Matthew Steilen is Professor of Law and an Affiliated Faculty Member in the Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences. He holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Northwestern University, where he wrote a dissertation in contemporary metaphysics under Charles Travis, and was a University Fellow and a Searle Center Teaching Fellow. After graduating from Stanford, Steilen served as a law clerk to the Honorable Kermit V. Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is a member of the California Bar and was associated with the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, where he practiced in civil litigation and did substantial pro bono work in the area of constitutional rights.
Steilen teaches and writes about constitutional law, constitutional history, and the common law. His central interest is the history and development of the separation of powers, with special attention to royal power and representative assemblies. Two recent articles were selected by a jury for inclusion in the Harvard-Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum and the Law and Humanities Junior Scholar Workshop. In the summer of 2017, Steilen was a fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello.