Laurence H. Tribe
Harvard Law School
Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, has taught at its Law School since 1968. The title “University Professor” is Harvard’s highest academic honor, awarded to fewer than 70 professors in all of Harvard University’s history.
Born in China to Russian Jewish parents, Tribe entered Harvard in 1958 at 16; graduated summa cum laude in Mathematics (1962) and magna cum laude in Law (1966); clerked for the California and U.S. Supreme Courts (1966-68); received tenure at 30; was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at 38 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2010. He helped write the constitutions of South Africa, the Czech Republic, and the Marshall Islands; and has received ten honorary degrees, including a degree honoris causa from the Government of Mexico in 2011 never previously awarded to an American and a Doctor of Letters degree in 2013 from Columbia University.
Tribe has prevailed in three-fifths of the many appellate cases he has argued (including 35 in the U.S. Supreme Court); was appointed by President Obama and Attorney General Holder to serve as the first Senior Counselor for Access to Justice; and has written 115 books and articles, including his treatise, American Constitutional Law, cited more than any other legal text since 1950. Former Solicitor General Erwin Griswold wrote: “[N]o book, and no lawyer not on the [Supreme] Court, has ever had a greater influence on the development of American constitutional law,” and the Northwestern Law Review opined that no-one else “in American history has… simultaneously achieved Tribe’s preeminence… as a practitioner and… scholar of constitutional law.”