Joanna Grisinger Associate Professor of Instruction | Director of Undergraduate Studies

Joanna Grisinger (J.D. and Ph.D. in History, The University of Chicago) works in twentieth-century U.S. legal and political history with a focus on the modern administrative state. Her first book, The Unwieldy American State: Administrative Politics Since the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2012), offers a political history of administrative law reform. Her current research examines the relationship between administrative agencies and the civil rights movement and explores public interest participation in administrative decisionmaking.


Prof. Grisinger is a co-founder and co-organizer of the Law & History Collaborative Research Network (established 2013) within the Law and Society Association, is a board member of the Consortium for Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs, and is one of two section editors for the Legal History section of Jotwell.com. She has served on prize committees of the American Society for Legal History, the Law and Society Association, and the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary Fellowship Committee, and was a member of the editorial board of Law & Social Inquiry from 2012 to 2014.

Courses Taught

  • Legal_St 101: Freshman Seminar: Law & the Civil Rights Movement
  • Legal_St/Hist 318-1,2: Legal and Constitutional History of the United States – to 1850/since 1850
  • Legal_St/Poli_Sci 332/333: Constitutional Law I & II
  • Legal_St 340: Gender and the Law
  • Legal_St 376: Legal History of the Colonies and Constitution
  • Legal_St 398-1,2: Advanced Research Seminar

Selected Publications

  • The Unwieldy American State: Administrative Politics Since the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  • “The Administrative Procedure Act and the Hearing Examiners,” Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary 34, no. 1 (2014): 1-46.
  • “Law and the Administrative State,” in Sally Hadden and Alfred L. Brophy, eds., A Companion to American Legal History (in the Blackwell Companions to American History series) (2013).
  • “Law in Action: The Attorney General’s Committee on Administrative Procedure,” Journal of Policy History 20, no. 3 (2008): 379-41