Sheldon H. Nahmod

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Professor of Law Emeritus

Sheldon H. Nahmod is a well-known expert on constitutional law, the First Amendment, civil rights and liberties and the law of Section 1983. He is the author of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (2022–2023 Edition); A Section 1983 Civil Rights Anthology (1993); a casebook, Constitutional Torts (5th ed. 2020, with Wells & Smith); and numerous law review articles. He has written many certiorari petitions and amicus briefs in the Supreme Court. He has also successfully argued civil rights cases in the Supreme Court and the First, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits, and consults nationally with attorneys on civil rights, civil liberties and constitutional law issues. In addition, he has lectured on civil rights and civil liberties matters to federal judges and attorneys throughout the country, including organizing and speaking at Chicago-Kent's own annual Conference on Section 1983, now in its 38th year. Further, he lectures to lay groups on constitutional law and the First Amendment.

Nahmod graduated from the University of Chicago, Harvard Law School, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He practiced with a corporate law firm in Chicago and was a legal services staff attorney before entering academia. He was also teaching fellow at Harvard Law School, where he earned an LL.M. After joining Chicago-Kent, he served as associate dean for three years, and was named IIT University Distinguished Professor in 1992. Over the years he has won awards for his teaching, most recently the Brill Award from the Student Bar Association. He was named University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2018.

Nahmod has served as chair of the Sections on Civil Rights, Law and Education and Law and Religion of the Association of American Law Schools. He founded and for many years co-directed Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Humanities. In 2001, he received the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Section 1983 jurisprudence from the American Bar Association's Section on State and Local Government Law. In 2010 IIT created the Sheldon H. Nahmod Civil Rights Award to honor students and student organizations committed to civil rights and civil liberties. In 2018, he received the Abner Mikva Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Constitution Society for his contributions to civil rights and civil liberties.

Nahmod blogs on Section 1983, constitutional law, the First Amendment and other law-related topics at He can be followed on Twitter: @NahmodLaw.


A.M.R.S. (M.A. in Religious Studies), University of Chicago Divinity School
LL.M., Harvard Law School
LL.B., Harvard Law School
A.B., University of Chicago



Section 1983 Is Born: The Interlocking Supreme Court Stories of Tenney and Monroe, 17 Lewis & Clark Law Review 1019 (2013).

Academic Freedom and the Post-Garcetti Blues, 7 First Amendment Law Review 54 (2008).

The Emerging Section 1983 Private Party Defense, 26 Cardozo Law Review 81 (2004).

The Public Square and the Jew as Religious Other, 44 Hastings Law Journal 865 (1993).

The Sacred Flag and the First Amendment, 66 Indiana Law Journal 511 (1991).

Constitutional Damages and Corrective Justice: A Different View, 76 Virginia Law Review 997 (1990).

Section 1983 Discourse: The Move from Constitution to Tort, 77 Georgetown Law Journal 1719 (1989).

Artistic Expression and Aesthetic Theory: The Beautiful, the Sublime and the First Amendment, 1987 Wisconsin Law Review 221 (1987).

Constitutional Accountability in Section 1983 Litigation, 68 Iowa Law Review 1 (1982).

Search Professor Nahmod's other publications on or on his SSRN Author Page.


Civil Rights and Discrimination; Constitutional Law; First Amendment; Religion; US Supreme Court