Director, Office of Academic Publishing
Professor of Law
In his 27 years on the faculty, Jethro K. Lieberman has served in many of the school’s central academic and administrative roles. From 2000-2007, he was associate dean for academic affairs, a role he reprised as interim associate dean in Spring 2012. He served as director of the Writing Program for more than 20 years, and as Vice President, Academic Publishing, and now director of academic publishing, overseeing the Law Review, the Program in Law and Journalism, and Tribeca Square Press, the School’s new publishing arm, which he serves as founding publisher and editorial director. He is also publisher of the School’s news blog, Legal As She Is Spoke, a project of students in the Legal Reporting classes.
Professor Lieberman joined the faculty in 1985. He has taught 16 different courses over the years, including Constitutional Law, Advanced Writing Skills, Freedom of Speech, Military Law, and Law and Society. In 2008 he launched a course, Explaining Law to the Public, in which students write original monographs to be published in book form by Tribeca Square Press.
In starting a new publishing venture for the Law School, Professor Lieberman will be returning to his roots in writing, journalism, and publishing. A student journalist in his undergraduate years at Yale, he graduated in 1964 with a B.A. in politics and economics. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1967, he practiced law for six years, including a stint of three years' active duty in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, followed by practice in the area of antitrust and trade regulation at a large Washington D.C. law firm. In the early 1970s he moved to New York, where he served as Vice President and General Counsel of Stein and Day, a trade book publisher. But the call of journalism proved strong, and in 1973 he became Founding Editor of the Legal Affairs Department at Business Week. In his nearly ten years at the magazine, he wrote six cover stories, including one on litigiousness and another on the direction of antitrust policy.
In 1995, Professor Lieberman earned a Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University where for several years thereafter as Adjunct Professor of Political Science he taught an undergraduate constitutional law course.
Along the way, Professor Lieberman has also pursued a career as an author. His first book was published when he was a third-year law student, and since then he has written and edited more than 25 books published by major American publishers, including W. W. Norton, Random House, Harper & Row, West, Basic Books, Harcourt Brace, McGraw-Hill, Avon, Penguin, and the University of California Press. Two of his books, The Litigious Society (Basic Books, 1981) and The Enduring Constitution (West and Harper & Row, 1987), have won the American Bar Association’s top literary prize, the Silver Gavel, and one of his books, The Complete CB Handbook (Avon, 1976), which he wrote in three weeks during the height of the CB radio craze, wound up on a Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers list. His books also cover legal ethics, business and constitutional law, and writing, including Crisis at the Bar (Norton, 1978), A Practical Companion to the Constitution: How the Supreme Court Has Ruled on Issues from Abortion to Zoning (University of California Press, 1999), and The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well (University of California Press, revised paperback edition, 2002).
In the years to come, he plans on devoting time to adding to the list of books published by Tribeca Square Press and building on the success of the Program in Law and Journalism, helping it grow to reach more students interested in the intersection of the worlds of law and the press, and to help develop those interested in pursuing careers in legal journalism.
The father of two grown children, Professor Lieberman lives in Ardsley, New York with his wife Jo. In his increasingly scarce spare time, he publishes occasional pamphlets as proprietor of a private press. His introduction to type and printing began early in his childhood: he learned to set type at the age of nine in his father’s print shop. He still maintains type and presses at his home, and is the proud owner of one of the world’s most famous printing presses still in private hands, the Kelmscott/Goudy Albion iron hand press, originally used by William Morris in 1896 to publish the book known today as the Kelmscott Chaucer, and brought to the United States in 1924 by Frederic W. Goudy, the preeminent American type designer. If you want to see a remnant of the old typography, drop by his office and take a look at the antique coffee table inset with real lead type from the early twentieth century.
O: C341 (47 Worth Street)
Yale University, B.A. 1964 cum laude
Harvard University, J.D. 1967 cum laude
Columbia University, M.Phil. 1994, Ph.D. 1995.
Phi Beta Kappa Bicentennial Fellowship, 1972–73.