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Joanna Grisinger

Associate Professor of Instruction in Legal Studies

J.D. University of Chicago Law School 1998; Ph.D., History, University of Chicago, 2005
Curriculum Vitae


Thematic Field(s):  Political and Policy History

Principal Research Interest(s):  American Legal History


Joanna Grisinger (J.D. University of Chicago Law School 1998; Ph.D., History, University of Chicago, 2005) is Associate Professor of Instruction and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Center for Legal Studies (with a courtesy appointment in the Department of History). She works in twentieth-century U.S. legal and political history with a focus on the modern administrative state. Her first book, The Unwieldy American State: Administrative Politics Since the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2012), offers a political history of administrative law reform; her current research explores public interest participation in administrative decision-making, including the relationship between administrative agencies and civil rights.

Prof. Grisinger is a co-founder and co-organizer of the Law & History Collaborative Research Network (established 2013) within the Law and Society Association, is a board member of the Consortium for Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs, and is one of two section editors for the Legal History section of jotwell.comShe has served on prize committees of the American Society for Legal History, the Law and Society Association, and the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary Fellowship Committee, and was a member of the editorial board of Law & Social Inquiry from 2012 to 2014.

Affiliated Programs


  • The Unwieldy American State: Administrative Politics since the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 
  • “The (Long) Administrative Century: Progressive Models of Governance,” in Bruce Ackerman, Stephen Engel, and Stephen Skowronek, eds., The Progressives’ Century: Democratic Reform and Constitutional Government in the United States (forthcoming from Yale University Press, 2016).
  • “The Administrative Procedure Act and the Hearing Examiners,” Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary 34, no. 1 (2014): 1-46. 
  • “Law and the Administrative State,” in Sally Hadden and Alfred L. Brophy, eds., A Companion to American Legal History (in the Blackwell Companions to American History series) (2013).
  • “Law in Action: The Attorney General’s Committee on Administrative Procedure,” Journal of Policy History 20, no. 3 (2008): 379-418.

Recent Reviews

Teaching Interests  

  • Teaching interests include American legal history; American constitutional law; and race, gender, and the law.


  • Legal and Constitutional History of the United States – to 1850/since 1850 (HIST/LEGAL ST 318-1,2).
  • Gender and the Law (LEGAL ST 340).
  • Constitutional Law I, II (POLI SCI/LEGAL ST 332, 333).
  • Law & the Civil Rights Movement (LEGAL ST 101).

Recent Awards and Honors

  • Associated Student Government Faculty & Administrator Honor Roll, 2012-13 and 2014-15.
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