WIlliam J Novak
  • Affiliated Research Professor
Joint Appointment
Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
Ph.D., Brandeis University
M.A. and B.A. in History, Case Western Reserve University

William J. Novak

  • Affiliated Research Professor
ABF Researcher

WIlliam J. Novak is an award-winning legal scholar and historian, the Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School, a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, and an Affiliated Research Professor of the American Bar Foundation. At the University of Michigan Law School, he teaches in the fields of legal history, legislation, and regulation, and his research interests focus on the history of the modern American regulatory state. He previously was a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Chicago.

Novak is the author of The People’s Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press, 2000), which won the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold Prize for Best Book in the History of Law and Society. He has coedited three additional books: The Democratic Experiment (Princeton University Press, 2003), Boundaries of the State in US History (University of Chicago Press, 2015), and Corporations and American Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2017) He currently is completing a new book, tentatively titled New Democracy in the American Progressive Era, while also working with Dan Crane and the Tobin Project on an edited collection, Antimonopoly and American Democracy.

Research Focus

Interdisciplinary perspectives on law, legal history and law and the humanities, legal theory and philosophy, public law and regulatory policy