Anne Joseph O’Connell is a lawyer and political scientist whose research and teaching focuses on administrative law and the federal bureaucracy. Outside of the law school, she is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, an appointed Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (an independent federal agency dedicated to improving regulatory procedures), and a contributor to the Center on Regulation and Markets at the Brookings Institution,

O’Connell has written on a number of topics, including agency and judicial nominations, political appointees, bureaucratic organization (and reorganization), political changes in agency rulemaking, quasi-agencies, and congressional oversight of agencies. Her publications have appeared in leading law and political science journals. In addition, she has written empirical reports for the Brookings Institution and the Center for American Progress and co-edited a book (with Daniel A. Farber), Research Handbook on Public Choice and Public Law. She joined the Gellhorn and Byse’s Administrative Law: Cases and Comments casebook as an editor for the twelfth edition (January 2018).

O’Connell’s research has received a number of awards. She is a two-time winner of the American Bar Association’s Scholarship Award in Administrative Law for the best article or book published in the preceding year — for her 2014 article “Bureaucracy at the Boundary” and her 2009 article “Vacant Offices: Delays in Staffing Top Agency Positions.” Her co-authored article (with Farber), “The Lost World of Administrative Law,” won the 2014 Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law from the American Constitution Society. Her article, “Political Cycles of Rulemaking,” was the top paper selected for the Association of American Law Schools’ 2007-2008 Scholarly Papers Competition for faculty members with fewer than five years of law teaching. In addition, her research has been cited by Congress, the Supreme Court, and the D.C. Circuit, and has been featured prominently in the Washington Post.

Prior to joining Stanford Law School in 2018, she was the George Johnson Professor of Law at at the University of California, Berkeley. O’Connell received there the Distinguished Teaching Award (the campus’s most prestigious honor for teaching) in 2016 and Berkeley Law’s Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction in 2012. From April 2013 to July 2015, O’Connell served as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research, under three different Deans. In 2013-2014, she was Co-President of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (co-organizing the 2014 Conference on Empirical Legal Studies).

Before joining the Berkeley Law faculty in 2004, O’Connell clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court during the October 2003 term. From 2001 to 2003, she was a trial attorney for the Federal Programs Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division. She clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2000 to 2001. O’Connell is a member of the New York bar.

Academic Appointments

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Public Member, Administrative Conference of the United States (2014 - Present)

Professional Education

  • BA, Williams College, Mathematics
  • MPhil, Cambridge University, History and Philosophy of Science
  • JD, Yale Law School
  • PhD, Harvard University, Political Economy and Government

All Publications