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Scholar-in-Residence Program

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Dr. Paul Finkelman, October 26-30, 2009

Dr. Paul Finkelman
Dr. Paul Finkelman

President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy

Paul Finkelman is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School, in Albany, New York. Before coming to Albany he held the Chapman Distinguished Professorship at the University of Tulsa College of Law, the John F. Seiberling Chair in Constitutional Law at the University of Akron, as well as chairs at Cleveland State University Law School and the University of Miami. He received his B.A. in American Studies from Syracuse University (1971), his Ph.D. in U.S. history from Chicago (1976), and was a fellow in law and humanities at Harvard Law School (1982-83).

Professor Finkelman is the editor of the The Political Lincoln: An Encyclopedia (2009) published by CQ Press and is an advisor to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books and more than one hundred and fifty scholarly articles on Abraham Lincoln, Constitutional law; American legal history; civil rights, civil liberties, race relations, freedom of religion and separation of church and state; the law of American slavery; Thomas Jefferson, the war on drugs; the electoral college; freedom of speech and press; the second amendment, American race relations, and baseball and law. His books include: Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson (M.E. Sharpe, 2001) Dred Scott v. Sandford: A Brief History (Bedford, 1995); Landmark Decisions of the United States Supreme Court (CQ Press, 2003); the Library of Congress Desk Reference to the Civil War (Simon and Schuster, 2002), American Legal History: Cases and Materials (Oxford, 3rd ed. 2004) and A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States (Oxford, 2002). His book A History of Michigan Law (2006) was awarded a prize as the best book of the year from the Michigan Historical Society. He has published articles in numerous law reviews and Justice John Paul Stevens cited his Fordham Law Review article on Ten Commandments monuments in Van Orden v. Perry (2005). He is the editor of the series Law, Society, and Politics in the Midwest with Ohio University Press, and the co-editor of Studies in the Legal History of the South at the University of Georgia Press.

He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the American Bar Foundation, the Japan Society of the Promotion of Science, Yale University, Harvard Law School, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, and the Library of Congress. Professor Finkelman has lectured at more than 150 universities and public forums in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He was an expert witness in the famous Alabama Ten Commandments Monument Case and was also an expert witness in the lawsuit over the ownership of Barry Bonds' 73rd Home Run Ball. He has published op-ed pieces in many papers, including the New York Times, USA Today, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Cincinnati Enquirer. He has appeared in a number television programs for PBS, the History Channel, C-Span, and in the movie Up For Grabs.