Nina Varsava

Assistant Professor of Law

Varsava, Nina

Room 8105, Law School

PDF Icon Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School
Ph.D, Stanford University
M.A., University of British Columbia
B.A., University of Alberta


Professor Varsava’s research focuses on procedure, courts, judicial administration, ethics, and jurisprudence. She is especially interested in issues of precedent and interpretation.

Professor Varsava has published her work in law reviews such as the Notre Dame Law Review, the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, and the NYU Law Review Online, as well as in peer-reviewed journals. Her scholarship has been covered by media outlets such as the The New York Times and the American Bar Association Journal, and has been cited by both federal and state courts.

Following law school, Professor Varsava served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of Colorado.

In her spare time, Professor Varsava enjoys climbing rocks, cliffs, and walls.

Scholarship & Publications


Law Repository

Research Interests

  • Legal Theory
  • Procedural Justice
  • Law and Language
  • Judges and Courts
  • Legal Ethics
  • Bioethics and Health Law


  • Are doctrines of precedent intersystemically binding? Nina Varsava explores this topic in the federal-state context, explaining how the answer depends on our theory of law, in an article in the Notre Dame Law Review, now available on SSRN. Read the article

  • Nina Varsava published a draft of "The Gravitational Force of Future Decisions" to SSRN. Read the abstract and download the paper

  • Nina Varsava's article "The Role of Dissents in the Formation of Precedent" was cited by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana & Kentucky, Inc. The majority opinion grapples with the precedential effect of the Supreme Court's fractured abortion decision in June Medical.

  • Nina Varsava presented "Opinion Publication and Judge Gender at the Federal Courts of Appeals" at the Texas A&M Law School Faculty Workshop and the William & Mary Law School Faculty Workshop in January.

  • Nina Varsava presented “Opinion Publication and Judge Gender at the Federal Courts of Appeals” at the Computational Analysis of Law Workshop in January 2021.

  • Nina Varsava presented “Non-Consensual Warnings” as part of the New Voices in Law, Medicine and Healthcare series at the AALS Annual Meeting in January 2021.

  • Nina Varsava's article, "Precedent on Precedent," was published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online in November 2020.

  • Nina Varsava presented "Precedent, Interpretive Methodology and Conflicts of Law" to the Oxford Jurisprudence Discussion Group in October.

  • Nina Varsava presented “Opinion Publication and Judge Gender at the Federal Courts of Appeals” at the 2020 Chicagoland Junior Scholars Conference in October. She also presented the paper at online faculty workshops at Marquette University Law School and Denver University Sturm College of Law in September.

  • Nina Varsava presented “Judicial Opinions and Judge Gender on the Federal Courts of Appeals.” The talk was part of the 2020 online summer workshop series, hosted by Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession at University of California Irvine Law School.

  • Nina Varsava presented "Consent and the Duty to Return Results in Human Subjects Research" for the Virtual Health Law and Bioethics Workshop in July 2020.

  • Nina Varsava's article, "Allocating Authority between Lawyers and their Clients after McCoy v. Louisiana," was published in the Spring 2020 edition of New Criminal Law Review.

  • Nina Varsava presented "What Judicial Opinions can tell us about the Gender Roles and Biases of Judges" for the Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in May 2020. The paper presents empirical evidence of judge gender roles and biases on the federal courts of appeals.

  • Nina Varsava presented "Interjurisdictional Interpretation" at the Michigan Junior Scholars Conference, which was presented by the University of Michigan Law School in April 2020.

  • Nina Varsava's article, "Human Subjects Research Without Consent: Duties to Return Individual Findings When Participation was Non-Consensual," was published in The American Journal of Bioethics in January 2020.

Teaching Areas

  • Civil Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Ethics & Professional Responsibilities
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • Jurisprudence

Recently Taught Courses

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