Heidi M. Hurd

David C. Baum Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy
Co-Director, Program in Law and Philosophy

A scholar in the areas of criminal law, torts, environmental ethics, political theory, and general jurisprudence, David C. Baum Professor of Law and Philosophy Heidi M. Hurd served as the College's 11th, and first woman dean from 2002 through 2007. Under her deanship, the College of Law significantly increased incoming student credentials to place them among the nation's Top 15 based on LSAT scores and median GPA, recruited 17 tenure or tenure-track faculty, lowered the student/faculty teaching ratio to 12:1, broadened the curriculum and introduced small section classes in the first year program, and saw faculty productivity climb to 7th in the nation based on submissions to the Social Science Research Network. Under Dean Hurd's leadership, the College also received an enormous increase in annual fund and endowment support from alumni, setting the stage for the current $50 million capital campaign. 

Before coming to Illinois, Professor Hurd spent most of her career as a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as associate dean for Academic Affairs and as the co-founder and director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law and Philosophy. While at Penn, she was also a visiting professor at the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Iowa Philosophy Department, and she spent several summers teaching law and political theory in Hungary, Germany, and Ukraine.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Law, Professor Hurd was the Herzog Research Professor of Law and director of the Institute for Law and Philosophy at the University of San Diego Law School. In 2002, 2008, and 2010 she held six-month visiting research fellowships in law at the Australian National University. In 2004 and 2007 she was a visiting professor at the University of Tel Aviv School of Law. From 2008-2010 she taught in the three-year Soros Foundation Seminar Series on the Right of Liberty and the Limits of Criminal Legislation that alternated between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Also in 2010, she was a visiting professor at the Uganda Christian University School of Law in Kampala, Uganda. In 2011 she has commenced another three-year commitment to the Soros Foundation’s Seminar Series on Human Rights in Lviv, Ukraine.

Professor Hurd is the author of Moral Combat (Cambridge University Press, 1999), which has been widely reviewed and translated into multiple languages. She has two books forthcoming from Oxford University Press: one co-authored with Ralph Brubaker on the moral underpinnings of debt-forgiveness through bankruptcy discharge, entitled Debts and the Demands of Conscience; and the other co-authored with Michael Moore on topics in criminal law, entitled Essays in Criminal Law Theory. She is also a member of a group of criminal law scholars who are collaborating on the creation of a novel new theoretical casebook in criminal law. Her numerous articles in the areas of criminal law, torts, legal philosophy, and political theory have appeared in the nation's top law and philosophy journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Legal Theory, Law and Philosophy, Chicago Law Forum, Notre Dame Law Review, Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, Boston University Law Review, Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, and Southern California Law Review. She has given well over 100 lectures and paper presentations at conferences and gatherings across the United States and Europe, as well as in Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Uganda, Argentina, Canada, and Australia. In 1999, she provided testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on the proposed Hate Crime Prevention Act of 1999. She regularly teaches criminal law, torts, evidence, and environmental policy, as well as philosophy courses in moral theory and political philosophy.