Skip to main content

About Barry Sullivan

Barry Sullivan, who was appointed in 2009 as the inaugural holder of the Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago, has had a varied career in the private practice of law, government legal practice, the teaching of law and public policy, and university administration.
Professor Sullivan was Dean of the School of Law at Washington and Lee University from 1994 to 1999 and Vice-President of the University in 1998-99. He was also a long-time litigation partner at Jenner & Block (1981-94, 2001-09), where he focused on appellate practice.
Professor Sullivan has been the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair in Legal Studies at the University of Alberta (2011), an academic visitor at the Woodrow Wilson School (2011), a visiting fellow of the University of London (Queen Mary College) (2001), and a Fulbright professor at the University of Warsaw (2000-01). From 2005 to 2009, he was Senior Lecturer at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He has lectured frequently at the University of Warsaw and at Trinity College Dublin, among other places.
Professor Sullivan has delivered the Jessica Swift Lecture in Constitutional Law at Middlebury College (1991), the Rufus Monroe and Sophie Payne Lecture at the University of Missouri-Columbia (2003), and the Charles L. Ihlenfeld Lecture on Public Policy and Ethics at West Virginia University (2005).
Professor Sullivan began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans and later served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. His scholarly work has appeared in leading journals in the U.S. and Europe, and he has litigated cases in many state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Among his notable cases is People v. Wilson, 116 Ill. 2d 29 (1987), in which the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a death penalty conviction based on police torture in Area 2 of the Chicago Police Department. He was counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law as amicus curiae in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), and for the American Bar Association as amicus curiae in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004). He was one of the attorneys for the United States in American Textile Manufacturers Institute v. Donovan, 452 U.S. 490 (1981), and, more recently, argued City of Bridgeton v. Missouri-American Water Co., 219 S.W.3d 226 (Mo. Sup. Ct. 2007), a landmark land-use case.
Professor Sullivan has served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs, the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline, the Council of the Section of Individual Rights, and the Council of the Section of Legal Education. He was founding chair of the ABA’s Coordinating Committee on AIDS and currently serves on the executive board of the ABA Center for Human Rights. He is a Life Trustee of Catholic Theological Union and a Life Member of the Visiting Committee to the Harris School of Public Policy Studies of the University of Chicago. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the Dublin University Law Journal.
Upon his retirement from the deanship at Washington and Lee, the faculty created the “Barry Sullivan Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law,” which is awarded annually to the student with the highest standing in constitutional law courses. In 2010, Professor Sullivan was named a “Legal Legend” by the Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society.
Professor Sullivan is a graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Chicago Law School, a member of the Fellows of Phi Beta Kappa, a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and a Life Member of the American Law Institute.


Present Professor of Law and Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy, Loyola University Chicago, School of Law



Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Contact Information

Loyola University Chicago
School of Law
25 E Pearson St., RM 1027
Phone: (312)915-7787
Fax: (312)915-7201

Articles (15)