Lee Epstein is the University Professor of Law & Political Science; and Charles L. and Ramona I. Hilliard Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. Her research and teaching interests center on law and legal institutions, especially the behavior of judges.
She most recently served as the Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
Epstein is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She also serves as co-director of the Center for Empirical Research in the Law and Principal Investigator of the U.S. Supreme Court Database. In addition to her position at the USC Gould School of Law, she is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hebrew University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Bergen in Norway.
A recipient of 12 grants from the National Science Foundation, Epstein has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles and essays and 18 books, including The Behavior of Federal Judges, with William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner (Harvard University Press) and An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research, with Andrew D. Martin (Oxford University Press). She is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook on Judicial Behaviour (with Gunnar Grendstad, Urska Sadl, & Keren Weinshall). Professor Epstein’s empirical research is frequently cited in the New York Times, among other news media.
Awards include the Pritchett Award for the Best Book on Law and Courts and the Lasting Contribution Award for research “that has made a lasting impression on the field of law and courts” for The Choices Justice Make (with Jack Knight); the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association for the Constitutional Law for a Changing America series; the Lifetime Achievement Award, also from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.
Epstein teaches courses on constitutional law, judicial behavior, the U.S. Supreme Court, and research design and methods. She is a recipient of Northwestern University School of Law’s Outstanding First-Year Course Professor Award. At Washington University, she was named Professor of the Year by the Undergraduate Political Science Association and received a Faculty of the Year Award from the Student Union. She also received Washington University’s Alumni Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Award and the Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award.