Lucy Williams

Associate Professor of Law

Lucy Williams is an Associate Professor of Law.  She researches and writes at the intersection of constitutional law and American political thought, with special emphasis on the relationships between law, political rhetoric, patriotism, critique, and citizenship practices.  Her current work considers whether and how American exceptionalism affects Supreme Court decisionmaking.  In previous work, she has studied the exceptionalist features of Frederick Douglass’s political thought.  She has also analyzed Barack Obama’s official funeral and memorial speeches to theorize and defend a more critical mode of official funeral rhetoric.

Professor Williams earned her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and her Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.  In 2019, she clerked for the Honorable Scott M. Matheson, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  Prior to joining the BYU Law faculty, she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. 


  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.S., University of Utah
  • Lucy Williams, American Exceptionalism and / in Affirmative Action, 56 Ariz. St. L.J. (forthcoming 2024).
  • Lucy Williams, Making a Mother: The Supreme Court and the Constitutive Rhetoric of Motherhood, 102 N.C. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2024).
  • Lucy Williams, American Exceptionalism as/in Constitutional Interpretation, 57 G.A. L. Rev. 1071 (2023).
  • Lucy Williams, Grieving Critically: Barack Obama and the Counter-Eulogy, Pol. Res. Q. (Mar. 2021).
  • Lucy Williams, Book Review, 10 Am. Pol. Thought 656 (2021) (reviewing Jordan Carson, American Exceptionalism as Religion: Postmodern Discontent (2020)).
  • Lucy Williams, Blasting Reproach and All-Pervading Light: Frederick Douglass’s Aspirational American Exceptionalism, 9 Am. Pol. Thought 369 (2020).