Gene R. Nichol

Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor of Law

Work
(919) 962-5928
Office
5106 Van Hecke-Wettach Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • Civil Rights and Discrimination
  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal Courts
  • Poverty Law

Biography

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor at UNC. He was president of the College of William & Mary (2005-2008), law dean at the University of Colorado (1988-1995), and dean at UNC from 1999-2005. He is author of INDECENT ASSEMBLY: The North Carolina Legislature’s Blueprint for the War Against Democracy and Equality (Blair Publishing, 2020); THE FACES OF POVERTY IN NORTH CAROLINA: Stories From Our Invisible Citizens (UNC Press, 2018); FEDERAL COURTS (2015, Marshall & Wells). He’s published articles in the Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Duke, California, and Virginia law reviews. He’s been a columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer for over fifteen years, and writes regularly for The Progressive Populist, the Charlotte Observer and the Durham Herald.

In 2003, Nichol received the ABA’s Edward Finch Award for the nation’s best Law Day address. In 2004-5, he was named Carolina’s pro bono professor of the year, was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and Equal Justice Works named him pro bono dean of the year. In 2008, he received Oklahoma State University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award; the “Courage To Do Justice Award” from the National Employment Lawyers Association; and the Thomas Jefferson Award for defense of religious liberty from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In 2013, the NC Council of Churches gave Nichol its Faith Active in Public Life Award; the NC-ACLU named him its W.W. Finlator Award winner; and UNC gave him its Thomas Jefferson Award — the university’s highest faculty honor. In 2014, he received the McCall Teaching Award from the UNC Law School and the University of Colorado’s Joanne Arnold award for courage in defense of civil liberty.

In 2018, he was invited by the faculty of the University of Michigan to give the annual Davis, Markert, Nickerson Academic Freedom Lecture and received UNC’s Wettach Award for research excellence. Nichol attended Oklahoma State University, receiving a degree in philosophy and playing varsity football. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Texas, graduating Order of the Coif.

Education

  • J.D. (Order of the Coif), University of Texas at Austin (1976)

Selected Publications

Losing Carolina, 25 SOUTHERN CULTURES 106 (Spring 2019).
Document Link

Lessons on Political Speech, Academic Freedom, and University Governance from the New North Carolina, 16 FIRST AMEND. L. REV. 39 (2018).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | Hein

THE FACES OF POVERTY IN NORTH CAROLINA: STORIES FROM OUR INVISIBLE CITIZENS, (UNC Press, 2018).
HC107.N8 N57 2018

CASES AND MATERIALS ON FEDERAL COURTS (W. Marshall, G. Nichol & M. Wells) (3rd ed. 2015).
KF8718 .W45 2015 c.2

Race, Poverty and "Current Conditions", 49 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 791 (2014).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | Hein

Rankings, Economic Challenge, and the Future of Legal Education, 61 J. LEGAL EDUC. 345 (2012).
Westlaw | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Not a Winn-Win: The Establishment Clause and Taxpayer Standing, 2011 SUP. CT. REV. 215 (2011).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein

Wages, Work, Privilege, and Legal Education 5 HARV. L. & POL'Y REV. 1 (2011).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Ripeness and the Constitution, 54 U. CHI. L. REV. 153 (1987).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | Hein | BEPress

Rethinking Standing, 72 CAL. L. REV. 68 (1984) (reprinted in LOUIS FISHER, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (1990) and THOMAS O. SARGENTICH, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW ANTHOLOGY (1994)).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | Hein

SSRN Author Page

In the Media