David Achtenberg

David Achtenberg
Law Foundation Scholar and Professor of Law
School of Law

Contact Info
U.S. Supreme Court, Missouri Supreme Court, civil procedure, civil rights, Missouri civil procedure, legal history


David Achtenberg is the third generation of his family to practice law in Missouri. Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Professor Achtenberg was in private practice in Kansas City with an emphasis in civil rights, employment law and bankruptcy. He was named one of the best lawyers in America in two separate fields: first amendment law and labor and employment law.

Professor Achtenberg earned his bachelor of arts with honors from Harvard University in 1970 and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1973. His research focuses on the intersection between civil rights and legal history. After spending years writing about the contemporaneous understanding of 19th century civil rights statutes, he is currently focusing his efforts on the internal workings of the modern Supreme Court. His Petition to Decision website provides a behind the scenes look at the Supreme Court’s handling of important civil rights cases and presents a digital archive of the justices’ private papers dealing with those cases.

Professor Achtenberg currently teaches Civil Procedure 1 & 2, Missouri Civil Procedure, and the Supreme Court Seminar.