Adam MacLeod

Professor of Law


Adam MacLeod is a Professor of Law at Faulkner. He is also a Research Fellow of the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy. He has been a Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and a Thomas Edison Fellow in the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University. He is co-editor of the fourth edition of Christie and Martin’s Jurisprudence (West Academic 2020) and author of Property and Practical Reason (Cambridge University Press 2015) and other books. He has also published more than one hundred articles, essays, and book reviews in peer-reviewed journals, law reviews, news outlets, and journals of public opinion.

Professor MacLeod writes and speaks about the foundations of private law and private ordering. He teaches courses concerning property, intellectual property, jurisprudence, and private law theory. He is an instructor in the James Madison Program’s graduate seminar on the Moral Foundations of Law. He contribute to conferences, colloquia, and consultations at major research universities around the world, including in recent years National Law University Delhi, University of Navarra, Boston University, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, Queen’s University Ontario, Princeton University, Troy University, Pepperdine University, and George Mason University. He speaks at events hosted by groups devoted to public education such as the American Constitution Society, the Sallux Foundation, and the Acton Institute.And he contributes to journals of news and public opinion such as the Washington TimesNational Review OnlineNew Boston PostPublic Discourse, and Law & Liberty.

Professor MacLeod received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Gordon College and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School. After law school, he served as law clerk to Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong and Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and to Chief Judge Lewis Babcock of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He practiced law in the Boston area and has held appointment as a special Deputy Attorney General of Alabama. An Operational Auxiliarist in the United States Coast Guard, he has served as a staff officer at the flotilla, division, and district levels and as State Liaison Officer to Alabama. Professor MacLeod lives in Montgomery, Alabama with the joys of his life, his wife and daughters.



  • With George C. Christie and Patrick H. Martin, Jurisprudence: Text and Readings on the Philosophy of Law (4th ed., West Academic Publishing 2020)
  • The Age of Selfies: Reasoning About Right(s) When the Stakes Are Personal (Rowman & Littlefield 2020)
  • With Robert L. McFarland, Foundations of Law (Carolina Academic Press 2017)
  • Property and Practical Reason (Cambridge University Press 2015)

Book Chapters:

  • The Boundaries of Dominion, in Christianity and Private Law (Robert Cochran and Michael Moreland, eds., Routledge 2020)
  • The Substantial Burden Test in RLUIPA, in Zoning and Planning Law Handbook (Patricia E. Salkin, ed., West Publishing 2012)

Academic Articles:

  • What Makes Property Liberal?, 84 Modern Law Review __ (2021) (peer reviewed)
  • Cyber Trespass and Property Concepts, 10 IP Theory 4 (2021)
  • Public Rights After Oil States Energy, 95 Notre Dame Law Review 1281 (2020)
  • Patent Infringement as Trespass, 69 Alabama Law Review 723 (2018)
  • Of Brutal Murder and Transcendental Sovereignty: The Meaning of Vested Private Rights, 41 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 253 (2017)
  • Metaphysical Right and Practical Obligations, 48 University of Memphis Law Review 431 (2017)
  • Tempering Civil Rights Conflicts: Common Law for the Moral Marketplace, 2016 Michigan State Law Review 643
  •  Strategic and Tactical Totalization in the Totalitarian Epoch, 5 British Journal of American Legal Studies 57 (2016) (peer reviewed)
  • Rights, Privileges, and the Future of Marriage Law, 28 Regent University Law Review 71 (2015) (invited)
  • Bridging the Gaps in Property Theory, 77 Modern Law Review 1009 (2014) (peer reviewed)
  • Universities as Constitutional Lawmakers, 17 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Online 1 (2014)
  • Private Rights and Duties, 6 Faulkner Law Review 65 (2014) (invited)
  • Identifying Values in Land Use Regulation, 101 Kentucky Law Journal 55 (2012)
  • The Mystery of Life in the Laboratory of Democracy: Personal Autonomy in State Law, 59 Cleveland State Law Review 589 (2012)
  • Resurrecting the Bogeyman: The Curious Forms of the Substantial Burden Test in RLUIPA, 40 Real Estate Law Journal 115 (2011) (peer reviewed)
  • Empathy’s White Elephant: Responding to the Subprime Mortgage Crisis Without Denigrating the Poor, 9 Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy 283 (2011)
  • A Non-Fatal Collision: Where Religious Land Uses and Community Interests Meet, 42 Urban Lawyer 41 (2010) (peer reviewed)
  • A Gift Worth Dying For?: Debating the Volitional Nature of Suicide in Personal Property Law, 45 Idaho Law Review 93 (2008)
  • The Search for Moral Neutrality in Same-Sex Marriage Decisions, 23 BYU Journal of Public Law 1 (2008)
  • All for One: A Review of Victim-centric Justifications for Criminal Punishment, 13 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 31 (2008)

Some Select Book Reviews and Essays:

  • With Ryan T. Anderson, Clarence Thomas is Right About Big Tech, National Review (April 19, 2021)
  • With Andrew Koppelman, Between the Trenches of the Culture Wars, But Not With Ill Will: An Exchange, Public Discourse (January 7, 2021)
  • Making Cyber Criminals Walk the Constitutional Plank, Law & Liberty (November 23, 2020)
  • Uncluttering the Ground Between the Trenches, Public Discourse (October 7, 2020) (reviewing Andrew Koppelman, Gay Rights vs Religious Liberty?)
  • Suing for Peace in the Wedding Vendor Wars, Public Discourse (October 6, 2020) (reviewing Andrew Koppelman, Gay Rights vs Religious Liberty?)
  • Natural Law for a Lawless People, Public Discourse (September 10, 2020) (reviewing Kody Cooper, Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law)
  • Bagehot and the Causes of Our Crisis, Online Library of Liberty (January 3, 2020) (lead essay in symposium on The English Constitution) (invited)

Replies to respondents:

  • Sovereignty and the Rule of Law (January 28, 2020)
  • Bagehot as Aristotle (January 30, 2020)
  • Review of Great Christian Jurists in English History, 34 Journal of Law and Religion 123 (2019) (invited)
  • Ordered Liberty and the Demands of Law, Law & Liberty (April 1, 2019) (reviewing Brian McCall, The Architecture of Law) (invited)
  • How Legislatures Can Combat the Problem of Judicial Supremacy and Protect Human Rights, Public Discourse (September 24, 2018) (reviewing Webber et al, Legislated Rights: Securing Human Rights Through Legislation)
  • Racism, the Legacy Museum, and the Costs of Self-Deception, Public Discourse (August 1, 2018)
  • Review of Inside the Mind of Thomas More: The Witness of His Writings, 11 Journal of Faith & the Academy 112 (2018)
  • The Impoverishment of Law and the Loss of Ordered Liberty, Public Discourse (November 6, 2017) (Part 2 of a review of John Corvino, Ryan T. Anderson, and Sherif Girgis, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination)
  • Debating Liberty, Public Discourse (November 5, 2017) (Part 1 of a review of John Corvino, Ryan T. Anderson, and Sherif Girgis, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination)
  • Law Schools Guard Entry Into the Profession and Should Teach Virtue, James G. Martin Center (July 26, 2017)
  • Legal Fictions Matter: A Reply to S. Adam Seagrave, Public Discourse (February 7, 2017)
  • (Natural) Law Matters, Public Discourse (February 2, 2017) (A review of Richard Helmholz, Natural Law in Court)
  • That Time I Turned a Routine Traffic Ticket Into the Constitutional Trial of the Century, Public Discourse (January 13, 2017)
  • The Third Amendment: A Neglected Measure for a Skeptical Age, Washington Times Special Bill of Rights Anniversary Edition (December 15, 2016)
  • Religious Freedom and Sexual Identity: A Proposal for Peace, Public Discourse (May 8, 2015)
  • Judging What?: A Review of Robert Katzmann, Judging Statutes, Library of Law and Liberty (March 2015)
  • C.S. Lewis’ Meditation in a Toolshed and the Inviolability of Life, Canon & Culture (August 27, 2014)
  • Who’s Afraid of Legislative Intent?: A Review of Richard Ekins, The Nature of Legislative Intent, Library of Law and Liberty (February 2014)
  • At and Along: A Review of The Law and Ethics of Medicine by John Keown, 34 Adelaide Law Review 211 (2013)
  • Review of What Is Marriage: Man and Woman—A Defense, Journal of Faith and the Academy (2013)
  • Economic Justice and the Internal Point of View, 17 Journal Jurisprudence 11 (2013)
  • Review of Jean Porter, Ministers of the Law, 4 Journal of Faith and the Academy 68 (2011)
  • The (Contingent) Value of Autonomy and the Reflexivity of (Some) Basic Goods, 5 Journal Jurisprudence 11 (2010)
  • The Law as Bard: Extolling a Culture’s Virtues, Exposing Its Vices, and Telling Its Story, 1 Journal Jurisprudence 11 (2008)
  • The Groningen Protocol: Legalized Infanticide in the Netherlands and Why it Should Not be Adopted in the United States, 10 Michigan State Journal of Medicine & Law 557 (2006)