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Columbia Law School Welcomes Five New Members to Its Faculty

These talented teachers and superb scholars will enrich the intellectual life of the classroom and the community.

Five new faculty members with expertise in areas ranging from environmental law and social science data analysis to legal history and access to justice will join the Columbia Law School faculty, Dean Gillian Lester announced today.

Kellen R. Funk,  Maeve Glass ’09, Justin McCrary, Jedediah Purdy, and Colleen Shanahan ’03 become the newest members of the faculty. This is the largest cohort to join Columbia Law School in more than a decade.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding scholars and teachers to Columbia Law School,” said Lester, the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. “Their rigorous, cutting-edge scholarship and commitment to innovative teaching will enrich our faculty, our community, and our classrooms.”

The five new professors bring unique skill sets and interests, and two—Glass and Shanahan—are alumnae.


Kellen R. Funk

Kellen R. FunkFunk is completing his Ph.D. in American History at Princeton University, where he is a Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow. After graduating from Yale Law School in 2014, he worked as a clerk to U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas and Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has held legal history fellowships at Yale Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the American Society for Legal History. Funk studies 19th-century American legal institutions, practice, and theory—the development of the legal profession, the reform of civil trial practice, the codification of the common law, and the intersection of American law and American Christianity. His work is methodologically innovative, combining historical research methods with data science. Funk will join the faculty as an associate professor of law on July 1, 2018.


Maeve Glass ’09

Maeve Glass ’09Glass is currently an academic fellow at Columbia Law School, from where she graduated as a James Kent Scholar in 2009. Prior to becoming an academic fellow, Glass completed her Ph.D. in American History from Princeton University. She previously held fellowships in legal history at Harvard Law School and New York University School of Law. In addition to U.S. legal history, Glass studies constitutional law, property law, and the laws of American slavery. In 2017, she received the American Society for Legal History’s William Nelson Cromwell Foundation prize for her dissertation work, These United States: A History of the Fracturing of America, which uses an interdisciplinary model of inquiry to offer a new account of the origins and development of the U.S. Constitution. Glass will join the faculty as an associate professor of law on July 1, 2018.


Justin McCrary

Justin McCraryBefore joining UC-Berkeley School of Law in 2008, McCrary—who was the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School in the fall of 2017—was a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. He previously directed Berkeley’s Social Science Data Laboratory, which helps students, faculty, and staff who are engaged in data-intensive social science research. McCrary’s own research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, focuses on policing, crime, securities, antitrust, and empirical methods in law. He has taught courses on corporations; litigation and statistics; the law and economics of discrimination; quantitative methods; and race, policy, and data science. McCrary, who earned his A.B. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley, is on the board of directors of the American Law and Economics Association and is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He will join the faculty as professor of law on July 1, 2018.


Jedediah Purdy

Jedediah PurdyPurdy began his teaching career in 2004 at Duke Law School where he is currently the Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law. He previously clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. He has held fellowships at Harvard University and served as a visiting professor at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center. Purdy teaches and studies constitutional, environmental, and property law. He also teaches legal theory and writes on issues at the intersection of law and social and political thought. In addition to four books, Purdy has published essays in publications such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker. His forthcoming paper, “Beyond the Bosses’ Constitution: Political Economy for a Democratic First Amendment,” will be published by the Columbia Law Review in the fall as part of a symposium on the First Amendment the Review co-sponsored in March. Purdy received his A.B. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He will join the faculty as professor of law in July, 2019.


Colleen Shanahan ’03

Colleen Shanahan ’03After graduating from Columbia Law School, Shanahan clerked for two federal judges and worked in private practice as a civil and criminal litigator at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. and Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller in Philadelphia before entering academia. She served as a lecturer at Columbia Law School and a visiting associate professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she directed the Community Justice Project. In 2014, she joined Temple University Beasley School of Law where she launched Justice Lab, an advocacy clinic that works on access to justice, criminal justice reform, racial justice, housing, and reentry issues for clients that include community groups, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies. In 2017, the Justice Lab’s work on juvenile justice received the Clinical Legal Education Association’s Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project. Shanahan’s work focuses on empirical studies of civil courts, access to justice, and the intersection of civil and criminal law. She earned her A.B. from Princeton University and a LL.M. from Georgetown Law.  She will join the faculty as associate clinical professor of law on July 1, 2018.

“These superb teachers and scholars will enrich our intellectual community and help ensure that Columbia remains the top destination for the most talented and influential legal scholars from around the world,” Dean Lester said.

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Published on April 9, 2018

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