Areas of Expertise
- Civil Rights and Discrimination
- Constitutional Law
- Federal Courts
- Poverty Law
Gene Nichol is a professor of law teaching courses in the constitution and federal courts. 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 (4th ed. 2019, Marshall & Wells). He’s published articles in the Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Duke, California, and Virginia law reviews, the Supreme Court Review, the Journal of Law & Contemporary Problems, and Southern Cultures. 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 UNC School of Law 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.
- J.D. (Order of the Coif), University of Texas at Austin (1976)
Forcing Judges to Criminalize Poverty in North Carolina, UCLA CRIM. JUST. L. REV. (2020).
INDECENT ASSEMBLY: THE NORTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE'S BLUEPRINT FOR THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY AND EQUALITY (Blair/Carolina Wren Press, 2020).
F254 .N57 2020
Losing Carolina, 25 SOUTHERN CULTURES 106 (Spring 2019).
CASES AND MATERIALS ON FEDERAL COURTS (M. Wells, W. Marshall & G. Nichol, eds., 4th ed. 2019).
KF8719 .W45 2020
THE FACES OF POVERTY IN NORTH CAROLINA: STORIES FROM OUR INVISIBLE CITIZENS, (UNC Press, 2018).
HC107.N8 N57 2018
From Silence to Savagery, Pain for the Poor Intensifies (twelfth installment in series Seeing the Invisible: A Yearlong Look at N.C. Poverty), RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER, Op-Ed., Dec.. 28, 2013.
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 | BEPress
In the Media
- Nichol: Political Interference with Academic Freedom at Public Universities (Academe Magazine)
- Nichol: A Lot of Folks Who Cannot Make Ends Meet Are Working. They Work Very Hard. (Hickory Record)
- Author John Grisham to Interview UNC Professor Gene Nichol at Charity Event (Daily Tar Heel)
- Nichol Book Focuses on NC’s ‘Invisible’ Poverty (News and Observer)
- The Faces of Poverty – A Special Interview with UNC Law Professor Gene Nichol (The Progressive Pulse)
- Nichol's Academic Freedom Lecture at U Mich to Discuss State Interference in Critique of Government (University Record)
- NC Poverty Research Fund Report on Court Fines and Fees (NC Policy Watch)
- Op-Ed: Julius Chambers Warned That Conservatives Would Oppose UNC's Civil Rights Center; Nichol Discusses (News and Observer)
- Nichol Joins Zach Galifinakis on “Democracy for Sale” Panel (Wilkes Journal Patriot)
- How Scalia Made It Difficult to Bring Cases to Court, Nichol Quoted (The Atlantic)
- How A Right-Wing Political Machine Is Dismantling Higher Education in N.C.; Birckhead, Boger, Dorosin and Nichol Quoted (The Nation)
- The War on the War on Poverty (The New Republic)
- Nichol Speaks at Harvard about Access to Justice after Gideon (Harvard Law News)