Healy bio pic

Thomas Joseph Healy

  • Visiting Professor of Law

Thomas Healy is the Board of Visitors Distinguished Professor at Seton Hall Law School. He teaches and writes about constitutional law, freedom of speech, federal courts, legal history, and civil rights.

He is the author of “The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind – and Changed the History of Free Speech in America,” which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, and was named one of the fifteen best non-fiction books of 2013 by the Christian Science Monitor. His latest book, “Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia,” explores the 1970s attempt to build a city dedicated to racial equality in rural North Carolina. It won the Hooks National Book Award, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and was named one of the best books of 2021 by Library Journal.

Healy has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Public Scholar Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has also been a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. 

He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was Book Review and Essay Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and was an associate at Sidley Austin Brown and Wood. He also worked for many years as a newspaper reporter, first in North Carolina and later as Supreme Court Correspondent for the Baltimore Sun.

His scholarship has appeared in the Michigan Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the North Carolina Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, and other journals. He has written essays and book reviews for The AtlanticThe New York TimesThe Nation, and The L.A. Review of Books, and his work has been featured in The New Yorker and on NPR’s Code Switch and Radiolab.