Jed Rubenfeld

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Jed Rubenfeld
Born (1959-02-15) February 15, 1959 (age 62)
Washington, D. C.
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Juilliard School
Harvard University (JD)
SpouseAmy Chua

Jed L Rubenfeld (born February 15, 1959) is an American lawyer and novelist. He is the Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law at Yale Law School, but has been suspended from his post until 2022 for alleged sexual harassment. He is an expert on constitutional law, privacy, and the First Amendment. He joined the Yale faculty in 1990 and was appointed to a full professorship in 1994. Rubenfeld has also taught as a visiting professor at both the Stanford Law School and the Duke University School of Law.[1] Married to Amy Chua with two daughters, he is also the author of two novels.

Early life[edit]

Rubenfeld was born and raised in Washington D.C. in a Jewish family.[2] His father was a psychotherapist and his mother was an art critic.[3] He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in philosophy in 1980 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School with a J.D. in 1986.[1][3]

He also studied theater in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School between 1980 and 1982. Rubenfeld clerked for Judge Joseph T. Sneed on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1986–1987.[1] After his clerkship, he worked as an associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.[1]


Suspension in wake of sexual harassment investigation[edit]

Beginning in the summer of 2018, Rubenfeld was investigated by Yale Law School for allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct, particularly towards female students, with the investigation being conducted by Title IX investigator Jenn Davis.[9] The school promised a thorough investigation of any potential faculty misconduct, also looking into reported misconduct by Chua.[10] Rubenfeld and Chua denied all allegations.[10] Rubenfeld has been on leave since the spring of 2018.[11][12] He was suspended from teaching in August 2020 for two years and, upon returning, will be barred from teaching small groups of students or required courses.[13] Rubenfeld declined to answer whether he was being paid by Yale during suspension.[14]

In response of the suspension, the Yale Daily News quoted a former student saying "It was not a surprise to basically any woman in my class that this investigation is going on," that some students were afraid to speak out against Rubenfeld and his wife because of their reputation for securing prestigious clerkships for law students, and that "the idea of retaliation" when it came to getting prestigious clerkships was "very real."[15] In October 2020, Yale Law students demanded that Rubenfeld be permanently removed from campus.[16]

During his suspension from Yale Law, Rubenfeld has represented Children's Health Defense, an anti-vaccine non-profit that publishes information about supposed harms associated with vaccines and 5G wireless networks, in its lawsuit against Facebook.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Rubenfeld is Jewish.[18] He resides in New Haven, Connecticut and is married to Yale Law School professor Amy Chua, author of the books World on Fire and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The couple co-wrote The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.[19]

Rubenfeld and Chua have two daughters,[20] the older of whom told the New Yorker in 2014, "my dad totally thrives on confrontation."[21]


  1. ^ a b c d "Digital Collections" (PDF). Petra Christian University Library. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  2. ^ Weinstein, Jessica. "A Jewish-Asian love affair". The Jewish Chronicle. The JC Network. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b Szalai, Jennifer (January 29, 2014). "Confessions of a Tiger Couple". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "The Death Instinct – Jed Rubenfeld". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  5. ^ "Jed Rubenfeld – The Death Instinct « Crime and Publishing". Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  6. ^ Meadows, Susannah (February 2, 2011). "Brimming With Clues That Are Hard to Link". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Stern, Seth (February 23, 2011). "Book review: 'The Death Instinct' by Jed Rubenfeld". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ Rubenfeld, Jed (2010). The Death Instinct. ISBN 978-0755343997.
  9. ^ Mystal, Elie. "Details On The Allegations Against, And Yale Law School Investigation Into, Professor Jed Rubenfeld". Above the Law. Above the Law. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b Kirchgaessner, Stephanie (September 20, 2018). "'No accident' Brett Kavanaugh's female law clerks 'looked like models', Yale professor told students". The Guardian. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "Courses | Yale Law School Course Information and Selection Site". Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  12. ^ "Bulletin of Yale University, Yale Law School - Yale Law School". Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  13. ^ Carmon, Irin (2020-08-26). "Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Suspended for Sexual Harassment". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  14. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  15. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  16. ^ am, Julia Brown 1:00; Oct 12; 2020 (12 October 2020). "Law students demand Rubenfeld's permanent removal, greater transparency". Retrieved 2020-10-12.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Lawsuit claims feds directed Facebook to censor vaccine misinformation
  18. ^ I Am Amazed by Amy Chua – Chris Abraham Archived 2011-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Cochrane, Kira (7 February 2014). "The truth about the Tiger Mother's family". the Guardian.
  20. ^ Chua, Amy (January 8, 2011). "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior". Wall Street Journal.
  21. ^ Marantz, Andrew, "Ink: The Tiger Cub Speaks," The New Yorker, Feb. 10, 2014, p.20, 22.

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