A.E. Dick Howard is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Professor Howard is a graduate of the University of Richmond and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he read philosophy, politics, and economics. After graduating from law school, he was a law clerk to Mr. Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Active in public affairs, Professor Howard was executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia’s new Constitution and directed the successful referendum campaign for ratification of that constitution. He has been counsel to the General Assembly of Virginia and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1982 to 1986 he served as Counselor to the Governor of Virginia, and he chaired Virginia’s Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.
Professor Howard has been twice a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C. His recognitions have included election as president of the Virginia Academy of Laureates and his having received the University of Virginia’s Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching. James Madison University, the University of Richmond, Campbell University, the College of William and Mary, and Wake Forest University have conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In the fall of 2001, he was the first Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Residence at Rhodes House, Oxford.
An authority in constitutional law, Professor Howard is the author of a number of books, articles, and monographs. These include The Road from Runnymede: Magna Carta and Constitutionalism in America and Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia, which won a Phi Beta Kappa prize. More recent works include Democracy’s Dawn and Constitution-making in Eastern Europe.
Professor Howard has briefed and argued cases before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a regular guest on television news programs; during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, Professor Howard did gavel-to-gavel coverage for the McNeil-Lehrer News Program. He did the interviews with the justices for the film being shown to visitors to the Supreme Court’s building in Washington.
Often consulted by constitutional draftsmen in other states and abroad, Professor Howard has compared notes with revisors at work on new constitutions in such places as Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Albania, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. In 1996, the Union of Czech Lawyers, citing Professor Howard’s “promotion of the idea of a civil society in Central Europe,” awarded him their Randa Medal — the first time this honor has been conferred upon anyone but a Czech citizen. In 2004, the Greater Richmond Chapter of the World Affairs Council conferred on him their George C. Marshall Award in International Law and Diplomacy. The National Constitution Center and the University of Pennsylvania Law School appointed Professor Howard as their visiting scholar for 2009-10, the theme for the year being global constitutionalism.
In January 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Professor Howard as “one of the most respected educators in the nation.” In 2007, the Library of Virginia and the Richmond Times-Dispatch included Professor Howard on their list of the “greatest Virginians” of the 20th century.