Lee Epstein

Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor

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Biography

Lee Epstein is the Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research and teaching interests center on law and legal institutions, especially the behavior of judges.

A recipient of 12 grants from the National Science Foundation, Epstein has authored or co-authored more than 130 articles and essays and 18 books, including The Choices Justices Make (co-authored with Jack Knight), which won the Pritchett Award for the Best Book on Law and Courts and, more recently, the Lasting Contribution Award “for a book or journal article, 10 years or older, that has made a lasting impression on the field of law and courts.”

The Constitutional Law for a Changing America series (co-authored with Thomas Walker), now in its 10th edition, received the Teaching and Mentoring Award from a section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).

Recent books are The Behavior of Federal Judges, with William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner (Harvard University Press); An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research, with Andrew D. Martin (Oxford University Press); and The Oxford Handbook on U.S. Judicial Behavior (edited with Stefanie A. Lindquist).

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Stories

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, visited Washington University in St. Louis twice during her career — in 1979 and 2001. She met with students and faculty, lectured and even contributed journal articles to the Washington University Law Quarterly and Washington University Journal of Law & Policy. Faculty from the School of Law reflect on her long and influential career.
How the Religious Right Has Transformed the Supreme Court

How the Religious Right Has Transformed the Supreme Court

If Justice Ginsburg, who had the most secular voting record of any justice since 1953, is replaced with a religious conservative like Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch or Thomas, the court’s jurisprudence will veer even farther from the values she brought to the law.
Replacing Justice Ginsburg

Replacing Justice Ginsburg

President Donald Trump’s top picks to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court — Judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa — would fall ideologically somewhere between Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito, shifting the median of court far to the right, suggests a new analysis by Supreme Court experts at Washington University in St. Louis.
Toward a more civil discourse

Toward a more civil discourse

Reappropriation — by which a group of people reclaims words or artifacts that were previously used in a way disparaging of that group — can tame uncivil discourse, finds a new study by political scientists and a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.