BA, The University of Michigan
JD, Wayne State University
Amy Gajda, Tulane Law School’s Class of 1937 Professor of Law, is a journalist turned lawyer recognized internationally for her expertise in privacy and media law. Much of her scholarship explores the tensions between social regulation and First Amendment values, particularly the shifting boundaries of press freedoms and rising public anxieties about the erosion of privacy.
Viking published Gajda’s Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy in 2022 to significant critical acclaim. The New York Times that called it “wry and fascinating” and named it a top non-fiction book of the season; the courts of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit chose it as the Circuit’s inaugural “One Court. One Book.” summer reading for 2022. Harvard University Press published her two earlier books, The First Amendment Bubble and The Trials of Academe.
Gajda’s scholarly articles have appeared in journals that include the American Historical Review, California Law Review, Georgia Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and Washington Law Review; and, in addition to a number of chapter contributions, she is an author of the leading casebooks Media Law (Foundation Press) and Law and Higher Education (Carolina Academic Press). Gajda is also currently serving as an advisor on the American Law Institute’s new Restatement on Defamation and Privacy, a multi-year project.
On the journalism side, Gajda’s opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Slate, Time, the Daily Beast, and the New York Daily News, among others, and she is regularly quoted and appears in media including The Guardian, The New Yorker, Marketplace, C-SPAN, and the CBS Morning News. Her weekly commentaries on legal issues aired on Illinois Public Radio stations and won seven Associated Press awards.
As a first-generation college student, Gajda is a particularly proud winner of both the Felix Frankfurter Award for Distinguished Teaching, Tulane Law School’s highest teaching honor, and the Tulane President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Tulane University’s highest teaching honor.
Before joining Tulane’s faculty in 2010, Gajda worked as a television news anchor and reporter in cities mainly in the Northeast. After attending law school in Detroit, the city where she grew up, she practiced law in Washington, D.C., and thereafter held faculty appointments in the law and journalism schools at the University of Illinois. She’s been a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School and at several universities in Europe and Asia, teaching mainly privacy law and media law. She has chaired the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Defamation and Privacy and its Section on Communication, Media & Information Law, and also led the Law and Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.