Paul A. Gowder

Professor of Law
Associate Dean of Research and Intellectual Life


Paul Gowder joined the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law faculty in 2020. His research focuses on the rule of law, democratic theory, social and racial equality, institutional and organizational governance, law and technology, and classical Athenian law and political thought. He has taught a variety of classes including constitutional law, torts, critical race theory, professional responsibility, and introductory programming and statistics for law students. In his practice days, he was a civil rights and legal aid lawyer. In those contexts, he represented victims of police misconduct, predatory lending, employment discrimination, unlawful eviction, domestic violence, and numerous other injustices. His first book, The Rule of Law in the Real World, was published in 2016, and his second, The Rule of Law in the United States: An Unfinished Project of Black Liberation, was published in December 2021 and is available in free open-access electronic form at  He is currently working on a book on internet platform governance.


Areas of Expertise

  • Political, Moral, and Legal Philosophy
  • Constitutional Law
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Law & Technology


  • BA, California State University
  • JD, Harvard University
  • PhD, Political Science, Stanford University

Prior Appointments

  • Professor of Law, 2017-2020, University of Iowa
  • Associate Professor of Law, 2012-2017, University of Iowa
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Fall, 2019, Boston University
  • Member, 2014-2015, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science

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