Catherine J. Ross

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

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

"Do Politics Have A Place In The NFL?"

October 13, 2017

Catherine J. Ross speaks to NPR's "On Point" about freedom, respect, and "taking a knee" in the NFL.

"Superintendent Now Forcing Student Athletes to Stand During National Anthem"

September 28, 2017

Catherine J. Ross is quoted in Law Newz regarding a school official in Louisiana requiring student athletes and club members to stand during the national anthem.

"A First Amendment Expert Talks NFL Protests, Donald Trump and Jemele Hill"

September 28, 2017

Catherine J. Ross is quoted in USA Today about NFL players and their rights, and interpretations of the first amendment. 

"A Free-Speech Divide"

September 17, 2017

Catherine J. Ross is quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education about school censorship and free speech rights.

"Maryland Mom Ordered to Give Breast-Fed Infant Formula at Father's Request"

August 30, 2017

Catherine J. Ross is quoted in The Washington Post regarding a breast-feeding mother's court battle.