Our Students - Profiles

David Scott Louk

Year: Advanced to Candidacy (ABD) - 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 Associate in Law at Columbia Law School. Prior to his position as at Columbia, David 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 current research explores how legal actors other than judges think about and interpret laws and the Constitution. His research projects implicate two central questions: First, how do (and should) ordinary citizens, administrative agencies, police officers, and other actors engage with sources of law and participate in legal and constitutional interpretation? And second, how and in what circumstances should judges take non-judicial interpretations into consideration when they interpret law and decide cases? Drawing on a variety of qualitative, quantitative, historical, theoretical, and doctrinal sources, David’s research focuses on the fields of legislation and statutory interpretation, administrative law; constitutional claims about federalism and individual rights; civil procedure and access to courts; and tort law and qualified immunity doctrine. His previous publications have examined legislative budgetary and fiscal policymaking dynamics, the historical evolution of the Supreme Court’s federalism jurisprudence, the interaction between First Amendment rights and public employee union participation, and applications of the Alien Tort Statute.


BA Stanford University
MPhil Oxford University
JD Yale Law School

Academic Experiences:

Recent Publications:
David Scott Louk, Repairing the Irreparable: Revisiting the Federalism Decisions of the Burger Court, 125 Yale L.J. 682 (2016).
Daniel Hemel & David Louk, Is Abood Irrelevant?, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. Dialogue 227 (2015).
David Scott Louk & David Gamage, Preventing Government Shutdowns: Designing Default Rules for Budgets, 86 U. Colo. L. Rev. 181 (2015).


Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
Administrative Law and the Regulatory State
Federalism and Federal Courts
Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Legal History

History of Political Thought
Theories of Justice and Liberty
International Law & International Relations
Institutional Design

Website: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1579389