Nikolas Bowie, scholar of constitutional law and legal history, appointed Harvard law professor

Credit: Lorin Granger

Nikolas Bowie ’14, a specialist in constitutional law, local government law and legal history, is promoted to professor of law at Harvard Law School, effective July 1.

Bowie joined Harvard Law School as an assistant professor in 2018. He was previously the Reginald Lewis Law Teaching Fellow at Harvard, while completing a Ph.D. in history at Harvard University.

“Niko Bowie brings creativity and intelligence to the development of compelling new ways of understanding constitutional law and legal history,” said John F. Manning ’85, Dean of Morgan and Helen Chu and Professor of Law at the University of Washington Law School. Harvard. “Professor Bowie is also an inspiring and dedicated teacher and generous colleague whose energy and love of ideas have brought so much to the Harvard Law School community.”

A historian who teaches courses in federal constitutional law, state constitutional law, and local government law, Bowie’s research focuses on critical legal histories of democracy in the United States.

“Harvard Law School workers and students have an extremely important responsibility to help establish justice in the world around us,” Bowie said. “I am honored to have the confidence of the faculty that I will do my part.”

A popular teacher and influential mentor, Bowie won the 2021 Sacks-Freund Award for Excellence in Teaching. In his speech, Bowie challenged graduate students to form their personal theory of change as a guideline for their careers and reflected on the lessons he learned from his mother, a renowned jurist and late Harvard law professor emeritus. , Lani Guinier.

In 2022 and 2021, Bowie was selected by the grad student class marshals to deliver a final lecture to the graduating class.

His scholarship has been published in the Harvard Law Review, Law and History Review, Stanford Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. another article, “The counter-revolution of the separation of powers”, written with Harvard law professor Daphna Renan, is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal. He has also written essays for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and other publications.

In addition to teaching and writing, Professor Bowie litigates in criminal and civil appeals. He serves on the boards of the ACLU of Massachusetts, Lawyers for Civil Rights, MassVote and People’s Parity Project. Bowie also served on the post-conviction and appeals panel of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Massachusetts’ public defense agency.

Bowie graduated in 2009 from Yale University, where he won the John A. Porter Award for Best Senior Thesis in American History. At Harvard, he earned an AM in history in 2011, a JD in 2014, and a Ph.D. in history in 2018.

At Harvard Law School, Bowie served as editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was also a speaker for the winning team of the Ames Moot Court competition. In 2017, he was awarded the Berger-Howe Legal History Fellowship at Harvard Law School.

Bowie’s doctorate. The dissertation, “Corporate America: A History of Corporate Statehood Since 1629,” examined the relationship between corporations and Massachusetts Bay Company constitutions from the 17th century to the present day. The central theme was how Americans have understood corporations as forms of government that require democratic methods of political accountability.

After graduating from Harvard Law, Bowie worked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the United States Supreme Court and for Justice Jeffrey Sutton on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.