Harvard election law expert to join Yale’s faculty

Heather Gerken, a professor of election law, constitutional law, and civil procedure at Harvard Law School, will join the Yale Law School faculty next semester.

Gerken, who specializes in voting law, diversity and the role of groups in the democratic process, has published articles in a number of law reviews, including the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Stanford Law Review. She is currently working on a book about what she calls “second-order diversity” in American public law.

Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh said he was looking forward to having Gerken on the faculty.

“Gerken speaks with one of the most exciting and powerful new scholarly voices in the legal academy,” Koh said in a press release. “Her work shines penetrating light both on why we value diversity, and on what kinds of diversity we should value.”

Gerken graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1994 and clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court Justice David Souter before entering into private practice. She joined the faculty of Harvard Law School as an assistant professor of law in 2000 and was promoted to professor of law in 2005.

While at Harvard Law School, Gerken became the first junior professor to win the prestigious Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence, which is awarded annually to the school’s most exceptional professor.

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