Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Jeannie Suk Gersen

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Cambridge, MA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2012

Jeannie Suk Gersen is the John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she has taught courses on constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, family law, sexual assault and harassment, campus misconduct, and the law of art, fashion, and the performing arts. She also represents clients in legal matters in areas ranging from civil rights to art and entertainment law. She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker.

Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2006, she served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court, and to Judge Harry Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit. She served as an assistant district attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She has written three books and many articles in scholarly journals and general media. Her book, At Home in the Law, was awarded the Law and Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Prize for the best law and society book of the year. She has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and Harvard Law School’s Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence.

Professor Gersen earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1995, a D.Phil. in modern languages (French literature) in 1999 from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar, and a J.D. In 2002 she graduated from Harvard Law School where she studied as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.

Professor Gersen was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1979 when she was six, settling in Queens, New York. She attended Hunter College High School, graduating in 1991, and received the school’s Distinguished Graduate Award in 2016. As a teenager, she was a student at the School of American Ballet, and studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School’s pre-college division. In 2010, she became the first Asian American woman to receive tenure at Harvard Law School.



Jeannie Suk Gersen worked in the Sprague-Smith studio.

In January of 1976, the original Sprague-Smith Studio — built in 1915–1916 and funded by music students of Mrs. Charles Sprague-Smith of the Veltin School — was destroyed by fire. Redesigned by William Gnade, Sr., a Peterborough builder, the fieldstone structure was rebuilt the same year from the foundation up, reusing the original fieldstone. A few…

Learn more