Catherine J. Ross

Catherine Ross
Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Catherine J. Ross specializes in constitutional law (with particular emphasis on the First Amendment), family law, and legal and policy issues concerning children. Her 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, and won the Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Education Studies Association. Professor Ross has been a co-author of Contemporary Family Law (Thomson/West) since the First Edition; the Fourth Edition was published in 2015. 

In 2015-2016, Professor Ross was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard School of Education. She was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 2008-2009. Professor Ross has taught as 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 is former chair of the ABA’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, former chair of the Section on Law and Communitarianism of the Association of American Law Schools, and has served on a wide variety of ABA committees. She has served on the editorial boards of the Family Courts Review and the Family Law Quarterly.

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. Before attending Yale Law School, Professor Ross was on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center, and the Bush Center on Child Development and Social Policy at Yale. 

Professor Ross teaches Constitutional Law, Family Law, and Child, Family and State.

Curriculum Vitae     Publications


BA, PhD, JD, Yale University

In the News

"Bel Air Police Officer Under Internal Investigation for Preaching in Uniform; He May Have Violated Constitution, Experts Say"

April 14, 2020
Catherine J. Ross is quoted in The Baltimore Sun about whether a police officer violated the establishment clause by ministering on the job.

"Parents of Two High School Students Sue Over Right to Wear Gun T-Shirts in Class"

February 26, 2020
Catherine J. Ross is quoted by First Amendment Watch on how a student's clothing must provoke or potentially lead to a disruption to be banned.

"Va. School Board Member Wanted To Ban Confederate Flag Attire. Others Disagreed."

February 02, 2020
Catherine J. Ross is quoted by The Washington Post on how public schools cannot ban clothing items unless they generate significant disruptions.

"The Carole Ghosn Story: Legal Lessons Of A Wife’s Situation"

January 08, 2020

Catherine J. Ross is quoted by Forbes on how Carole Ghosn could be forced to testify on what alleged acts she witnessed or observed her husband commit.

"For Sale: A Trump Hotel"

November 01, 2019

Catherine J. Ross writes for The New York Times on how the sale of Trump's hotel in DC creates new opportunities for corruption.