Joseph Blocher’s principal academic interests include federal and state constitutional law, the First and Second Amendments, capital punishment, and property. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, The University of Chicago Law Review, New York University Law Review, Duke Law Journal and other journals, as well as in the online editions of the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Texas Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and others.
He returned to his hometown of Durham to join the Duke Law faculty in 2009, and received the law school’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012. Before coming to Duke, he clerked for Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also practiced in the appellate group of O’Melveny & Myers, where he assisted the merits briefing for the District of Columbia in District of Columbia v. Heller.
Blocher received his B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Rice University, and studied law and economic development as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana and as a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University, where he received an M.Phil in Land Economy. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as comments editor of the Yale Law Journal, symposium editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review, notes editor of the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, participated in or directed several clinics, and was co-chair of the Legal Services Organization.