Heather Gerken is the Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Gerken is one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law and election law. A founder of the “nationalist school” of federalism, her work focuses on federalism, diversity, and dissent. At Yale, she founded and runs the country’s most innovative clinic in local government law, the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project (SFALP).
A native of Massachusetts, Gerken graduated from Princeton University, where she received her A.B. degree, summa cum laude in 1991. A Darrow Scholar, she graduated from the University of Michigan Law School summa cum laude in 1994. Gerken currently serves as a trustee for Princeton University.
After law school, she clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. She then served as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C., before joining the Harvard Law School faculty in 2000. Gerken came to Yale in 2006 and became the inaugural J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law in 2008. She became dean of Yale Law School on July 1, 2017.