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


Neil Richards is an internationally-recognized expert in the fields of privacy, First Amendment, and information law. His recent work explores the complex relationships between free speech and privacy in cyberspace. Professor Richards' articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal. His book, Intellectual Privacy, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Professor Richards also co-directs both the Washington University-Cambridge University International Privacy Law Conference and the Washington University Free Speech Conference

Professor Richards is a recipient of the Washington University student body's David M. Becker Professor of the Year Award. Prior to joining the law faculty in 2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. with Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering, where he specialized in appellate litigation and privacy law. He is also a former law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. More recently, he successfully represented a St. Louis fantasy sports company in high-profile litigation against Major League Baseball. He was the inaugural Hugo Black Fellow at the University of Alabama Law School and a Temple Bar Fellow with the Inns of Court in London.

Working Papers (SSRN)

Representative Publications

Forthcoming Scholarship

  • "How Should the Law Think About Robots?" (with William Smart) (work in progress).

Recent Articles

  • "Four Privacy Myths," (Cambridge Press, Austin Sarat, ed. 2015) [SSRN]
  • "Privacy and Free Speech: The Transatlantic Divide," (with Kirsty Hughes) in Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law [SSRN]
  • "Why Data Privacy Law Is (Mostly) Constitutional," 56 William and Mary Law Review 1501 (2015) [SSRN]
  • "Big Data Ethics," (with Jonathan H. King), 49 Wake Forest Law Review 393 (2014) [SSRN]
  • "Why Data Privacy Law is (Mostly) Constitutional," William and Mary Law Review (2014) (symposium). [SSRN]
  • "The Dangers of Surveillance," 126 Harvard Law Review 1934 (2013) [SSRN]
  • "The Perils of Social Reading," 101 Georgetown Law Journal, 689 (2013) [SSRN]
    • Awarded the 2012 University of Houston IPIL Sponsored Scholarship Grant prize.
  • "Three Paradoxes of Big Data," 66 Stanford Law Review Online 41 (2013) (with Jonathan H. King) [SSRN]
  • "The Limits of Tort Privacy," 9 Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law 357 (2011) [SSRN]
    • Invited submission for Conference on "Privacy and the Press," Silicon Flatirons Center, University of Colorado School of Law, Dec. 3, 2010
  • "Prosser's Privacy Law: A Mixed Legacy," 98 California Law Review 1887 (2011) (with Daniel J. Solove) [SSRN]
    Recent Essays 


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

Book Chapters

  • "Privacy and Intellectual Freedom," in M. Alfino ed., The Handbook of Intellectual Freedom (Unwin, 2013) (with Joanna F. Cornwell)
  • "Tort Privacy and Free Speech," in D. Doerr & U. Fink, eds., The Right Privacy - Perspectives From Three Continents (De Gruyter 2012) 

Other Writings

  • "The iPhone Case and the Future of Civil Liberties," March 7, 2016, avalaible here 
  • "Apple's Code = Speech Mistake," MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW, March 1, 2016, avalaible here 
  • "The iPhone Case and the Future of Civil Liberties," Boston Review, February 25, 2016, avalaible here 
  • Apple v. The FBI: Why the 1789 All Writs Act Is the Wrong Tool, THE GUARDIAN, FEBRUARY 24, 2016, avalaible here 
  • "Facebook's New Digital Assistant M Will Need to Earn Your Trust," THE GUARDIAN, September 9, 2015, avalaible here 
  • "The Electronic Panopticon," THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, March 16, 2015, avalaible here 
  • "Digital Laws Evolve," GQ KOREA, February 2015.
  • "Google Has Captured Your Mind," SALON.COM, Feb. 26, 2015, avalaible here 
  • "The Fifty Shades of Grey Paradox," SLATE.COM, Feb. 13, 2014, avalaible here