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Lara Schwartz Professorial Lecturer Department of Government

Contact
Send email to Lara Schwartz
(202) 885-6682
SPA - Government
Kerwin Hall - 241
By appointment summer 2021. Email for times.
Additional Positions at AU
Director, Project on Civil Discourse
Degrees
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
K Vonnegut, Mother Night
Bio
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)." from June 2019-June 2020 she was a fellow at the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.

Twitter Profile

Teaching

Spring 2021

  • GOVT-352 Law and the Political System

  • SPA-220 The American Constitution

  • SPA-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Changemakers: LGBTQ Equality

Fall 2021

  • GOVT-321 Congress& Legislative Behavior

  • GOVT-352 Law and the Political System

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Media Appearances

Congressional Testimony

  • 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.

Selected Publications

Professional Presentations

Films/Documentaries

Professional Certifications

  • Member (inactive) of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Fourth Circuits.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

SPA Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, 2020-2021.

SPA Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community in a Term Faculty Appointment, 2019-2020.

University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement: 2019-2020 fellow. 

Faculty Fellow, Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning 2018-2019.

SPA Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Term Faculty Appointment,  2015-2016.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Civility and civil discourse; free speech on college campuses; judicial nominations; LGBT rights; disability rights

Additional Information

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.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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