Leah Litman, ’10, is a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. She teaches and writes on constitutional law, federal courts, and federal post-conviction review. Her research examines unidentified and implicit values that are used to structure the legal system, the federal courts, and the legal profession.
In 2023, the American Law Institute named Litman a recipient of its Early Career Scholars Medal, which is awarded every other year to “two outstanding early-career law professors whose work is relevant to public policy and has the potential to influence improvements in the law.” Also in 2023, the American Constitution Society recognized Litman with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholar Award, a yearly award given to an outstanding scholar in the early stages of an academic career who has demonstrated "scholarly excellence, the ability to imagine how society might be more just and more equal," as well as other qualities exemplified by Justice Ginsburg.
Litman’s recent work has appeared or will appear in the California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Texas Law Review, Duke Law Journal, and Northwestern Law Review, among other journals. Her writing for popular audiences has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Slate; she also is a regular contributor to the Take Care blog. In addition, she is one of the co-hosts and co-creators of Strict Scrutiny, a Crooked Media podcast about the US Supreme Court, which received the 2023 Podcast Academy award (Ambie) for Best Politics or Opinion podcast and a 2023 Anthem Award for its coverage of the Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade. She is also a co-creator, together with Emily Prifogle, of Women Also Know Law, a tool to promote the work of women and nonbinary academics.
Following her clerkships, she worked at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she specialized in appellate litigation. Litman previously was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where she received one of its inaugural Student Government Teaching and Advising Awards, and an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, where she received the Professor of the Year Award in 2019. She also has been a visiting assistant professor in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. In 2021, Michigan Law students awarded her the L. Hart Wright Teaching Award.
Litman maintains an active pro bono practice. She was part of the litigation team in Garcia v. United States, one of the successful challenges to the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, for which the team was recognized as California Lawyers of the Year. In the Supreme Court, she was also on the merits briefs in Hernandez v. Mesa and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Working as a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, she also argued and won a case in the Michigan Supreme Court holding that the state's civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
"The Myth of The Great Writ"
"Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, and the Independent State Legislature Theory"
- Constitutional Law