Assistant Professor Stuart Chinn joined the Oregon Law faculty in 2009. He received his bachelor's degree, Ph.D. and J.D. from Yale University. He currently is working on a book project dealing with recurrent processes of political change across American history. His research and teaching interests are in constitutional law, constitutional theory, legislation, and legal and political history.
Below is a Q&A with Professor Chinn on what he enjoys about his life as a legal educator.
Q: What inspired you to become a legal educator?
A: My own professors in both law school and graduate school were amazing, and I admired their love and enthusiasm for the law and political science, as well as their dedication to teaching.
Q: If you did not work as a legal educator, what other profession would you choose?
A: It would be very difficult for me to choose another profession since I think this is pretty close to the perfect job, but if I had to choose something else, it would be something as similar as possible to this—a professor of political science (or perhaps a teacher for AP U.S. History).
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching law?
A: Teaching constitutional law is fun because it’s such an eclectic subject matter that draws on a number of other disciplines. Teaching in a law school setting is particularly enjoyable because the students tend to have more diverse interests, backgrounds, and perspectives than you might probably see in a graduate school program. It makes for very interesting class discussions.
Q: What is your personal mission statement in the classroom?
A: Ensuring a lot of student dialogue and discussion (and trying not to talk too fast).
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in Eugene?
A: Being in the Pacific Northwest; there’s definitely no place like it.
Q: What are some of your personal hobbies/interests outside of work?
A: Snowboarding, running, and hiking.
Q: What is your absolute favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?
Q: The most memorable place you have visited is…
A: Not terribly exotic, but probably Yellowstone National Park.
Q: Who most influenced your life or is someone you most look up to?
A: My parents.