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Maggie McKinley, scholar of lobbying, legislative process, joins Law School faculty

May 15, 2017

Public law scholar Maggie McKinley (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe), whose current projects examine lobbying and petitioning, will join the Penn Law faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law this July. McKinley serves as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. McKinley’s research examines legislative procedure and, particularly, the representation and participation of minorities in the lawmaking process.

“We are thrilled to welcome Maggie, a dynamic, rising scholar, to Penn Law,” said Ted Ruger, Dean of the Law School and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “Her research applies rich empiricism and theoretical inquiry to questions of legislation, Constitutional law, and Native American law. Her pathbreaking scholarship has already begun to reshape conversations around lobbying, the Petition Clause, and the modern state. We look forward to her joining the Law School community.”

“I am honored to be a part of the Penn Law faculty,” said McKinley. “Penn’s founder, Benjamin Franklin, along with the Quakers, mounted one of the earliest and most rigorous petitioning and lobbying campaigns for the abolition of slavery. The Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia to petition King George and to draft the Declaration. I can imagine no better city and no better institution to house my projects.”

In “Lobbying and the Petition Clause,” recently published by the Stanford Law Review, McKinley unsettled the long-held presumption that lobbying is protected from regulation and reform by the Petition Clause and offered an innovative reading of the Clause taking account of its historical context. In other projects, she ran an eleven-month field study of federal lobbyists in D.C. and co-managed a large-scale study of the history of petitioning based in the Harvard Department of Government.

Her awards include the Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award, as well as grants and fellowships from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the American Political Science Association, the Warren E. Miller Fund in Electoral Politics, and other organizations.

McKinley is a member of the California and D.C. bar, as well as the Native American Bar Association.

After earning a BA summa cum laude in linguistic anthropology from UCLA, McKinley received a JD from Stanford Law School and clerked for Chief Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the Honorable Susan Graber of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also practiced civil litigation on behalf of unions and labor federations at the Washington, D.C. firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser.

Along with McKinley, four other scholars have joined the Penn Law faculty over the course of the previous academic year. Beth Simmons and Ryan Doerfler joined at the beginning of this year, David A. Hoffman came to the Law School in January, and Allison Hoffman joins the faculty this July.