Paul Finkelman, a specialist in American legal history, constitutional law, race and the law, and first amendment issues, has been named the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. He will join the faculty in July 2006.
Prior to accepting his position at Albany Law School, Finkelman was Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law since 1999. He was previously the John F. Seiberling Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Akron's Law School. In addition, he has taught and held chairs at a number of other schools, including Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Hamline Law School, the University of Miami, Lewis and Clark College of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Virginia Tech, Brooklyn Law School, and the University of Texas at Austin.
"As the school moves toward becoming a smaller, more selective institution, we are attracting some of the best scholars in the country," said President and Dean Thomas F. Guernsey. "Albany Law is honored that Professor Finkelman, a nationally known scholar, will join our faculty."
Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case, and his work on the religion and legal history is cited in briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court involving this issue. Last year, Justice John Paul Stevens cited his article on this issue in his opinion in Van Orden v. Perry. He was also an expert witness in the lawsuit over the ownership of the 73rd home run ball hit by Barry Bonds in 2001.
Finkelman is the author or editor of over 20 books and has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Some of his books include Constitutional Law in Context (2006), American Legal History: Cases and Materials (2005), Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown (2005), Encyclopedia of Harlem Renaissance (2004), Landmark Decisions of the United States Supreme Court (2003), A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States (2002), and Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson (2001).
He was a Fellow in Law and the Humanities at Harvard Law School and received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Chicago. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University and was raised in Watertown, New York. The President William McKinley Distinguished Professorship in Law and Public Policy Professorship was established to honor U.S. President William McKinley, a member of Albany Law School's Class of 1867.