Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law
Bill Watson is a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. His research focuses on legal interpretation and legal philosophy, with an emphasis on statutory interpretation, precedential reasoning, and the nature of law. He is currently working on projects that address the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent treatment of precedent; the import of legal positivism for debates over legal interpretation; and the independence of textualism in statutory interpretation from originalism in constitutional interpretation.
Bill received his JD, with high honors, from the University of Chicago Law School, his PhD in Philosophy from Cornell University, and his BA, summa cum laude, from the University of Saint Thomas. He served as the Book Review & Essays Editor for the University of Chicago Law Review. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Jay Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced commercial litigation with Kirkland & Ellis. His primary teaching interests include legislation, administrative law, civil procedure, evidence, and jurisprudence.
- Bill Watson, In Defense of the Standard Picture: What the Standard Picture Explains that the Moral Impact Theory Cannot, 28 Legal Theory 59 (2022).
- Bill Watson, Textualism, Dynamism, and the Meaning of "Sex", 2022 Cardozo L. Rev. de novo 41 (2022).
- Bill Watson, Literalism in Statutory Interpretation: What Is It and What Is Wrong with It?, 2021 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 218 (2021).