Lecturer in Law
Neil Makhija is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Mr. Makhija brings experience in civil rights & election law, consumer protection and employment law, and public interest litigation. He has represented the City of Philadelphia against manufacturers of opioid painkillers, as well as parents and children in the first class action against JUUL Labs, Inc. for the unlawful marketing of e-cigarettes to children.
Mr. Makhija’s commentary has been featured in Time, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Intercept, POLITICO, and other media outlets across the country. In the 2020 election cycle, he serves as an advisor to several candidates and campaigns on issues of consumer protection, workers’ rights, and Pennsylvania.
In 2016, Mr. Makhija was the Democratic nominee for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the 122nd House District, where he outperformed the national Democratic ticket by 14 points in the general election. During his candidacy, Mr. Makhija won the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court case, In Re: Makhija (2016), which protected the rights of students and recent graduates to run for office in their home state under the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Mr. Makhija earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School on the Horace Lentz Scholarship, which was endowed by a 19th century Pennsylvania coal magnate. While at Harvard, he founded the HLS Homelessness Coalition and was a Senior Policy Editor on the Harvard Law & Policy Review. He received his B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied neuroscience and served as co-president of his class and commencement speaker.
As the son of Indian immigrants who made Pennsylvania home, Mr. Makhija is passionate about enfranchising underrepresented communities and engaging new citizens in state and local politics. He currently serves as President of the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia.