Columbia Law School Students Choose Gillian Metzger '96 as 2014 Professor of the Year

Vice Dean Metzger, an Expert on Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Federalism, Will Receive the Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching at May 22 Graduation Ceremony

New York, May 9, 2014—Columbia Law School 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 students in this year’s graduating class.

Metzger, the Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, serves as vice dean for intellectual life and is the faculty director for the 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. In the past year, she helped launch a movie series in which professors and students gather together to watch thought-provoking films and discuss the cultural and legal issues addressed on screen.
Professor and Vice Dean Gillian E. Metzger '96 received the Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching from the Class of 2014.
Metzger currently teaches a public law workshop, as well as courses on constitutional law, administrative law, and the federal courts, drawing 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 the 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 other publications. Her most recent article, a widely read piece on how federal administrative agencies help implement the Constitution, appeared in the
Texas Law Review.
In 2013, she co-editedThe Health Care Case: The Supreme Court’s Decision and Its Implications,  a book on the June 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed President Obama’s landmark health care legislation to move forward. The book includes chapters by the nation’s top scholars in constitutional, administrative, and health law and is divided into four parts: general reaction to the decision and related litigation, examination of specific arguments and conflicting interpretations of the scope of federal power, observations on the role of the chief justice, and a discussion of the decision’s implications for health and regulatory policy. Metzger wrote on the presumption of constitutionality and the controversial individual mandate, which requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.  
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, 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.