Faculty-Neil Ricards

Neil Richards

Professor of Law


B.A. w/special honors, 1994, George Washington University
J.D., 1997, University of Virginia
M.A. (legal history), 1997, University of Virginia

Curriculum Vitae




Rachel Mance - (314) 935-6403

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-4794
E-mail: nrichards@wustl.edu  


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 578

Courses Taught

Speech, Press & the Constitution
Information Privacy Law
First Amendment Theory
Individual Rights and the Constitution


Neil Richards is an internationally-recognized expert in the fields of privacy, First Amendment, and information law. His recent work explores the complex relationships between free speech and privacy in cyberspace. Professor Richards’ articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal. His book, Intellectual Privacy, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Professor Richards also co-directs both the Washington University-Cambridge University International Privacy Law Conference and the Washington University Free Speech Conference

Professor Richards is a recipient of the Washington University student body’s David M. Becker Professor of the Year Award. Prior to joining the law faculty in 2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. with Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering, where he specialized in appellate litigation and privacy law. He is also a former law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. More recently, he successfully represented a St. Louis fantasy sports company in high-profile litigation against Major League Baseball. He was the inaugural Hugo Black Fellow at the University of Alabama Law School and a Temple Bar Fellow with the Inns of Court in London.

Working Papers (SSRN)

Representative Publications

Forthcoming Scholarship

  • "Five Privacy Myths," (work in progress)
    • Keynote address, Amherst College/University of Alabama Conference on "A World Without Privacy? What Can/Should Law Do?" Jan. 17, 2014
  • "Privacy and Free Speech: The Transatlantic Divide," (with Kirsty Hughes) (work in progress).
  • "How Should the Law Think About Robots?" (with William Smart) (work in progress).
  • "Why Data Privacy Law is (Mostly) Constitutional," William and Mary Law Review (forthcoming 2014) (symposium). [SSRN]

Recent Articles

  • "Why Data Privacy Law Is (Mostly) Constitutional," 56 William and Mary Law Review 1501 (2015) [SSRN]
  • "Big Data Ethics," (with Jonathan H. King), 49 Wake Forest Law Review 393 (2014) [SSRN]
  • "The Dangers of Surveillance," 126 Harvard Law Review 1934 (2013) [SSRN]
  • "The Perils of Social Reading," 101 Georgetown Law Journal, 689 (2013) [SSRN]
    • Awarded the 2012 University of Houston IPIL Sponsored Scholarship Grant prize.
  • "Three Paradoxes of Big Data," 66 Stanford Law Review Online 41 (2013) (with Jonathan H. King) [SSRN]
  • "The Limits of Tort Privacy," 9 Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law 357 (2011) [SSRN]
    • Invited submission for Conference on "Privacy and the Press," Silicon Flatirons Center, University of Colorado School of Law, Dec. 3, 2010
  • "Prosser’s Privacy Law: A Mixed Legacy," 98 California Law Review 1887 (2011) (with Daniel J. Solove) [SSRN]
    Recent Essays 

Book Chapters

  • "Privacy and Intellectual Freedom," in M. Alfino ed., The Handbook of Intellectual Freedom (Unwin, 2013) (with Joanna F. Cornwell)
  • "Tort Privacy and Free Speech," in D. Doerr & U. Fink, eds., The Right Privacy - Perspectives From Three Continents (De Gruyter 2012) 

Other Writings

  • "Watching the Watchers: The Rise of Sousveillance," Wired Magazine, The Wired Workd in 2014 (UK Edition) (forthcoming 2013)
  • "They Know Where You Are (But They Shouldn’t)," Boston Review, August 26, 2013, available here 
  • "Opinion: Don’t Let U.S. Government Read Your E-mail," CNN.com Opinion, August 18, 2013, available here 
  • "Surveillance After the Boston Bombing," The Chronicle of Higher Education, Issue #35, May 10, 2013, available here 
  • "Opinion: Surveillance State No Answer to Terror," CNN.com Opinion, April 23, 2013, available here 
  • "Keep Your Update to Yourself," Wired Magazine, The Wired World in 2013 (UK Edition), 2012, available here   
  • "Choose Privacy Week 2012: The Perils of Social Reading," PrivacyRevolution.org, May 2, 2012, available here 
  • "Rethinking Privacy in the Digital Age," Washington University Law Magazine, Spring 2012, at p. 47, available here  


Intellectual Privacy: Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age, (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014)