Heidi M. Hurd

Ross and Helen Workman Chair in Law
Co-Director, Program in Law and Philosophy


A scholar and teacher in the areas of criminal law, torts, environmental law, environmental ethics, and moral, legal, and political philosophy, Heidi M. Hurd served as the College of Law’s eleventh dean from 2002-2007 and held the David C. Baum Professorship in Law from 2002-2017.  She spent the first twelve years of her career as an Assistant, Associate, and then full Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as the co-Founder and Director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law and Philosophy. While at Penn, she was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Iowa Philosophy Department and she spent several summers teaching law and political theory in Hungary, Germany, and Ukraine.  Before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Law, Professor Hurd was the Herzog Research Professor of Law and co-Director of the Institute for Law and Philosophy at the University of San Diego Law School.  Since joining the Illinois Law faculty, she has held three separate six-month Visiting Research Fellowships at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, and she has taught in the Soros Foundation Summer Seminar Series that has alternated between Lviv, Ukraine and the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia.  She has also been a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (in the Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics), the University of Alabama School of Law, the University of Tel Aviv School of Law, the Uganda Christian University School of Law, and the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg Program for American Studies.  In August of 2018, she will be a Visiting Professor at the FGV Direito-Sao Paulo Law School in Brazil where she will teach Comparative Environmental Law, and she is a lifetime member of the Academic Advisory Counsel at Torcuato di Tella University in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Professor Hurd has written numerous anthologized book chapters, peer-reviewed philosophical essays, and articles that have appeared in the nation’s top law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, Law and Philosophy, and Legal Theory, among many others.  She is the author of Moral Combat (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and she has a solo-edited collection of essays forthcoming from Cambridge University Press entitled Moral Puzzles and Legal Perplexities: Essays on the Influence of Larry Alexander (2018).  With her Illinois Law colleague Ralph Brubaker, she has a contract with Oxford University Press for a book on the moral underpinnings of personal bankruptcy entitled The Virtue of Bankruptcy.  She has given over 150 lectures and paper presentations across the United States, Canada, the U.K., Europe, Central America, and South America, as well as at universities in the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, and Australia, and she has provided testimony before the United States House Committee on the Judiciary on proposed criminal legislation.  

Professor Hurd received a B.A. (Hon.) from Queen’s University (Canada), an M.A. in Philosophy from Dalhousie University (Canada), and a J.D. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Southern California.  In 2016-17, Professor Hurd returned for a mid-career M.E.M. (Masters in Environmental Management) at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.


JD, PhD University of Southern California
MA Dalhousie University
M.E.M. School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
BA Queen’s University

Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law
Tort Law
Environmental Law
Moral Philosophy
Political Theory
Environmental Ethics


Environmental Ethics
Environmental Law and Policy
Environmental Policy
Ethics, Economics & the Environment

Selected Publications

The Normative Force of Consent, in The Ethics of Consent, ed. Peter Schaber, Routledge Press (forthcoming 2017).

Fudging Nudging: Why ‘Libertarian Paternalism’ is the Contradiction it Claims it’s Not, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy (forthcoming 2017)

Promises Schmomises, Law and Philosophy (forthcoming 2017).

Paternalism and the Criminal Law, in The Philosophy of Paternalism, eds. Kalle Grill and Jason Hanna, Routledge Press (forthcoming 2016).

Stand Your Ground, in The Ethics of Self Defense, eds. Christian Coon and Michael Weber, Oxford University Press (2015).

Untying the Gordian Knot of Mens Rea Requirements for Accomplice Liability (with Michael Moore), Social Philosophy and Policy (2015).

Living with Genius: The Life and Work of Michael Moore, in Legal, Moral and Metaphysical Truths: The Philosophy of Michael Moore, eds. Kimberly Ferzan and Stephen Morse, Oxford University Press (2015). 

Interpretation Without Intentions, in Practical Normativity: Essays on Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Reason, eds. G. Pavlakos and V. Rodriguez-Blanco, Cambridge University Press, 52-71 (2014).

Finding No Fault with Negligence, in Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts, ed. John Oberdiek, Oxford University Press, 387-405 (2013).

The Virtue of Consumer Bankruptcy, in A Debtor World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Debt, eds. Ralph Brubaker, Robert M. Lawless, Charles J. Tabb, Oxford University Press, 317-44 (2012).

Fouling Our Nest: Are (Environmental) Ethics Impotent Against (Bad) Economics?, in East-West Philosophy, eds. Roger Ames and Peter Hershock, East-West Center Press, 82-108 (2012).


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