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

Professor Ross on Radio Free Asia

October 09, 2019

Catherine J. Ross spoke to Radio Free Asia about how the Anti-Mask Law undermines trust between citizens and the government in Hong Kong.

“Trump’s Free-Speech Order Could Have Been Harsher. But Higher-Ed Leaders Still Don’t Approve.’’

March 21, 2019
Catherine J. Ross is quoted by The Chronicle of Higher Education about the government's interpretation of free speech in Trump's executive order.

“FAN 204.1 Catherine J. Ross: ‘Trump’s Latest Threat to Free Speech and the Academy’”

March 14, 2019

Catherine J. Ross writes in First Amendment News about consequences of Trump's executive order requiring college campus free speech.

“Legal Scholars Don’t Know the Details of Trump’s Order on Campus Speech. But They Think It’s a Mistake’’

March 04, 2019
Catherine J. Ross is quoted by The Chronicle of Higher Education about the legality of President Trump's executive order on campus speech.

“Trump Promises Executive Order That Could Strip Colleges of Funding if They Don’t ‘Support Free Speech’’’

March 02, 2019
Catherine J. Ross is quoted by The Washington Post about Trump's free speech executive order and how it raises First Amendment concerns.