Kellen Funk

Kellen R. Funk

  • Associate Professor of Law

Ph.D., Princeton University, 2018
J.D., Yale Law School, 2014
B.A., Bob Jones University, 2007

Areas of Specialty

History of the Practice and Profession of Law
Pretrial Procedure and Bail Bonding
The Development of Federal Equity
Religious Freedom & Pluralism
Digital Text Analysis

Kellen R. Funk is a legal historian with expertise in civil procedure and remedies. He has written on the history of civil litigation practices in the United States, the development and reform of the American bail system, and the juridical processes of churches and religious groups. 

Funk joined the Columbia Law faculty in 2018 after completing his Ph.D. in American history at Princeton University, where he was a Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow. His first book, The Lawyers’ Code, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. It explores how the 1848 enactment of New York’s Field Code shaped the field of American civil procedure by merging law and equity, accelerating creditors’ remedies, and giving lawyers supremacy over the rules of litigation. 

Funk’s scholarship combines historical research methods with data science, and he is piloting a project to digitize the paper filings for nearly every civil case litigated in New York County in the 19th century. He received the Harold Berman Award from the American Association of Law School’s Law and Religion Section for his 2017 article in the Journal of Law & Religion, “Church Corporations and the Conflict of Laws in Antebellum America.”


Honors and Awards

Harold Berman Award, Association of American Law Schools


Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar, American Society for Legal History


Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow, Princeton University


Professional Experience

  • Clerk, Judge Stephen F. Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2017–2018)
  • Clerk, Chief Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (2016–2017)