William H. Simon

Arthur Levitt Professor of Law

William H. Simon

Arthur Levitt Professor of Law

William H. Simon is the Arthur Levitt Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. His interests include professional responsibility, constitutional law, and regulatory and social policy.

Simon was a visiting professor at the Law School from 2001 to 2002, and became a full-time professor in 2003. Simon has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. From 1981 to 2003, Simon was on the faculty of Stanford Law School, and he is the emeritus holder of the Gertrude and William Saunders Chair there.

Before his time at Stanford, Simon practiced welfare and poverty law at the Legal Services Center in Boston, Mass. Simon has continued to consult and write about issues lawyering for poor people. In addition, Simon has consulted with many private firms and public interest organizations on legal ethics.

From 1974 to 1979, Simon was an associate at Foley, Hoag & Eloit in Boston. He has served as a visiting staff member at the National Center for Economic Development and Law, a director of the East Palo Alto Community Law Project, and a founding director of Bridge Bank of Silicon Valley. In 1994, he served as a Guggenheim fellow. He is a member of the Massachusetts bar.

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1974
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1969
Areas of Expertise
  • Professional responsibility
  • Social policy
  • “The Duty of Responsible Administration and the Problem of Police Accountability,” (with Charles Sabel), 33 Yale Journal on Regulation 165, 2016
  • “Duties to Organizational Clients,” in Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 2016
  • “The Organizational Premises of Administrative Law,” in Law & Contemporary Problems, 2015
  • “In Defense of the Panopticon,” Boston Review, 2014
  • “The Practice of Justice: A Theory of Lawyers' Ethics,” Harvard University Press, 1998
  • “Destabilization Rights: How Public Law Litigation Succeeds,” (with Charles Sabel), Harvard Law Review, 2004
  • “The Community Economic Development Movement: Law, Business, and Social Policy,” Duke University Press, 2002
Professional Experience
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School, Fall 2006
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School, Winter 2003
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School, Winter 1997–2001
  • Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley, 1997–1998
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School, 1986–1987
Complex Remedies: Institutional Reform Litigation
Constitutional Law
Deals: Public-Sector Problem Solving
Professional Responsibility
Rebuilding Government

Columbia Law School

435 West 116th StreetNew York, NY 10027-7297212-854-2640