Cynthia L. Nicoletti

  • Associate Professor of Law

Cynthia Nicoletti is a legal historian and an associate professor of law at Virginia Law. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the William Nelson Cromwell Prize for the best dissertation in legal history, American Society for Legal History, in 2011. She is working on a book, The Great Question of the War: The Legal Status of Secession in the Aftermath of the American Civil War, 1865-1869.


  • J.D.
    Harvard Law School
  • Ph.D.
    University of Virginia
  • M.A.
    University of Virginia
  • B.A.
    University of Virginia

Book Manuscript, The Fragility of Union: Secession in the Aftermath of the American Civil War, 1865-1869 (under review, Cambridge University Press, Studies in Legal History Series).

“The Disputed Legality of the Emancipation Proclamation, 1862-1865” (under review).

“State Equality and Inequality Under the Constitution” (in progress).

“Reimagining the Union: The Contours of Federalism in the Aftermath of the Civil War” (in progress). 

“Writing the Social History of Legal Doctrine,” 64 Buff. L. Rev. 121 (2016).

Book Review, 5 J. Civil War Era 330 (2015) (reviewing William A. Blair, With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era (2014)).

“Strategic Litigation and the Death of Reconstruction,” in Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History, eds. Sally Hadden and Patricia Minter (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013).

“The American Civil War as a Trial by Battle,” Law & Hist. Rev. 28 (February 2010): 71.

“Did Secession Really Die at Appomattox?: The Strange Case of U.S. v. Jefferson Davis,”U. Tol. L. Rev. 41 (2010): 587.

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