Hadley Arkes is the Founder and Director of the James Wilson Institute, a center for the jurisprudence of natural law in Washington, DC. Professor Arkes was a member of the Amherst College faculty since 1966, marking his 50th anniversary of teaching in 2016. In 1987 he was named Edward Ney Professor of Jurisprudence. He has written five books with Princeton University Press, and his articles have appeared in professional journals. Apart from his writing in more scholarly formats, he has become known to a wider audience through his writings in the Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and National Review. He has been a contributor also to First Things, a journal that took its name from his book of that title. He was the main advocate and architect of the bill that became known as the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. Professor Arkes modeled the curriculum for the James Wilson Legal Fellowship off of his signature course at Amherst, "Political Obligations." The Fellowship focuses on natural law and its bearing on our jurisprudence. The course deals with these central points: the classic connection between the “logic of morals” and the “logic of law”; the properties of moral truths and the “principles” of judgment; and how we may apply those principles to the cases that arise in our law.
David F. Forte is Professor of Law at Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he was the inaugural holder of the Charles R. Emrick, Jr. - Calfee Halter & Griswold Endowed Chair. He holds degrees from Harvard College, Manchester University, England, the University of Toronto and Columbia University. During the Reagan administration, Professor Forte served as chief counsel to the United States delegation to the United Nations and alternate delegate to the Security Council. In 2002, the Department of State-sponsored a speaking tour for Professor Forte in Amman, Jordan, and he was also a featured speaker to the Meeting of Peoples in Rimini, Italy, a meeting that gathers over 500,000 people from all over Europe. He has assisted in drafting a number of pieces of legislation for the Ohio General Assembly dealing with abortion, international trade, and federalism. He has sat as acting judge on the municipal court of Lakewood Ohio and was chairman of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Cleveland Bar Association. He served as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. In 2003, Dr. Forte was a Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Trento and returned there in 2004 as a Visiting Professor. Professor Forte has given over 300 invited addresses and papers at more than 100 academic institutions. He writes and speaks nationally on topics such as constitutional law, religious liberty, Islamic law, the rights of families, and international affairs. His teaching competencies include Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, Islamic Law, Jurisprudence, American Politics, Natural Law, International Law, International Human Rights, and Constitutional History. Prof. Forte is a regular lecturer for the James Wilson Institute’s Senior Seminars with scholars and appellate judges.
Justin Dyer is an associate professor of Political Science and Director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. After attending the University of Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship, he completed his MA and Ph.D. in Government at the University of Texas/Austin. His research and teaching interests span the fields of American political development, political philosophy, and constitutional law, with a special interest in the perennial philosophy of natural law. Professor Dyer is the editor of American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the Declaration of Independence (2012), and author of Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition (2012), and Slavery, Abortion, and the Politics of Constitutional Meaning (2013). His most recent book, written with Micah Watson, is CS Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law (2016). He regularly teaches undergraduate courses on political theory and the U.S. Constitution and graduate seminars on public law. He is a discussion leader at James Wilson Institute Senior Seminars for appellate judges, attorneys, and scholars.
Gunnar Bjorn Gundersen, Esq. earned his BS at the University of Southern California. He was a Merit Research Scholar and taught undergraduates ‘Physics: Electricity & Magnetism’. While earning his law degree at Pepperdine, he won a moot against Middle Temple Inn in London, was a member of Order of the Coif, and graduated valedictorian. He served on the Law Review, which published his note on textualism and statutory interpretation. Gunnar served as a clerk to Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Gunnar then practiced law at Kirkland & Ellis, Irell & Manella, and Latham & Watkins. His legal experience and practice include constitutional issues, e.g., the famous “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, Morse v. Frederick. In 2016, he represented the Intellectual Property Owners Association before the US Supreme Court as amici in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. He has also been involved in over $4.5 billion worth of intellectual- property transactions. Gunnar is now a partner at Gundersen & Gundersen Law. He is also an Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorney. In 2015, he received a Master’s Certificate in Legal Writing from the Academy of American Legal Writers, the highest national standard in legal writing. The program is directed by Bryan Garner. While there, Gunnar earned the Jackson Achievement Award. Gunnar has published essays in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, The Catholic Thing, IPWatchdog.com, Intellectual Property Magazine, and Catholic.org. His essay topics range from international patent exhaustion to religious freedom. He has given MCLE presentations, and he has lectured at Loyola Law School/Los Angeles and the James Wilson Institute.
Derek A. Webb is an associate at Sidley Austin, LLP, where he focuses on Supreme Court and Appellate litigation. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Yale University, Ph.D. in political theory from the University of Notre Dame, and J.D. from Georgetown Law School. Following law school, he was a Fellow in Stanford Law School's Constitutional Law Center, a Supreme Court Fellow in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice, and a law clerk to Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been published in Law and History Review, The American Journal of Legal History, The Journal of American Political Thought, The Journal of Legal Education, and Judicature. In 2012 he received the Warren E. Burger Prize from the American Inns of Court for his article "The Original Meaning of Civility: Democratic Deliberation at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.“ Dr. Webb's first year teaching on the faculty of the James Wilson Fellows Program saw him partake in the 2018 Fellowship as both a faculty member and as a Fellow.
Andrew D. Graham leads First Liberty Institute’s policy and education initiatives. Previously, Andrew was a partner with the law firm of Jackson Walker LLP, where he achieved an extensive record of success in high-stakes litigation in both trial and appellate courts. He has been named a “Super Lawyers–Rising Star” numerous times. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is admitted to practice before multiple federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Andrew earned his undergraduate degree in history summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and the Hyer Society. He then earned graduate degrees in history from Oxford University (Oriel College) and the University of Chicago before returning home to Texas to earn his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law (Hook ‘em!). Andrew is a National Review Institute Regional Fellow and is a member of The Philadelphia Society and the Federalist Society. He also proudly chairs The University of Texas School of Law’s Dallas Alumni Steering Committee.