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Never separate the life you live from the words you speak. -Paul Wellstone

Lara Schwartz

Professorial Lecturer Department of Government

Additional Positions at AU

  • Director, Project on Civil Discourse
  • SPA Honors Program Director
Lara Schwartz specializes in civil discourse and campus speech, constitutional law, civil rights, politics, communications, and policy. With over a decade as a legislative lawyer, lobbyist, and communications strategist in leading civil rights organizations, Lara brings an advocate’s-eye view to her teaching. Prior to joining the SPA faculty, Lara served as Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. Previously she served as Courts Matter director at Media Matters, Legal Director at the Human Rights Campaign, and Vice President of External Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Lara worked in litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and Gilbert, Heintz, and Randolph. She also served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald Lee Gilman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Lara has appeared on national and local radio and television programs and written op-eds published in national papers and local papers of record.

Twitter Profile


AB, English and American Literature, Brown University 1993
JD, Harvard Law School 1998

Favorite Spot on Campus
Favorite Place in Washington DC
In the shade.
Book Currently Reading
Chemerinsky and Gillman, Free Speech on Campus
Languages Spoken
English and Legalese

Download Resume (PDF)

SPA - Government
Kerwin Hall - 241
Wednesday 3-6pm.
Contact Info
(202) 885-6682 (Office)

Send email to Lara Schwartz

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Lara's Huffington Post Blog


Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Media Appearances


Congressional Testimony

  • House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and District of Columbia. “Ensuring a merit-based employment system: an examination of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel.”  July 12, 2007.

Selected Publications

  • "Advocates of Dignity Can Do Better Than Death."  Savannah Law Review, Spring 2016.
  • "Area Man Supports Garland Nomination?" -With John Burns, SPA 2016, ACS Blog
  • “No Forsaking our Core Principles.” Legal Times, May 26, 2008.
  • "Straight Talk about Hate Crimes Bills: Anti-Gay, Anti-Transgender Bias Stalls Federal Hate Crimes Legislation," Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law 7, 2006, p. 171-186.
  • Dozens of ghost-written op eds.


Professional Certifications

  • Member (inactive) of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Fourth Circuits.