- Additional Positions at AU
- Director, Project on Civil Discourse
- AB, English and American Literature, Brown University 1993
JD, Harvard Law School 1998
- Languages Spoken
- English and Legalese
- Favorite Spot on Campus
- Garden behind Kay
- Favorite Place in Washington DC
- In the shade
- Book Currently Reading
- Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Lara Schwartz specializes in civil discourse and campus speech, constitutional law, civil rights, politics, communications, and policy. Drawing on her experience as a legislative lawyer, lobbyist, and communications strategist in leading civil rights organizations, Lara brings an advocate’s-eye view to her teaching.
Prior to joining the SPA faculty, Lara served as Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. Previously she served as Courts Matter director at Media Matters, Legal Director at the Human Rights Campaign, and Vice President of External Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Lara worked in litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and Gilbert, Heintz, and Randolph. She also served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald Lee Gilman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Lara has appeared on national and local radio and television programs and written op-eds published in national papers and local papers of record. She is the co-author of "How to College: What to Know Before You Go (And When You're There)." from June 2019-June 2020 she was a fellow at the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.
- See Also
- AU Project on Civil Discourse
- #SpeechMatters Conference Panel "Furthering Civil Discourse in Higher Education"
- Listen to Lara on The Kojo Nnamdi Show
- Let Freedom (and Respect) Ring: Fostering Civil Discourse and Free Speech in the Classroom and Beyond
- Lara discusses false equivalency on the Half Hour of Heterodoxy podcast
- For the Media
- To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: The Examined Life
GOVT-352 Law and the Political System
GOVT-352 Law and the Political System
HNRS-050 Honors Supplement
SPA-220 The American Constitution
- Marshals Museum kicks off lecture series Southwest Times Record March 6,2020
- Truth as a Fundamental Part of Discourse KUAF Radio February 28, 2020
- A turkey on the table and an elephant in the room, Washington Post November 27, 2019
- Dot.edu podcast Episode #10 Talking Speech On Campus, November 25, 2019
- Leading Equity Podcast episode #111: A Call for Civil Discourse in the Classroom
- Half Hour of Heterodoxy Episode #65: False Equivalance
- Wisconsin Public Radio Central Time "Executive Order On Campus Speech Leaves Questions On Parameters, Enforcement" March 25, 2019.
- Kojo Nnamdi Show November 20, 2018: "Belonging, Civility, Ugh: What Happens When Commonly Held Ideals Backfire"
- Vice News October 29, 2018 These are Some of the Most Racist Political Ads of 2018
- Globe And Mail October 26, 2018 Two more suspicious packages found Friday as FBI chases bomb leads to Florida, Trump rails against media
- Insight into Diversity October 15 2018, Bridging the Partisan Divide
- Wall Street Journal August 15, 2018 New Topic on Campus: Civil Discourse 101
- How to College: What to Know Before You Go (And When You're There), St. Martin's Press, 2019
- "What Parents Should Do to Help Students Prepare For The First Year of College," The Conversation April 4, 2019.
- "Teach College-Bound Kids About Privilege: It Goes Beyond the Lori Laughlin, Felicity Huffman Scandal." With Andrea Malkin Brenner. Salon, March 19, 2019.
- "Civil Discourse in the Classroom." Academe Magazine Winter 2019 (with Daniel Ritter)
- "Advocates of Dignity Can Do Better Than Death." Savannah Law Review, Spring 2016.
- "Area Man Supports Garland Nomination?" -With John Burns, SPA 2016, ACS Blog
- “No Forsaking our Core Principles.” Legal Times, May 26, 2008.
- "Straight Talk about Hate Crimes Bills: Anti-Gay, Anti-Transgender Bias Stalls Federal Hate Crimes Legislation," Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law 7, 2006, p. 171-186.
- Dozens of ghost-written op eds.
- Huffington Post Archive: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/lara-schwartz
- Media Matters Archive: https://www.mediamatters.org/authors/lara-schwartz/208
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
SPA Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, 2020-2021.
SPA Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community in a Term Faculty Appointment, 2019-2020.
University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement: 2019-2020 fellow.
Faculty Fellow, Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning 2018-2019.
SPA Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Term Faculty Appointment, 2015-2016.
- Academic Freedom, Free Expression, and Civil Discourse (Panel), Scholars at Risk Congress, March 26, 2020.
- Successes, Strains, Stories to Inspire, Heterodox Academy 2019 Conference Plenary Panel June 21, 2019.
- Hate Comes to Campus Global Education Forum March 28, 2019.
- Speech Matters Conference, National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement- March 21, 2019.
- First-Year Summit, Florida Atlantic University, March 14, 2019.
- Executive produced, scripted, and cast PSA www.aapd.com/30seconds
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and District of Columbia. “Ensuring a merit-based employment system: an examination of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel.” July 12, 2007.
- Member (inactive) of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Fourth Circuits.
Area of Expertise
Civility and civil discourse; free speech on college campuses; judicial nominations; LGBT rights; disability rights
Lara Schwartz teaches in the Department of Government and is the Director of the Project on Civil Discourse. Prior to joining the SPA faculty, she served as Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy; Courts Matter director at Media Matters, Legal Director at the Human Rights Campaign; and Vice President of External Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Prof. Schwartz has appeared on national and local radio and television programs the Diane Rehm Show, C-Span Washington Journal, the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and CNN. As a ghost-writer, she has published dozens of op-eds in papers of record such as the Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, among others. Under her own byline, she has published in legal journals such as the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and the Savannah Law Review. In addition to publications such as the DC Legal Times, and Huffington Post, she has been a guest blogger for the blogs of the American Constitution Society and the American Association of University Professors.