Laura Weinrib uses the tools of historical analysis to expose the contingencies of entrenched legal concepts and to highlight the mutually constitutive relationship between law and society. Broadly speaking, her scholarship traces the development of law-related advocacy and ideas, focusing on how legal actors transformed and were in turn constrained by social and doctrinal categories. She is serving as an instructor of law during the 2010–11 academic year and will join the Law School faculty as an assistant professor in July 2011.
Weinrib’s published articles have focused on civil liberties, the labor movement, family law, and discrimination. Her current book project describes the emergence of a libertarian model of free speech in the United States between World War I and World War II. Based on extensive archival research, it argues that the interwar civil liberties movement gradually exchanged its progressive emphasis on political and economic reform for a new, recognizably modern commitment to legally enforceable individual rights.
Weinrib is a 2003 graduate of Harvard Law School and holds an AM in comparative literature from Harvard University. After law school, Weinrib clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is currently completing a PhD in history at Princeton University. Last year, she was a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History at the New York University School of Law.
Weinrib joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2010.