Catherine J. Ross

Catherine Ross
Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Professor Ross is Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. She specializes in constitutional law (with particular emphasis on the First Amendment) and family law.  Her book A Right to Lie? Presidents, Other Liars, and the First Amendment (University of Pennsylvania Press) will be released in September 2021.  Her last book, Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students' First Amendment Rights (Harvard University Press, 2015) was named the Best Book on the First Amendment by Concurring Opinions’ First Amendment News; it also won the Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Education Studies Association. Professor Ross has been a co-author of Contemporary Family Law (West Academic) since the First Edition; the Fifth Edition was published in 2019. 

In 2015-2016, Professor Ross was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 2008-2009. In 2015-2016 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Professor Ross has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston College (where she held joint appointments in the School of Education and the History Department) and St. John’s School of Law in New York. 

An elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Professor Ross was the primary author of the ABA’s landmark report on America’s Children at Risk (1993) (with the Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.) and is former chair of the ABA’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children. She has served on a wide variety of ABA committees.  Professor Ross is a former chair of the Section on Law and Communitarianism of the Association of American Law Schools.

Professor Ross holds her B.A., Ph.D. (in History), and J.D. from Yale University. Before attending Yale Law School, Professor Ross was on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center (Medical School) and the Bush Center on Child Development and Social Policy at Yale. 

Prior to entering legal academia, Professor Ross was a litigator at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York, where she won major impact litigation on behalf of the city’s homeless population. 

Curriculum Vitae     Publications


BA, PhD, JD, Yale University

In the News

"The Page 99 Test: Catherine J. Ross's "A Right to Lie?"

August 29, 2021

Catherine Ross's new book "A Right to Lie?" is featured by the Campaign for the American Reader.

"‘This Acquittal Sends Three Dangerous Messages to Future Presidents’"

February 13, 2021

Catherine J. Ross is quoted in Politico about how Trump's acquittal has undermined the impeachment, conviction, and removal mechanism.

"Impeachment, Incitement, and the First Amendment"

February 11, 2021
Catherine J. Ross discussed on the National Constitution Center "We the People" podcast the legal and constitutional standards for impeachment.

"It's Been a Good Week."

January 23, 2021

Catherine J. Ross discussed on Connecticut Public Radio proving incitement and the constitutionality of trying an ex-president.

"What the First Amendment Really Says About Whether Trump Incited the Capitol Riot"

January 19, 2021

Catherine J. Ross writes in Slate about the legal definition of the term "incitement."