, Metzger credits Professor Henry Paul Monaghan with spurring her interest in the field of public law, and she makes it a point to serve as a mentor to new generations of law students. As vice dean, Metzger works to encourage a robust academic environment that fosters faculty-student interactions. She currently teaches a public law workshop, as well as courses on constitutional law, administrative law, and the federal courts. Metzger draws from her extensive scholarly work to help students understand complex legal issues that shape the federal government. “The material I teach tends to be dense and difficult,” she says. “Seeing students understand how the pieces fit together is really gratifying.”
In 2012, Metzger helped launch Columbia Law School’s Center for Constitutional Governance, which brings together a dynamic roster of constitutional scholars engaged in the study of governmental structure and relationships. She helped organize the center’s first major conference—a 2013 symposium focused on the Obama administration’s domestic programs and policies—as well as a 2014 conference on administrative law and financial regulation.
A highly regarded constitutional law scholar, Metzger’s work has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, and the Duke Law Journal, among others. Her most recent article, a widely read piece on how federal administrative agencies help implement the Constitution, appeared in the Texas Law Review. Metzger is also a co-author of the 11th edition of Gellhorn and Byse’s Administrative Law casebook. The media regularly relies on her expert analysis of constitutional issues, and she has co-authored several amicus curiae briefs in major cases—including one arguing that Congress had power to enact the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate under its tax power, a position the Supreme Court ultimately adopted.
After earning her degree from Columbia Law School in February 1996, Metzger served as a law clerk to Judge Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, before going on to clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59. She holds a B.A. from Yale and a B. Phil. from Oxford.