Lawrence Baum did his undergraduate work at San Francisco State College and received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. He joined the faculty at OSU in 1973. He retired in 2012 and continues to teach and do research in the department.
Baum's primary interest is in courts in the United States. His courses on the courts include civil liberties, women and the law, and an honors seminar on Supreme Court decision making. He serves as advisor to honors students in political science. He has received OSU's Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Teaching and Mentoring Award of the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association.
The primary focus of his research has been explanation of judges' behavior in decision making. Among the other topics of his research are the causes and consequences of judicial specialization and voting behavior in state elections of judges. He has presented his research in The Puzzle of Judicial Behavior (1997), Judges and Their Audiences (2006), and Specializing the Courts (2011), as well as articles in political science journals. He has received OSU's Distinguished Scholar Award and the Joan N. Huber Faculty Fellowship for Outstanding Scholarship from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
His teaching and research interests have come together in two books that are written primarily for students. The eleventh edition of The Supreme Court was published in 2013; the seventh edition of American Courts was published in 2012.
- American Politics
- Judicial Politics
- PhD, University of Wisconsin
- BA, San Francisco State College