Date(s) - 11/07/19
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Northwestern Student Chapter
Northwestern Student Chapter Federalist Society
Prof. Joshua Kleinfeld
Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Joshua Kleinfeld teaches and writes about political, legal, and moral philosophy, criminal law, and criminal procedure. He also practices law in Northwestern’s Juvenile Criminal Defense Clinic. He is a full professor with tenure at the Northwestern Pritzker School of the Law and (by courtesy) in Northwestern’s philosophy department. In 2017-18, he was a visiting professor at Harvard and Stanford Law Schools. He is the recipient of the Bator Award, given annually to one American law professor under the age of 40 who has demonstrated “excellence in legal scholarship, a commitment to teaching, a concern for students, and who has made a significant public impact.”
In philosophy, Kleinfeld’s research focuses on the idea of “embodied ethical life,” as developed in the socio-theoretic tradition of Hegel, Weber, and Durkheim. This tradition aims to understand and critique social life by bringing to light the normative ideas implicit in social practices and institutions. In law, this means that the most interesting philosophical concepts are often those reflected or actualized in legal practice – in the law as judges and lawyers think of it and wield it.
In criminal law and procedure, Kleinfeld has developed a theory known as “reconstructivism,” which holds that the chief office of criminal law is not to dole out retributive justice, nor to optimize crime and cost control, but to reconstruct a violated normative order in the wake of a crime. This work, which draws on the thought of Hegel, Durkheim, Jean Hampton, and Antony Duff, develops an alternative to retributive and utilitarian theories of criminal law by focusing on the distinctive social function and sense of justice at work in the criminal system.
Kleinfeld is also involved in practical criminal justice reform. In this vein, he defends children accused of homicide in the Northwestern Juvenile Criminal Defense clinic and assists in litigation efforts meant to reform American criminal law through the courts. He has also developed a view of criminal justice reform known as “democratization,” which holds that the root of the American criminal justice crisis is a set of bureaucratic attitudes, structures, and incentives divorced from the American public’s concerns and sense of justice, and that the primary solution is to make criminal justice more community-focused and responsive to lay influences. Working with others, he has developed a number of policy proposals meant to reform American criminal justice in a democratic direction.
Kleinfeld holds a JD from Yale Law School, a PhD in philosophy from the Goethe University of Frankfurt (supervised by Axel Honneth, Klaus Günther, and Rainer Forst), and a BA in philosophy from Yale College. He clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Judge Janice Rogers Brown on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; and President (chief justice) Aharon Barak of the Supreme Court of Israel. He worked as an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in Frankfurt, Germany, in the area of corporate criminal law. Before law school, he worked as a Senior Research Analyst at the White House’s Council on Bioethics.
Director , Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute
Ilya Shapiro is the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/adviser to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule-of-law issues and practiced at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb.
Shapiro is the co-author of Religious Liberties for Corporations? Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution (2014), and editor of 11 volumes of the Cato Supreme Court Review (2008-18). He has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, and New York Times Online. He also regularly provides commentary for various media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo, the Colbert Report, PBS NewsHour, and NPR.
Shapiro has testified before Congress and state legislatures and has filed more than 300 amicus curiae “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court, including one that The Green Bag selected for its “Exemplary Legal Writing” collection. He lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society, was an inaugural Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute and a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, and has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School. He is also the chairman of the board of advisors of the Mississippi Justice Institute, and a member of the Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2015, National Law Journal named him to its 40 under 40 list of “rising stars.”
Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He holds an AB from Princeton University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School (where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow).