Jedediah Purdy

Assistant Professor of Law, 2004-2007, Associate Professor of Law, 2007-2009, Professor of Law, 2009-2013, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law, 2013-2019

Jedediah Purdy teaches constitutional, environmental, and property law and writes in all of these areas.  He also teaches legal theory and writes on issues at the intersection of law and social and political thought.

He is the author of four books, including a trilogy on American political identity, which concluded with A Tolerable Anarchy (2009), all from Knopf.  The Meaning of Property appeared in 2010 from Yale University Press. He has published many essays in publications including The Atlantic MonthlyThe New York Times Op Ed Page and Book Review, Die Zeit, and Democracy Journal, and his legal scholarship has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, University of Chicago Law Review, Duke Law JournalCornell Law Review, and Harvard Environmental Law Review, among others.  His most recent book while still at Duke Law is After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene, from Harvard University Press.

Purdy graduated from Harvard College, summa cum laude, with an A.B. in Social Studies, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

He clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City and has been a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, an ethics fellow at Harvard University, and a visiting professor at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Virginia Law School, and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Purdy has co-taught with faculty from around the university, including Laura Edwards (History), Michael Hardt (Literature), and President Richard Brodhead.

In 2019 Purdy joined the faculty of Columbia Law School.

Courses Taught

Constitutional Law


Natural Resources Law and Policy

Introduction to Legal Theory

Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy