Skip to main content

Faculty and Administration Profiles

Barry Sullivan

Title/s:  Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and George Anastaplo Professor of Constitutional Law and History

Office #:  Corboy 1417

Phone: 312.915.7787

Email: bsullivan7@luc.edu

CV Link: Sullivan CV


Barry Sullivan, who was appointed in 2009 as the inaugural holder of the Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago, has had a varied career in the private practice of law, government legal practice, the teaching of law and public policy, and university administration. In 2019, Professor Sullivan was appointed as the inaugural George Anastaplo Professor of Constitutional Law and History.

Professor Sullivan was Dean of the School of Law at Washington and Lee University from 1994 to 1999 and Vice-President of the University in 1998-99. He was also a long-time litigation partner at Jenner & Block (1981-94, 2001-09), where he focused on appellate practice.

Professor Sullivan has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Bayreuth (2017, 2018, 2019), the inaugural Arthur Cox Visiting Research Fellow and Visiting Professor at Trinity College Dublin (2013), the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair in Legal Studies at the University of Alberta (2011), an academic visitor at the Woodrow Wilson School (2011), a visiting fellow of the University of London (Queen Mary College) (2001), and a Fulbright professor at the University of Warsaw (2000-01). From 2005 to 2009, he was Senior Lecturer at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He has also lectured frequently at Bocconi University (Milan), the University of Warsaw, and Trinity College Dublin, among other places. In summer 2022, Professor Sullivan was part of the “founding faculty” for the Flying University for Ukrainian Students.

Professor Sullivan has delivered the Jessica Swift Lecture in Constitutional Law at Middlebury College (1991), the Rufus Monroe and Sophie Payne Lecture at the University of Missouri-Columbia (2003), and the Charles L. Ihlenfeld Lecture on Public Policy and Ethics at West Virginia University (2005). In 2015, Professor Sullivan presented a lecture entitled “The United States Supreme Court: Empirical Studies and the Case of Oral Submissions” at the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland.

Professor Sullivan began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans and later served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. His scholarly work has appeared in leading journals in the U.S. and Europe, including the Supreme Court Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Northwestern Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the Dublin University Law Journal. His 2012 article, “FOIA and the First Amendment: Representative Democracy and the People’s Elusive ‘Right to Know,’” 72 Md. L. Rev. 1 (2012), was selected for inclusion in First Amendment Handbook, 2013-14, (Rodney Smolla, ed.), and his 2014 essay, “In This, The Winter of Our Discontent: Legal Practice, Legal Education, and The Culture of Distrust,” 62 Buff. L. Rev. 659 (2014) (with Alfred S. Konefsky), was included in the Green Bag Almanac and Reader 2015 recommended reading.  

Professor Sullivan has litigated cases in many state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Among his notable cases is People v. Wilson, 116 Ill. 2d 29 (1987), in which the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a death penalty conviction based on police torture in Area 2 of the Chicago Police Department. He was counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law as amicus curiae in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), and for the American Bar Association as amicus curiae in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004). He was one of the attorneys for the United States in American Textile Manufacturers Institute v. Donovan, 452 U.S. 490 (1981), and, more recently, argued City of Bridgeton v. Missouri-American Water Co., 219 S.W.3d 226 (Mo. Sup. Ct. 2007), a landmark land-use case. In 2013, Professor Sullivan was one of the attorneys who represented the American Bar Association as amicus curiae in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Carlos Augosto Rodriguez Vera and Others (Palace of Justice) v. State of Colombia, a human rights case arising out of the November 1985 hostage-taking at the Palace of Justice in Bogota, Colombia.

Professor Sullivan has served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs, the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline, the Council of the Section of Individual Rights, the Council of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, and the Council of the Section of Legal Education. He was founding chair of the ABA’s Coordinating Committee on AIDS and also served on the executive board and the advisory council of the ABA Center for Human Rights. Professor Sullivan also has been a member of the Visiting Committees to the Divinity School and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Dublin University Law Journal.

Professor Sullivan is a Life Trustee of Catholic Theological Union and previously served as Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. Upon his retirement from the deanship at Washington and Lee, the faculty created the “Barry Sullivan Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law,” which is awarded annually to the student with the highest standing in constitutional law courses. Professor Sullivan received the Progressives in the Profession Award from the Black Law Students Association of the DePaul University College of Law in 2006 and was named a “Legal Legend” by the Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society in 2010.

Professor Sullivan is a graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Chicago Law School, a member of the Fellows of Phi Beta Kappa, a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and a Life Member of the American Law Institute.


AB cum laude, high honors in philosophy and political science, Phi Beta Kappa, Middlebury College, 1970
JD, University of Chicago Law School, 1974

Program Areas

Argument and Persuasion
Constitutional Law
Federal Courts
Reading Constitutions: A Comparative Inquiry
Supreme Court Seminar
Separation of Powers

Selected Publications

Articles, Book Chapters, and Review Essays

Lessons of the Plague Years, 54 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. __ (2022) (forthcoming). 

The Supreme Court and the People: Communicating Decisions to the Public, 24 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 1 (2022) (with Ramon Feldbrin). 

Essay Review of Maureen Duffy, Detention of Terrorism Suspects: Political Discourse and Fragmented Practices, 26 Can. Crim. L. Rev. 117 (2021).  

Reforming the Office of Legal Counsel, 35 Notre Dame J. of Law, Ethics, and Pub. Pol. 723 (2021) (symposium). 

John Minor Wisdom: Un Petit Hommage, in Of Courtiers and Princes: Stories of Lower Court Clerks and Their Judges (Todd C. Peppers, ed.) (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2020).

COVID-19 and American Democracy, Il diritto dell’economia, anno 66, no. 2, p. 123 (2-2020).

Democratic Conditions, 51 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 555 (2019).

Supreme Court Journalism: From Law to Spectacle?, 77 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 345 (2020) (with Cristina Carmody Tilley). 

The Science of Administrative Change, 52 Conn. L. Rev. 1 (2020) (with Christine Kexel Chabot).

Prophesy, Public Theology, and Questions of Justice: Some Modest Reflections, 50 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 45 (2018).

Three Tiers, Exceedingly Persuasive Justifications and Undue Burdens: Searching for the Golden Mean in US Constitutional Law, 20 Eur. J. L. Reform 181 (2018).

The Power of Imagination: Diversity and the Education of Lawyers and Judges, 51 UC Davis L. Rev. 1105 (2018)

The United States Supreme Court: Empirical Studies and the Case of Oral Submissions (Lecture given for an invitation of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, Warsaw, 27.10.2015), 72:12 Panstwo i Prawo 110 (2017)

Just Listening: The Equal Hearing Principle and The Moral Life of Judges, 48 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. 351 (2016) (symposium), reprinted in The Romanian Judges’ Forum Review, No. 1, 39 (2017).

Interruptions in Search of A Purpose: Oral Argument in the Supreme Court, October Terms 1958-60 and 2010-12, 2015 Utah L. Rev. 1005 (2015)(with Megan Canty).

Access to Information: Citizenship, Representative Democracy, and Catholic Social Thought in Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices from Four Continents (Michael Schuck and John Crowley-Buck, eds.) (New York: Fordham University Press, 2016).

In This, The Winter of Our Discontent: Legal Practice, Legal Education, and The Culture of Distrust, 62 Buff. L. Rev. 659 (2014) (with Alfred S. Konefsky).

Law and Discretion in Supreme Court Recusals: A Response to Professor Lubet (Tabor Lecture), 47 Val. L. Rev. 907 (2013).

What Kahneman Means for Lawyers; Some Reflections on Thinking, Fast and Slow, 44 Loy. U Chi. L.J. 1377 (2013) (with Charles W. Murdock).

A Book that Shaped Your World: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 50 Alberta L. Rev. 934 (2013).

FOIA and The First Amendment: Representative Government and The People's Elusive "Right to Know," 72 Md. L. Rev. 1 (2012).

"Death is Different' No Longer:" Graham v. Florida and the Future of Eighth Amendment Challenges to Noncapital Sentences, 2010 Sup. Ct. Rev. 327 (with Alison Siegler).

Methods and Materials in Constitutional Law: Some Thoughts on Access to Government Information as a Problem for Constitutional Theory and Socio-Legal Studies, 13 Eur. J. L. Reform 4 (2011).

The Executive's Authority over Enemy Combatants: Due Process and its Limits, 2011 Crim. L. & Proc. Rev. 94 (with Megan Canty).

Formal and Informal Aggrandizement of Executive Power, 2 (12) Societas/Communitas 44 (2011)

The Humanity of Advocacy (Cooney & Conway Inaugural Chair Lecture), 42 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. xxiii (2010).

Justice Jackson's Republic and Ours, in Law and Democracy in the Empire of Force (H. Jefferson Powell and James Boyd White, eds.) (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009).

When Disabled Homeowners Lose Their Homes for a Pittance in Unpaid Property Taxes: Some Lessons from In Re Mary Lowe, 5 NAELA J. 159 (2009) (with Robert F. Harris and Charles P. Golbert).

The Irish Constitution: Some Reflections from Abroad in The Irish Constitution: Governance and Values (Oran Doyle and Eoin Carolan, eds.) (Dublin: Thomson Round Hall, 2008).

Other Minds: The Use and Uses of Oral Argument, The Circuit Rider 11 (June 2008), reprinted in Effective Advocacy in the Federal Appellate Courts Course Manual (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2008).

Rule 23(f): A Note on Law and Discretion in the Courts of Appeals, 246 F.R.D. 277 (2008) (with Amy Kobelski Trueblood), reprinted in Managing Complex Litigation: A Practical Guide to New Developments, Procedures, and Strategies (Jerold S. Solovy, ed.) (New York: Practicing Law Institute, 2008), and in Rule 23(f) Class Certification Appeals: Strategies for Pursuing or Opposing Appellate Review in the Absence of Clear Standards Course Materials (Atlanta: Class Action Law Monitor and Stafford Publications, 2009).

Constitutional Interpretation as "Interfaith Communion": The Use of Foreign Legal Materials in U.S. Courts, IBA Legal Practice Division Litigation Committee Newsletter 41 (May 2007) (with Bilal Zaheer).

Constitutional Interpretation and Republican Government, 28 Dublin U. L. J. 221 (2006).

Essential Choices, 33:1 Human Rights i (2006) (with Penny Wakefield).

Private Practice, Public Profession: Convictions, Commitments, and the Availability of Counsel, 108 W. Va. L. Rev. 1 (2005) (Charles L. Ihlenfeld Lecture).

Essay Review of Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism, 27 Dublin U.L.J. 431 (2005).

In Focus: Circuit Court Review, 7th Circuit, 28:8 National Law Journal S1 (October 24, 2005) (with Barry Levenstam).

Precedent and Constitutional Adjudication, 3:2 Warsaw U. L. Rev. 141 (2004).

Naked Fitzies and Iron Cages: Individual Values, Professional Virtues, and the Struggle for Public Space, 78 Tul. L. Rev. 1687 (2004), reprinted at RPP Journal, (Rufus Monroe and Sophie Payne Lecture).

AIDS and the Law: Then and Now, 31:4 Human Rights i (2004) (with Richard T. Andrias).

Essay Review of Deborah L. Rhode, In the Interests of Justice: Reforming the Legal Profession, 5 Legal Ethics 179 (2002).

Foreword: Enduring and Empowering: The Bill of Rights in the Third Millennium, 65 Law & Contemp. Probs. 1 (2002) (with James E. Coleman, Jr.).

The Bill of Rights and the Emerging Democracies, 65 Law & Contemp. Probs. 251 (2002) (with Jacek Kurczewski).

On the Borderlands of Chevron’s Empire: An Essay on Title VII, Agency Procedures and Priorities, and the Power of Judicial Review, 62 La. L. Rev. 317 (2002).

Respect, Responsibility, and the Virtue of Introspection: An Essay on Professionalism in the Law School Environment, 15 Notre Dame J. of Law, Ethics & Pub. Pol. 117 (2001) (with Ellen S. Podgor).

The Problem and Possibilities of Professionalism, 21 Dublin U. L. J. 108 (1999).

Professions of Law, 9 Geo. J. Leg. Ethics 1235 (1996).

"Not Unmindful of the Future": Some Reflections on Stability and Change, 52 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 323 (1995).

Foreword: Civil Rights 1995, 1 Race & Ethnic Ancestry Law Digest iv (1995).

When the Environment is Other People: An Essay on Science, Culture, and the Authoritative Allocation of Values, 69 Notre Dame L. Rev. 597 (1994).

Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Science: Making the Trains Run on Time (Review of S. Breyer, Beyond the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation), 89 Nw. U. L. Rev. 166 (1994).

AIDS: Law, Public Policy, and the Continuing Work of the American Bar Association, 27 J. Marshall L. Rev. 273 (1994).

Among School Children: AIDS, the Law, and the Public Schools in Child, Parent and State: Law and Policy Reader (S. Humm, et al. eds.) (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994).

AIDS and the Medical Boards: Some Legal Issues, 78 Federation Bull. 266 (1991).

Historical Reconstruction, Reconstruction History, and the Proper Scope of Section 1981, 98 Yale L. J. 541 (1989). 

AIDS: Law, Public Policy, and the Work of the American Bar Association, 21 U. Toledo L. Rev. 1 (1989).

Preserving Error in Civil Cases: Some Fundamental Principles, 32 Trial Lawyer's Guide 1 (1988) (with Barry Levenstam and David von Ebers).

Essay Review of R. Beeman, S. Botein and E. Carter, eds., Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity, R. Bernstein with K. Rice, Are We to Be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution, C. Kesler, ed., Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding, J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (R. Rotunda and J. Nowak eds.), and M. White, Philosophy, the Federalist and the Constitution, 32 Am. J. Legal Hist. 173 (1988). 

Essay Review of R. Stern, E. Gressman & S. Shapiro, Supreme Court Practice, 4 Const. Commentary 452 (1987).

The Honest Muse: Judge Wisdom and the Uses of History, 60 Tul. L. Rev. 314 (1985).

Essay Review of B. Schwartz, Super Chief and G. White, Earl Warren: A Public Life, 29 Am. J. Legal Hist. 349 (1985).

Legal Change and Legal Autonomy: Charitable Trusts in New York, 1777‑1893, 3 L. & Hist. Rev. 51 (1985) (with Stanley N. Katz and C. Paul Beach).

Essay Review of P. Irons, Justice at War, 60 Notre Dame L. Rev. 237 (1984).

Some Thoughts on the Constitutionality of Good Samaritan Statutes, 8 Am. J. Law & Med. 26 (1982).

Standards of Review, American Bar Association Source Book on Appellate Advocacy (1981).

Discovery in Civil Cases: Work Product and the Information Act, in B. Garfinkle, ed., Current Problems in Federal Civil Practice II (P.L.I. 1976) (with Jerold S. Solovy).

Exhaustion of State Administrative Remedies under Section 1983, 41 U. Chi. L. Rev. 537 (1974).

How to Use the Small Claims Court. Augusta, Maine, 1972. 

An Introduction to Consumer Frauds. Augusta, Maine, 1972.

Consumer Credit: A Maine Guide. Augusta, Maine, 1972.


Tribute to Doug Rendleman: Teacher, Scholar, Reformer of the Law, 78 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 53 (2021).

The Wisdom of Mark Grunewald, 75 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 689 (2018).

Remembering Mike Zimmer, 47 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. 684 (2016).

In Memoriam, George Anastaplo: “All Things Be Ready, If Our Minds Be So,” 45 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 916 (2014).

John Wisdom, Watchman of the Republic, Forester of the Soul, 69 Miss. L.J.1 (1999).

A Tribute to Lewis F. Powell, Jr., 56 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 16 (1999).

A Memorial Tribute to Judge Walter E. Hoffman, 54 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1346 (1997).

A Tribute to Hon. Alexander M. Harman, 54 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 871 (1997).

A Tribute to Edmund Douglas Campbell, 53 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1212 (1996)

To See Life Steadily and to See It Whole: For Judge Wisdom in His Ninety-First Year, 53 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1 (1996).

A Tribute to J. Timothy Philipps, 51 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1146 (1994).

Dedication: For Judge Wisdom on His Eighty-Fifth Birthday, 64 Tul. L. Rev. 1341 (1990).

Book Reviews

Review of John C. Tucker, Trial and Error: The Education of a Courtroom Lawyer, 25 Dublin U. L. 300 (2003).

Review of John C. Tucker, May God Have Mercy: A True Story of Crime and Punishment, 115:16 The Christian Century 556 (May 20-27, 1998).

Review of Brian K. Landsberg, Enforcing Civil Rights: Race Discrimination and the Department of Justice, 25:1 Human Rights 5 (Winter 1998).

Review of Jack Bass, Unlikely Heroes, 35 Sw. L. J. 1111 (1982). 


Human Rights Issues Reach Supreme Court This Term, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 1, 2012

There's More to the Law than "Practice-Ready," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 23, 2011, available at http://chronicle.com/article/Theres-More-to-the-Law-Than/129493/ (with Alfred S. Konefsky)

Is the Legal Profession on the Trash Heap? (Dissatisfaction and the Legal Profession), 94 Business and Society Review 19 (1995).

ABA Responds to AIDS, 74 A.B.A. J. 128 (1988).