Nathaniel Persily

An award-winning teacher and nationally recognized constitutional law expert, Professor Persily, JD ’98, focuses on the law of democracy, addressing issues such as voting rights, political parties, campaign finance and redistricting. A sought-after nonpartisan voice in voting rights, he has served as a court-appointed expert to draw legislative districting plans for Georgia, Maryland and New York and as special master for the redistricting of Connecticut’s congressional districts. Most recently, he also served as the Senior Research Director for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a bipartisan commission created by the President to deal with the long lines at the polling place and other administrative problems witnessed in the 2012 election.  The Report of the Commission is available at

Persily has also published dozens of articles in both scholarly publications and popular media on the legal regulation of political parties, on issues surrounding the census and redistricting process, on voting rights and on campaign finance reform. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford Law School in July 2013, Professor Persily was the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Columbia Law School, and prior to that he was Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Persily has also been a visiting professor at Harvard, NYU, Princeton, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Melbourne. He received a combined B.A./M.A. in political science from Yale (1992), his J.D. from Stanford (1998) where he was President of Volume 50 of the Stanford Law Review and his Ph.D. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley (2002).