Paul Finkelman

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law



A specialist in American legal history, constitutional law, and race and the law, Professor Paul Finkelman is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles​ and more t​han 30 books. His op-eds and shorter pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the​ Washington Post, USA Today, and on theHuffington Pos​t. He was recently na​med the ninth most cited legal historian according to "Brian Leieter's Law School Rankings."

He is an expert in constitutional history and constitutional law, freedom of religion, the law of slavery, civil liberties and the American Civil War, and legal issues surrounding baseball. He has written extensively on Thomas Jefferson and on Abraham Lincoln. Professor Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case and his scholarship on religious monuments in public spaces was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry(2005). His scholarship on the Second Amendment has also been cited by the Supreme Court. In 2002 he was a key expert witness in the suit over who owned Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball.

C-SPAN was on the Albany Law School campus in fall 2010 to tape Professor Paul Finkelman's two-hour class on the Dred Scott case. The program aired nationally and is now part of C-Span’s series on American History. He has also appeared on other C-Span programs, on PBS, and the History Channel. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​