Faculty-Neil Ricards

Neil Richards

Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law


B.A. w/special honors, 1994, George Washington University
J.D., 1997, University of Virginia
M.A. (legal history), 1997, University of Virginia

Curriculum Vitae






Rachel Mance - (314) 935-6403

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-4794
E-mail: nrichards@wustl.edu 


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 578

Courses Taught

Speech, Press & the Constitution
Information Privacy Law
First Amendment Theory
Individual Rights and the Constitution
Constitutional Law


Neil Richards is an internationally-recognized expert in privacy law, information law, and freedom of expression. He is the Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law, where he co-directs the Washington University Institute for Genomic Medicine and the Law. He is also an affiliate scholar with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and the Yale Information Society Project, a Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and a consultant and expert in privacy cases. Professor Richards serves on the boards of the Future of Privacy Forum and the Freedom to Read Foundation, and is a member of the American Law Institute. Professor Richards graduated in 1997 with graduate degrees in law and history from the University of Virginia, and served as a law clerk to both William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States and Paul V. Niemeyer, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Professor Richards is the author of Intellectual Privacy (Oxford Press 2015). His many scholarly and popular writings on privacy and civil liberties have appeared in a wide variety of media, from the Harvard Law Review and the Yale Law Journal to The Guardian, WIRED, and Slate. 

Professor Richards regularly speaks about privacy, big data, technology, and civil liberties throughout the world, and also appears frequently in the media. At Washington University, he teaches courses on privacy, technology, free speech, and constitutional law, and is a past winner of the Washington University School of Law’s Professor of the Year award. He was born in England, educated in the United States, and lives with his family in St. Louis. He is an avid cyclist and a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

Working Papers [SSRN]

Representative Publications


Intellectual Privacy: Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2015) available here 

Works in Progress

  • Privacy’s Trust Gap, 126 Yale L.J. (forthcoming 2017) [SSRN]
  • Privacy and the Future of the Cloud, Wash. U. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017)
  • Taking Trust Seriously in Privacy Law, Stanford Tech. Law Journal (forthcoming 2017) (with Woodrow Hartzog) [SSRN]
  • Trusting Big Data Research, DePaul Law Review (forthcoming 2016) (invited Symposium Issue) (with Woodrow Hartzog) [SSRN]

Articles and Essays in Law Reviews

  • Why Data Privacy Law Is (Mostly) Constitutional, 56 William and Mary Law Review 1501 (2015) [SSRN]
  • “The Internet Grows Up?” B.U. L. Rev. Annex (2015), available at [SSRN]
  • Big Data Ethics, 49 Wake Forest Law Review 393 (2014) (with Jonathan H. King) [SSRN]
  • The Dangers of Surveillance, 126 Harvard Law Review 1934 (2013) [SSRN]
  • The Perils of Social Reading, 101 Georgetown Law Journal, 689 (2013)
  • Three Paradoxes of Big Data, 66 Stanford Law Review Online 41 (2013) (with Jonathan H. King)

Other Writings

  • "The iPhone Case and the Future of Civil Liberties," March 7, 2016, available here 
  • "Apple's Code = Speech Mistake," MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW, March 1, 2016, available here 
  • "The iPhone Case and the Future of Civil Liberties," Boston Review, February 25, 2016, available here 
  • Apple v. The FBI: Why the 1789 All Writs Act Is the Wrong Tool, THE GUARDIAN, FEBRUARY 24, 2016, available here 
  • "Facebook's New Digital Assistant M Will Need to Earn Your Trust," THE GUARDIAN, September 9, 2015, available here 
  • "The Electronic Panopticon," THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, March 16, 2015, available here 
  • "Digital Laws Evolve," GQ KOREA, February 2015
  • "Google Has Captured Your Mind," SALON.COM, Feb. 26, 2015, available here 
  • "The Fifty Shades of Grey Paradox," SLATE.COM, Feb. 13, 2015, available here