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Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies and is known for his writing on the American legal system. His books include The Rule of Lawyers, on mass litigation, The Excuse Factory, on lawsuits in the workplace, and most recently Schools for Misrule, on the state of the law schools. His first book, The Litigation Explosion, was one of the most widely discussed general-audience books on law of its time. It led the Washington Post to dub him “intellectual guru of tort reform.” Active on social media, he is known as the founder and principal writer of what is generally considered the oldest blog on law as well as one of the most popular, He has advised many public officials from the White House to town councils and in 2015 was named by Gov. Larry Hogan to be co-chair of the Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission, which issued its report recommendations later that year to acclaim across the state.

Before joining Cato, Olson was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an editor at the magazine Regulation, then edited by future Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Olson’s more than 400 broadcast appearances include all the major networks, NPR, the BBC, The Diane Rehm Show, and Oprah.

More from Walter Olson


Transcript: Five Train Wrecks of Information Disclosure Policy

Vermont Law Review. Vol. 38. No. 4. Summer 2014.

Public Filings

Brackeen v. Bernhard

Legal Briefs. February 5, 2019.

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Jacobsen

Legal Briefs. February 28, 2014.

Marek v. Lane

Legal Briefs. August 28, 2013.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Ghost Ship of Gerrymandering Law

Supreme Court Review. 2017-2018.

Politicians, Voters, and Gerrymandering

Policy Report. January/February 2018.

18. White-Collar Prosecution

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).


17th Annual Constitution Day

September 17, 2018. Conference.

Solomon’s Decree: Conflicts in Adoption and Child Placement Policy

July 19, 2018. Conference.

You May Be a Sex Offender if…

February 8, 2018. Policy Forum.