Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs ("LAPA") explores the role of law in constituting politics, society, the economy and culture. LAPA participants are engaged in the study of law both in the present and over time, not only in the US, but also in countries around the world and across national borders. Each year, LAPA brings to Princeton a select group of residential fellows and occasional visitors drawn from the academy, legal practice, government, and policy-making institutions. They join a collection of professors on Princeton's permanent faculty who draw upon diverse methodologies to investigate legal phenomena. By combining the multidisciplinary expertise of Princeton's faculty with knowledge and perspectives provided by leading academic and practical experts on the law, the Program in Law and Public Affairs has created an exciting new forum for teaching and research about the legal technologies and institutions needed to address the complex problems of the new century.
LAPA facilitates teaching and research (see publications by faculty, by fellows, and by students) on law throughout the university by coordinating the efforts of the law-engaged faculty around Princeton, adding the expertise of a set of extraordinary fellows and visitors, and running a series of seminars, guest speakers, workshops, and conferences to bring law-related expertise together in one place. LAPA hosts an annual retreat for the law-engaged faculty, graduate students, fellows and visitors to meet each other and to learn about each other's work. LAPA organizes a biweekly seminar, which serves as a forum for faculty and guest speakers to present cutting-edge work on law and law-related phenomena. LAPA also sponsors a biweekly seminar for graduate students to hone their talents, meet law-engaged graduate students from other departments and programs, and share their work with both faculty and fellow graduate students. LAPA is home to an undergraduate forum for students to explore the intellectual side of law and to meet fellows, visitors, graduate students and faculty in the field. LAPA produces a working-paper series through the Social Science Research Network and publishes the results of LAPA projects and conferences. In addition, LAPA brings distinguished speakers to campus and organizes workshops on topics of pressing concern (Altneuland Conference, Conference on North American Constitutionalism, Conference on Constitutional Patriotism).
LAPA was founded in 1999 as a joint venture of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs , the the University Center for Human Values, and the Politics Department. LAPA's inaugural director was Stephen J. Macedo, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and in the University Center for Human Values. Professor Macedo then became, and is currently, the Director of the University Center for Human Values. LAPA's next director was Christopher L. Eisgruber, who was recruited from the New York University Law School as an expert in American constitutional theory with a specialty in law and religion. Professor Eisgruber had been LAPA director for three years when he was tapped to become Princeton University Provost. The current director is Kim Lane Scheppele, who is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and in the University Center for Human Values. She is also a faculty associate in politics. Professor Scheppele joined the Princeton faculty as Director of LAPA in 2005 after nine years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was the O'Brien Professor of Comparative Law and Professor of Sociology.
LAPA's activities are overseen by a 9-member Executive Committee composed of distinguished members of the Princeton faculty, plus Kim Lane Scheppele as LAPA's Director, Charles Beitz as UCHV's Director, and the Woodrow Wilson School Dean.
Former Acting Director, Program in Law and Public Affairs (2009-2010);
Associate Professor of Politics
Carol J. Greenhouse,
Professor of Anthropology
Hendrik A. Hartog,
Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty; Professor of History; Director, Program in American Studies
Stanley N. Katz,
Lecturer with the rank of Professor in Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School
Professor of Politics; Acting Director, Program in Political Philosophy; Director, Program in Values and Public Life
Stephen J. Macedo,
Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values
Professor of Politics
Associate Professor of Sociology
Alan W. Patten,
Professor of Politics; Acting Director, University Center for Human Values
Cecilia E. Rouse,
Dean, Woodrow Wilson School
Kim Lane Scheppele,
Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values
Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs