Reese Prize: Associate Professor Jessica Bulman-Pozen
Jessica Bulman-Pozen, a leading expert in federalism, administrative law, and constitutional law, is the recipient of the 2015 Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching awarded by this year’s graduates.
For inspiration in the classroom, Bulman-Pozen doesn’t have to look very far: She credits the examples of her own former professors, her colleagues at Columbia Law School, and her mother, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The crucial skill for law students, Bulman-Pozen said, is learning how to think “rigorously, critically, and fair-mindedly. It's great if students remember various doctrinal or theoretical details, but it’s more important to me that they have learned how to approach legal problems.”
Among other courses, Bulman-Pozen has taught the Public Law Workshop, which exposes students to current scholarship in the public law area and to the scholarly enterprise generally. She is a co-chair of the Law School’s Clerkships and Judicial Relations Committee and a member of its Government Service Committee.
Bulman-Pozen has written extensively on federalism, including the 2014 Harvard Law Review article “Partisan Federalism,” which examines how party politics drive states to contest federal government action and how partisanship may lead Americans to identify with the states as well as the nation. Bulman-Pozen is also the co-author of “Uncivil Obedience,” forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review, which explores how people can disrupt legal regimes by adhering to their formal rules.
Before joining the Columbia Law School faculty in 2012, Bulman-Pozen worked for two years as an attorney-adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. She previously clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Bulman-Pozen received her J.D. from Yale Law School, serving as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and winning the Israel H. Peres Prize awarded by the faculty for the best student note. She also earned an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a B.A. summa cum laude from Yale University, where she won the Chauncey Brewster Tinker prize for the outstanding English major in the graduating class.