A. E. Howard headshot

A. E. E. Howard

Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
LL.B. University of Virginia School of Law 1961
M.A. University of Oxford 1965
B.A. University of Richmond 1954

Widely acknowledged as an expert in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism, and the Supreme Court, A. E. Dick Howard is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Professor Howard is a graduate of the University of Richmond and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics, and economics. After graduating from law school, he was a law clerk to Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Active in public affairs, Professor Howard was executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia's current constitution and directed the successful referendum campaign for its ratification. He has been counsel to the General Assembly of Virginia and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1982 to 1986 he served as counselor to the Governor of Virginia, and he chaired Virginia's Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

Professor Howard has been twice a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C. He has served as president of the Virginia Academy of Laureates and has received the University of Virginia's Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching. James Madison University, the University of Richmond, Campbell University, the College of William and Mary, and, in 2000, Wake Forest University have conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In the fall of 2001, he was the first Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Residence at Rhodes House, Oxford.

Professor Howard is the author of a number of books, articles, and monographs. These include The Road from Runnymede: Magna Carta and Constitutionalism in America and Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia, which won a Phi Beta Kappa prize. More recent works include Democracy's Dawn and Constitution-making in Eastern Europe.

Professor Howard has briefed and argued cases before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a regular guest on television news programs; during the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, Professor Howard provided gavel-to-gavel coverage for the “McNeil-Lehrer News Program.” He also interviewed the justices for the film being shown to visitors to the Supreme Court's building in Washington.

Often consulted by constitutional draftsmen in other states and abroad, Professor Howard has compared notes with revisers at work on new constitutions in Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Albania, Malawi, and South Africa. In 1996, the Union of Czech Lawyers, citing Professor Howard's promotion of the idea of a civil society in Central Europe, awarded him their Randa Medal—the first time this honor has been conferred upon anyone but a Czech citizen. In 2004, the Greater Richmond Chapter of the World Affairs Council conferred on him their George C. Marshall Award in International Law and Diplomacy.

In January 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Professor Howard as one of the most respected educators in the nation. In 2007, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Library of Virginia included Professor Howard on their list of the "greatest Virginians" of the 20th century.

In 2013 the University of Virginia recognized Howard with its Thomas Jefferson Award — the highest honor given to faculty members at the University. The award commended Howard "for advancing, through his character, work, and personal example the ideals and objectives for which Jefferson founded the University."

In 2016, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, in announcing the restoration of voting rights to convicted felons, recognized Howard for his consultation on the matter as "the foremost constitutional authority in Virginia." (Full Speech)

LAW 7624: Virginia and the Constitution (SC)
Credits: 1
In the 400 years since its first settlement, Virginia has been intimately intertwined with the central themes of American constitutionalism - the idea of rights, the balance between national and state power, the nature of religious liberty, the problem of race and discrimination, etc. In this short course, we will consider selected persons, documents, and events which illuminate those themes.
LAW 7649: State Constitutions (SC)
Credits: 1
The world of state constitutions is, in short, a universe whose study adds depth and texture to our understanding of American constitutionalism. This course will examine state constitutions from both historical and contemporary perspectives.
LAW 8810: Directed Research
Credits: 1
Eligible students receive credit for serving as research assistants supervised by selected law school faculty members.
LAW 8811: Independent Research
Credits: 1
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8812: Independent Research
Credits: 2
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member
LAW 8814: Independent Research (YR)
This course is the first semester of a yearlong independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8815: Independent Research (YR)
Credits: 2
This course is the second semester of a yearlong independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 9019: Constitutionalism: History and Jurisprudence
Credits: 3
This seminar focuses on various ways of thinking about constitutions and constitutionalism. We will draw upon the various schools of jurisprudence, historical and contemporary sources, and important moments in the history of constitutionalism, such as the founding period of the United States and in France, the era of liberalism in 19th century Europe, and the emergence of social and economic rights in the 20th century, etc.
LAW 9062: Supreme Court from Warren to Roberts
Credits: 3
This seminar will consider the origins of the Warren Court, that Court's legacy, and the extent to which that legacy survives today; the relation between presidential politics and the work of the Court; the interplay between the Court and the country at large; specific doctrinal developments; the philosophies of the individual justices; and voting blocs and behavior on the Court.
LAW 9088: Supreme Court Justices and the Art of Judging
Credits: 3
Key figures on the modern Supreme Court will be the focus of this seminar. We will consider selected justices - their background before coming to the Court, their major decisions, their jurisprudence, their interaction with other justices, their legacy. We will take stock of these justices both through their own writings and through the views of commentators, including judicial biographers.
LAW 9283: Constitutionalism: Nation, Culture, and Constitutions
Credits: 2–3
This seminar will examine the extent to which constitutions and constitutionalism reflect the history, traditions, culture, and politics of a particular people. How do countries give voice, in their constitutional arrangements, to national impulses and aspirations? Using Anglo-American constitutionalism as a point of reference, we will consider what other countries do.