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

“Congress Can Avoid Trumped Up National Emergency Declaration’’

February 03, 2019

Alan B. Morrison writes in The Hill about Trump seeking to fund a border wall by declaring a national emergency.

“Trump’s Use of National Security to Impose Tariffs Faces Court Test’’

December 19, 2018

Alan B. Morrison is quoted by the New York Times about how judges considered Trump's use of tariffs and the impact on international trade.

“Battle for the Supreme Court”

December 10, 2018

Alan B. Morrison is quoted by the Financial Times about how perception of the Supreme Court as a non-political institution is being challenged.

“Whitaker vs. Mueller: One Step at a Time”

November 16, 2018

Alan B. Morrison writes in the National Law Journal about how the requirement of Senate confirmation is a vital check on presidential power.

“DC Council Holds Off on Vote to Lower City’s Voting Age to 16’’

November 13, 2018

Alan B. Morrison is quoted by WTOP-FM about how the 26th Amendment wouldn't stop the District from allowing teens to help elect local leaders.