JSP Student Profile

David Scott Louk


Year: Doctorate in JSP

Email: dlouk [at] law [dot] columbia [dot] edu


David is Ph.D. Candidate in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley. He graduated with honors and distinction from Stanford University with a B.A. in Political Science and also holds an M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon Scholar. He is a 2015 graduate of Yale Law School, where he served as the Executive and Managing Editor of the Global Constitutionalism Seminar, as an Articles Editor on the Yale Law Journal, as a Policy Fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, and as a Coker Fellow teaching torts and legal research and writing to first-year law students.

David is currently an Academic Fellow at Columbia Law School. David previously served as a law clerk to the honorable Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and as a law clerk to the honorable Judge James E. Boasberg on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He has previously assisted in public interest impact litigation with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office and at Public Citizen, and he has represented clients seeking asylum through the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization (LSO) at Yale Law School and served as a Presiding Arbitrator for the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Dissertation Abstract:

David's research examines the relationship between courts and other actors in the lawmaking process: legislatures, executive branches and agencies, and the states. His research focuses on the fields of legislation and statutory interpretation, administrative law, criminal law and procedure, and constitutional law, among others. His Ph.D. dissertation, Law’s Audiences, explores the roles of non-judicial actors in the interpretation of statutory and constitutional law.

David's teaching interests include not only how courts interpret the law, but how law is drafted and implemented. To this end, he is the co-author of a forthcoming casebook, Legal Methods: Case Analysis, Statutory Interpretation, and Statutory Drafting (Foundation Press 5th ed. 2020), which integrates original materials and teaching exercises in statutory drafting so that students can experience firsthand the distinct challenges of drafting, implementing, and interpreting the law.

David is also interested in in the relationship between judicial and legislative solutions to contemporary legal problems. His prior publications include an examination of the legislative, budgetary, and fiscal policymaking dynamics surrounding government shutdowns; the historical evolution of the Burger Court’s federalism jurisprudence; and legislative approaches to resolving tensions between First Amendment rights and public employee union participation. His prior scholarship has been cited and discussed in The Economist, Slate, Take Care, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among other publications.


BA Stanford University
MPhil Oxford University
JD Yale Law School

Academic Experiences:

Recent Publications:
Reconstructing the Congressional Guarantee of Republican Government, 73 Vanderbilt L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2020)
The Audiences of Statutes, 105 Cornell L. Rev. ____ (forthcoming 2020)
Repairing the Irreparable: Revisiting the Federalism Decisions of the Burger Court, 125 Yale L.J. 682 (2016).
Is Abood Irrelevant?, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. Dialogue 227 (2015) (with Daniel Hemel).
Preventing Government Shutdowns: Designing Default Rules for Budgets, 86 U. Colo. L. Rev. 181 (2015) (with David Gamage).


Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
Administrative Law and the Regulatory State
Constitutional Law, Federalism, and Federal Courts
Criminal Law & Procedure
Privacy Law

Institutional Design & Positive Political Science
Philosophy of Law & Language
History of Political Thought
Theories of Justice and Liberty

Website: https://columbia.academia.edu/DavidLouk

Employment Experiences:

Academic Fellow, Columbia Law School 2017-present
Clerk, The Honorable Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Clerk, The Honorable James E. Boasberg, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia