Luke Milligan

Professor of Law and Co-Director, Ordered Liberty Program


Luke M. Milligan is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Ordered Liberty Program at the University of Louisville.

Professor Milligan was a litigator at the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams & Connolly, focusing on white-collar criminal defense. He served as law clerk to Judge Edith Brown Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Martin L.C. Feldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Milligan studied law in England, above a pub in North London between shifts tending bar. He later left England for Emory, where he was a student of Professor Harold J. Berman.   

Professor Milligan teaches Jurisprudence and a range of public law offerings, including Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Constitutional Law. In 2018 and 2019, he taught the nation’s first course on Rights of the Unborn. In 2019, he and Professor Justin Walker founded the university’s Ordered Liberty Program, which aims to promote the advanced study of our inherited legal tradition, with focus on the concepts of federalism, separation of powers, originalism, natural rights, and the common good.

Milligan has been named Professor of the Year and winner of the Helfat prize for legal scholarship. Broadly focused on the interrelations of natural law, political theory, and constitutional interpretation, his academic writings have appeared in the Boston University Law Review, Cato Supreme Court Review, Emory Law Journal, Georgia Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, and Washington and Lee Law Review, among many others.

In 2019, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appointed Milligan to its advisory board for Kentucky, a four-year term running through 2023. A longstanding commissioner of the state’s public defense system, Professor Milligan took leave from law teaching in 2014-15 to serve as a public defender. In past years, he’s been a visiting professor at Emory, as well as several universities abroad — KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Mainz (Germany), and Turku (Finland).

Professor Milligan lives with his wife and three sons in Louisville, Kentucky.

Interview with Professor Milligan

Lectures on Criminal Law

Lectures on Criminal Procedure

Lectures on Rights of the Unborn