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Conor Clarke

Associate Professor of Law

Professor Conor Clarke’s research and teaching lie at the intersection of public law and public finance. His research interests include the history of American taxing and spending, the psychology of public finance, income inequality, and the history of the administrative state. His work draws on both law and economics and empirical methods, and his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the University of Chicago Law Review, Texas Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Tax Notes, Tax Policy and the Economy, and the European Journal of Law and Economics, among others. In addition, his writings for a popular audience have appeared in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate.

His research and teaching are also informed by his government service. Between 2017 and 2023, he was an attorney at the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, which serves as a legal adviser to the President and the Executive Branch. Across two administrations, he advised numerous federal agencies on some of the federal government’s most important and sensitive legal issues, with a general emphasis on administrative law and the constitutional separation of powers, as well as appropriations law, the federal budget, and the national debt. For his advice-giving work, he received the Department’s 2023 John Marshall Award.

Professor Clarke earned his B.A. in social and political theory summa cum laude from Amherst College. After graduation, he was awarded a Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the United Kingdom, where he earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Birmingham and a master’s degree in quantitative methods in political science from the London School of Economics. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he won the Ralph K. Winter Prize in law and economics. He clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Magistrate Judge Jeremy Peterson of the Eastern District of California in Yosemite National Park.

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