Alan B. Morrison

Alan Morrison
Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law; Professorial Lecturer in Law
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Alan B. Morrison is the Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest & Public Service at GW Law. He is responsible for creating pro bono opportunities for students, bringing a wide range of public interest programs to the law school, encouraging students to seek positions in the non-profit and government sectors, and assisting students find ways to fund their legal education to make it possible for them to pursue careers outside of traditional law firms. 

For most of his career, Dean Morrison worked for the Public Citizen Litigation Group, which he co-founded with Ralph Nader in 1972 and directed for over 25 years. His work involved law reform litigation in various areas including: open government, opening up the legal profession, suing agencies that fail to comply with the law, enforcing principles of separation of powers, protecting the rights of consumers, and protecting unrepresented class members in class action settlements. 

He has argued 20 cases in the Supreme Court, including victories in Goldfarb v. Virginia State Bar (holding lawyers subject to the antitrust laws for using minimum fee schedules); Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (making commercial speech subject to the First Amendment); and INS v. Chadha (striking down over 200 federal laws containing the legislative veto as a violation of separation of powers). 

He currently teaches civil procedure and constitutional law, and previously taught at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, Hawaii, and American University law schools. He is a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and was its president in 1999–2000. Among other positions, he served as an elected member of the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar, a member and then senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the Committee on Science, Technology & Law of the National Academy of Science. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, served as a commissioned officer in the US Navy, and was an assistant U.S. attorney in New York.



BA Yale University; LLB Harvard University

In the News

"Public Interest Law Groups"

October 17, 2019

Alan B. Morrison speaks to Arizona PBS about how public interest law groups have been behind some of the biggest reform movements.

"Insight: Trump Violation Puts Spotlight on Impoundment Control Act"

October 04, 2019
Alan B. Morrison writes for Bloomberg Law about how President Trump violated the law by failing to notify Congress about withholding monies from Ukraine.

"How to Make DC a State: Just Change the Rules in the Senate. That's the New Strategy for Some DC Advocates."

September 17, 2019

Alan B. Morrison appeared on WUSA-CBS9 to discuss the impact of eliminating the filibuster rule.

"Democrats Should Stop Infighting and Start Attacking Donald Trump"

August 23, 2019

Alan B. Morrison writes for The Hill on the many issues Democratic candidates differ more with President Trump than with each other.

“INSIGHT: My Taxes Are None of Your Business"

August 05, 2019

Alan B. Morrison writes for Bloomberg Law Insights on two current lawsuits aimed at releasing President Trump's federal and state tax returns.