John E. Nowak

David C. Baum Professor Emeritus


John Nowak graduated from College of Law in 1971, with the highest grade point average in the graduating class. During his third year at the College of Law, he served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Illinois Law Forum [now renamed as theUniversity of Illinois Law Review]. Following graduation, John clerked for Justice Walter Schaefer of the Illinois Supreme Court. Professor Nowak joined the University of Illinois College of Law faculty in 1972; for thirty years he was what academics euphemistically call “a full-time professor.” He was the David C. Baum Professor at the College of Law from 1993 until his retirement in 2002; he received the “outstanding professor award” from three graduating classes of the College. As an emeritus professor, John taught courses at the College of Law from 2002 to 2008.

In 2008, Professor Nowak was the first professor appointed to the Raymond and Mary Simon Chair in Constitutional Law at Loyola University Chicago. He served in that position at Loyola from 2008-2014; he was awarded the “outstanding professor award” by the Loyola graduating class of 2011. In 2014, illness once again led Professor Nowak to retire. The Loyola University Chicago Board of Trustees awarded Professor Nowak the title of Professor and Raymond and Mary Simon Chair in Constitutional Law Emeritus.

Professor Nowak is the author, or coauthor, of more than a score of law review articles, including articles in the California, Columbia, Georgetown, Michigan,NorthwesternU.C.L.A., and Virginia Law Reviews, and the Supreme Court Review(published by the University of Chicago Press). With Jenner Professor Emeritus Professor Ronald D. Rotunda, Professor Nowak has coauthored: Concise Hornbook on Constitutional Law (4th edition, Thomson-West 2010); Constitutional Law (8th edition, Thomson-West 2010); and the six-volume Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure (5th ed., 2012-2013, West & Thomson-Reuters-Westlaw). Their multi-volume Treatise, which has annual supplements, also serves as the “conlaw” database on Westlaw. A chapter of Constitutional Law was translated into Korean by Professor Lee Boo-Ha, Yeungnam University College of Law and Political Science, and published in Korea as Nowak & Rotunda, Freedom of Speech and the American Constitution. Professors Nowak and Rotunda are also the editors of Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution (1987, Carolina Academic Press).

Professor Nowak has been a scholar in residence at the University of Arizona; a visiting professor at the University of Michigan; the Lee Distinguished Visiting Professor at the College of William and Mary, and the Williams Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond. He has presented lectures at several law schools; the National Conference of Law Reviews annual meeting; and at a variety of Federal Judicial Center programs. Professor Nowak served as Reporter for the National Center for State Courts’ Task Force on Courts in the American System of Government; Reporter for the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases; Reporter for the United States District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois Speedy Trial Act Planning Groups; and as a member of the Rules Committee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Professor Nowak is a member of the American Bar Foundation, and a “life member” of the American Law Institute. He has served as a member of the Order of the Coif Triennial Book Award Committee; and as a member or a chairperson of the several committees of the Association of American Law Schools. Twice, Professor Nowak was elected to serve as the chairperson of the AALS Section on Constitutional Law. He served as the University of Illinois Faculty Athletic Representative to the Big Ten Conference and NCAA from 1981 through 1989; and a member of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions from 1987 to 1990. Professor Nowak served as the “Interim Deputy Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics,” during the time when the University of  Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics replaced the University’s “Athletic Association,” and the campus did not have an Athletics Director.


JD University of Illinois
AB Marquette University

Areas of Expertise

Constitutional Law
First Amendment Freedoms