- Additional Positions at AU
- Director, Project on Civil Discourse
- SPA Honors Program Director
- AB, English and American Literature, Brown University 1993 JD, Harvard Law School 1998
- Languages Spoken
- English and Legalese
- Favorite Spot on Campus
- Garden behind Kay
- Favorite Place in Washington DC
- In the shade
- Book Currently Reading
- Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
- Lara Schwartz specializes in civil discourse and campus speech, constitutional law, civil rights, politics, communications, and policy. Drawing on her experience as a legislative lawyer, lobbyist, and communications strategist in leading civil rights organizations, Lara brings an advocate’s-eye view to her teaching. Prior to joining the SPA faculty, Lara served as Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. Previously she served as Courts Matter director at Media Matters, Legal Director at the Human Rights Campaign, and Vice President of External Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Lara worked in litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and Gilbert, Heintz, and Randolph. She also served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald Lee Gilman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Lara has appeared on national and local radio and television programs and written op-eds published in national papers and local papers of record. She is the co-author of "How to College: What to Know Before You Go (And When You're There)," a practical guide for students.
- See Also
- AU Project on Civil Discourse
- #SpeechMatters Conference Panel "Furthering Civil Discourse in Higher Education"
- Listen to Lara on The Kojo Nnamdi Show
- National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement names Lara Schwartz to 2019-2020 class of fellows
- For the Media
- To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and District of Columbia. “Ensuring a merit-based employment system: an examination of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel.” July 12, 2007.
- Member (inactive) of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Fourth Circuits.
- Wisconsin Public Radio Central Time "Executive Order On Campus Speech Leaves Questions On Parameters, Enforcement" March 25, 2019.
- Kojo Nnamdi Show November 20, 2018: "Belonging, Civility, Ugh: What Happens When Commonly Held Ideals Backfire"
- Vice News October 29, 2018 These are Some of the Most Racist Political Ads of 2018
- Globe And Mail October 26, 2018 Two more suspicious packages found Friday as FBI chases bomb leads to Florida, Trump rails against media
- Insight into Diversity October 15 2018, Bridging the Partisan Divide
- Wall Street Journal August 15, 2018 New Topic on Campus: Civil Discourse 101
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
Faculty Fellow, Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning 2018-2019
Outstanding Teaching in a School of Public Affairs Term Faculty Appointment 2016
- How to College: What to Know Before You Go (And When You're There), St. Martin's Press, 2019
- "What Parents Should Do to Help Students Prepare For The First Year of College," The Conversation April 4, 2019.
- "Teach College-Bound Kids About Privilege: It Goes Beyond the Lori Laughlin, Felicity Huffman Scandal." With Andrea Malkin Brenner. Salon, March 19, 2019.
- "Civil Discourse in the Classroom." Academe Magazine Winter 2019 (with Daniel Ritter)
- "Advocates of Dignity Can Do Better Than Death." Savannah Law Review, Spring 2016.
- "Area Man Supports Garland Nomination?" -With John Burns, SPA 2016, ACS Blog
- “No Forsaking our Core Principles.” Legal Times, May 26, 2008.
- "Straight Talk about Hate Crimes Bills: Anti-Gay, Anti-Transgender Bias Stalls Federal Hate Crimes Legislation," Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law 7, 2006, p. 171-186.
- Dozens of ghost-written op eds.
- Huffington Post Archive: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/lara-schwartz
- Media Matters Archive: https://www.mediamatters.org/authors/lara-schwartz/208
- Executive produced, scripted, and cast PSA www.aapd.com/30seconds
Area of Expertise
Civility and civil discourse; free speech on college campuses; judicial nominations; LGBT rights; disability rights
Lara Schwartz teaches in the Department of Government and is the Director of the Project on Civil Discourse. Prior to joining the SPA faculty, she served as Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy; Courts Matter director at Media Matters, Legal Director at the Human Rights Campaign; and Vice President of External Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Prof. Schwartz has appeared on national and local radio and television programs the Diane Rehm Show, C-Span Washington Journal, the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and CNN. As a ghost-writer, she has published dozens of op-eds in papers of record such as the Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, among others. Under her own byline, she has published in legal journals such as the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and the Savannah Law Review. In addition to publications such as the DC Legal Times, and Huffington Post, she has been a guest blogger for the blogs of the American Constitution Society and the American Association of University Professors.