Anthony G. Amsterdam

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Anthony G. Amsterdam
Born (1935-09-12) September 12, 1935 (age 88)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania (LLB)
Haverford College (AB)
Lois P. Sheinfeld
(m. 1968)
Scientific career
FieldsCivil rights, criminal procedure
InstitutionsNYU School of Law

Anthony Guy Amsterdam (born September 12, 1935) is an American lawyer and University Professor Emeritus at New York University School of Law. In 1981, Alan Dershowitz called Amsterdam “the most distinguished law professor in the United States.”[1]


Amsterdam grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in West Philadelphia.[2]

He received his A.B., summa cum laude in French Literature from Haverford College in 1957. He received his LL.B., summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1960.[3] While at Pennsylvania he served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.[1]


Following law school, Amsterdam was law clerk to Justice Felix Frankfurter.[1] He then served as Assistant US Attorney in the District of Columbia.[3]

In 1962, Amsterdam began teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. He then taught at Stanford Law School from 1969 to 1981. In 1981, he was hired by New York University School of Law after a "heated contest" among top law schools for his service.[1] He was the Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at NYU.[4]

Working with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Amsterdam argued and won Furman v. Georgia in 1972, in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the requirement for a degree of consistency in the application of the death penalty. He sits on the board of directors of the Death Penalty Information Center.[5]

Amsterdam wrote Perspectives on the Fourth Amendment,[6] an influential paper which has been called "one of the best, if not the best, law review article[s] written on the Fourth Amendment."[7] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1977.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "'Star' Professor Hired to Teach Law at N.Y.U." New York Times. April 5, 1981.
  2. ^ Labi, Nadya (2007). "A Man Against the Machine". NYU Law Blog.
  3. ^ a b "Anthony G. Amsterdam". NYU School of Law.
  4. ^ "HISTORY: The Death Penalty Through the Life of Anthony Amsterdam". Death Penalty Information Center. September 13, 2007.
  5. ^ "Contact DPIC". Death Penalty Information Center. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  6. ^ "Perspectives on the Fourth Amendment". Minnesota Law Review. 58: 349. 1974.
  7. ^ Maclin, Tracey (2016-01-26). "Anthony Amsterdam's Perspectives on the Fourth Amendment, and What It Teaches About the Good and Bad in Rodriguez v. United States". Rochester, NY. SSRN 2722701. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.

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