Distinguished Professor Robert Justin Lipkin
, a prolific scholar and talented teacher, began his career at Widener Law as an Assistant Professor in 1985, when it was known as Delaware Law School of Widener University. He rose to become the school’s first H. Albert Young Fellow in Constitutional Law and earned the title Distinguished Professor of Law, the highest title bestowed to a full-time faculty member, in 2008.
A graduate of Brooklyn College, he earned an M.A. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1974. From 1971 to 1973, he was an Instructor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and from 1974 to 1981 he was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University.
His career took a legal path in 1984 when he graduated from the UCLA School of Law and was admitted to the California bar. He clerked for the Hon. Gilbert S. Merritt in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit before assuming his teaching position on the Delaware campus. He served as the school’s Young Fellow from July 1999 to June 2001 and was given one of the first awards for faculty scholarship in 2005.
Bobby was an exceptional writer and authored Constitutional Revolutions: Pragmatism and the Role of Judicial Review in American Constitutionalism
, which was published by Duke University Press in 2000. He also wrote numerous articles and book chapters, with his teaching and writing focusing extensively in the areas of constitutional law and theory, jurisprudence, political philosophy and ethics. He was an enthusiastic blogger and took great enjoyment from working on and promoting his site, Essentially Contested America
. He was also a frequent contributor to the Ratio Juris
blog and a proud member of Public Reason: A Blog for Political Philosophers
. Bobby did numerous interviews on matters of constitutional law and he was respected legal commentator in the media.
He was a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Political Science Association and the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. He also chaired the Diversity Committee on the law school’s Delaware campus and regularly lent his talents to the annual Martin Luther King celebrations.
Bobby was an enthusiastic participant in debates, panels and presentations, enjoying every opportunity to advance public discourse about law, politics and significant public issues of the day, including health care reform and racial equality. His contributions invariably enlivened the intellectual life of Widener Law. He was an exceptional individual, a good friend, and a respected professor. His passing is a substantial loss for the entire law school community. He will be missed by everyone who was privileged to have known and worked with him.An on-campus memorial service for Professor Lipkin will be held in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on Monday March 8th at 4:00 p.m. An informal reception will follow in the student lounge off Main Street.