Ohio State nav bar

Lawrence Baum

Lawrence Baum

Lawrence Baum

Professor Emeritus



2127 Derby Hall
154 N Oval Mall
Columbus, OH

Google Map

Lawrence Baum did his undergraduate work at San Francisco State College and received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.  He joined the OSU faculty in 1973 after completing his graduate work.  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 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' choices as decision makers.  Among the other topics of his research are the causes and consequences of judicial specialization and the functioning of state elections of judges.  His most recent research books are Ideology in the Supreme Court (2017), The Battle for the Court: Interest Groups, Judicial Elections, and Public Policy (in collaboration with David Klein and Matthew Streb) (2017), and The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court (in collaboration with Neal Devins) (2019).  He has also 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 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association.

His teaching and research interests come together in two books that have been written primarily for students.  The fifteenth edition of The Supreme Court was published in 2024; seven editions of American Courts were published between 1986 and 2012.

[pdf] - Some links on the page are to Adobe .pdf files, requiring Adobe Reader. If you need any of them in a more accessible format, please contact baum.4@osu.edu.