Michael A. Lawrence

Michael A. Lawrence
[Hi-Res Photo]
Professor of Law
Foster Swift Professor of Constitutional Law (2016-19)

Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 465B
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

  • Biography

    Michael A. Lawrence is Professor of Law and Foster Swift Professor of Constitutional Law (2016-19) at Michigan State University College of Law, where he teaches courses on Constitutional Law and International Law. He frequently lectures and teaches courses on these and other topics in various countries around the world. He served as Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs from 2009-2013; and he was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2001-2003. In 2005, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Beijing, China.

    Professor Lawrence's research interests are in the field of constitutional law and racial justice. His scholarly articles and OpEds have appeared in numerous law reviews and major newspapers; and he has participated in high-profile amicus curiae briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts. His book, Radicals in Their Own Time: Four Hundred Years of Struggle for Liberty and Equal Justice in America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011; and his book, Model Problems and Outstanding Answers: Constitutional Law (with Kevin Saunders), was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

    Professor Lawrence was chair of the elected MSU College of Law Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) from 2007-08 and 2016-17; and he has chaired and participated on numerous other law school committees. He was 2004-05 Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education, and 2006-07 Chair of the AALS Section on Pre-Legal Education.

    Professor Lawrence holds a B.S. degree from Indiana University, an M.B.S. from the University of Colorado, and M.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, where he graduated with honors and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Law Review. Prior to joining the MSU College of Law faculty in 1994, he practiced at the Washington, D.C. office of Baker & McKenzie.

  • Degrees

    J.D. University of Wisconsin, 1992; M.S. University of Wisconsin, 1992; M.B.S. University of Colorado, 1987; B.S. Indiana University, Bloomington, 1981

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses

    Constitutional Law II
    (Formerly DCL 172) A study of procedural and substantive due process of law, equal protection of the laws and the Bill of Rights, including freedom of expression.

    Constitutional Law Seminar
    This seminar on constitutional theory goes beyond the doctrinal analysis of the topics covered in introductory constitutional law courses to ask deeper normative questions about the United States constitutional system.

    (Formerly DCL 113) This is a survey course of the fundamentals of property law. Possessory interests of real and personal property including findings, bailments and adverse possession are discussed and analyzed. Topics also include future interests, concurrent ownership, lease holds, transfers of land and land use controls.

    Public International Law
    (Formerly DCL 341) This course involves the study of the international legal system, sources and organizations. It also examines the relationship of individuals and states in international law and transnational legal and economic problems.

  • Notes
  • Bar Admission(s)

    Colorado; Michigan; Illinois (inactive); District of Columbia (inactive); Wisconsin (inactive); United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; United States Court of International Trade

  • Publications

    Law Faculty Repository »

    SSRN Author Page »


    Radicals in Their Own Times: Four Hundred Years of Struggle Toward Liberty and Equal Justice in America (Cambridge University Press 2011).


    Government as Liberty’s Servant:  The “Reasonable Time, Place and Manner” Standard of Review for All Government Restrictions on Liberty Interests, __ La. L. Rev __ (forthcoming Fall 2007).

    Second Amendment Incorporation Through the Fourteenth Amendment Privileges or Immunities and Due Process Clauses, __ Mo. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming Summer 2007)

    Reviving a Natural Right:  The Freedom of Autonomy Amendment, 42 Willamette L. Rev. 123 (2006).

    Current Scholarship on Human Rights from Within Asia, in Workshops on International Law (Organization of American States, Canada 2006).

    Do “Creatures of the State” Have Constitutional Rights?:  Standing for Municipalities to Assert Procedural Due Process Claims Against the State, 47 Vill. L. Rev. 101 (2001).

    A New Case for Direct Congressional Regulation of Guns in School Zones, 77Denv. U. L. Rev. 769 (2000).

    Providing Guidance and Counsel on Ethics to Public Officials and Employees: The Proposed Michigan Government Ethics Act of 1999, 76 U. Det. L. Rev. 411(1999).

    Common Property and Natural Resource Management: A Michigan Perspective, in The Economics of Legal Relationships, vol. 5 (N. Mercuro and M. Kaplowitz eds., 1999).

    Toward a More Coherent Dormant Commerce Clause: A Proposed Unitary Framework, 21 Harv. J.L.& Pub. Pol’y 471 (1998).

    A Proposal to Reform the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to Allow Amortization of Nonconforming Uses, 1998 Det. C.L. Rev. 653.

    Finding Shade from the "Government in the Sunshine Act": A Proposal to Permit Private Informal Background Discussions at the U.S. International Trade Comm’n, 45 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1 (1995).

    Bias in the International Trade Administration: The Need for Impartial Decisionmakers in United States Antidumping Proceedings, 26 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 1 (Winter 1994).

    Court of International Trade Deference to International Trade Commission and International Trade Administration Antidumping Determinations: An Empirical Look, 25 Law & Pol'y Int'l Bus. 107 (Fall 1993) (with Thomas Ondeck).

    The U.S. International Trade Commission's Role in Protecting U.S. Markets, II-6 Int'l Legal Strategy 15 (1993) (with Thomas Ondeck).

    The Parol Evidence Rule in Wisconsin: Status in the Law of Contract, Revisited, 1991 Wis. L. Rev. 1071.

    In Progress:

    The People’s Constitution:  Tolerance as Touchstone (forthcoming 2007-08)

    The U.S. and Mexican Constitutions:  A Comparative Look (with Marcos del Rosario Rodriguez) (forthcoming 2007-08)

    Popular Media:

    Letter, “A Gun in My Home:  Is It My Right?,” The New York Times, March 19, 2007.

    Guest Columnist, “Court’s Job is to Check on Majority,” Lansing State Journal, February 5, 2006.

    Guest Columnist, “No Branch of Government Should be Above Constitution,” Detroit Free Press (Sunday Section) 1L, January 15, 2006.

    Guest Columnist, “New Justices, Crucial Cases Could Define High Court,” Detroit Free Press (Sunday Section) 6L, October 2, 2005.

    Guest Columnist, “Pledge Ruling Fails to Guard Religious Freedom,” The Detroit News, June 16, 2004.

    Guest Columnist, “Actions Show Congress’ Total Disregard for Citizens’ ‘Right to be Left Alone,’” Detroit Free Press, March 22, 2005 (regarding Congress’ intervention in Terri Schiavo case).