Peter Nicolas

  • William L. Dwyer Chair in Law
  • Professor of Law


Phone: (206) 685-2459


B.A. 1991, M.P.P. 1992, University of Michigan J.D. 1999, Harvard University

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

Affirmative Action — Civil Rights — Constitutional Law — Evidence — Federal Courts — First Amendment — LGBTQ Rights — Religion and the Law — Reproductive Rights

Recent Courses

LAW A 592 Constitutional Law II
LAW B 503 Evidence
LAW B 506 Conflicts Of Laws
LAW E 522 Advanced Constitutional Law: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Professor Nicolas joined the UW law school faculty in 2000 following a clerkship with Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where he served on the editorial board of the Harvard Law Review. His teaching and research interests include evidence, federal courts, international civil litigation, conflict of laws, constitutional law, and sexual orientation law.

Professor Nicolas is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of evidence, federal courts, and sexual orientation law. He is the author of an evidence textbook, as well as a textbook on sexual orientation, gender identity, and the constitution. He has also authored nearly two dozen law review articles in the fields of federal courts, evidence, and constitutional law.

Professor Nicolas's scholarship has been cited by countless scholars and dozens of federal and state courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He has served as a consultant on cases nationwide involving efforts to backdate same-sex marriages, and he has been invited to lecture to both state and federal judges on the nuances of evidence law.

From 2008 - 2010, Professor Nicolas served as Associate Dean of the UW law school. His responsibilities in that capacity included faculty career development; curriculum delivery (including course scheduling and teaching assignments); appointing faculty committees and serving as a liaison to the academic standards, admissions, and curriculum committees; supervising the Director of Academic Services and the Director of Academic Advising; honor code enforcement; and working closely with the Dean and other members of the law school's leadership on all aspects of institutional development and planning.

Prior to pursuing a career in the law, Professor Nicolas was a Research Economist at the University of Michigan and served for two, two-year terms as a member of the Ann Arbor, Michigan, City Council. He is a member of the bars of New York, U.S. District Court of Colorado, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Peer Reviewed Journals & Law Reviews

Books or Treatises

  • Peter Nicolas, The Reconstruction Amendments (Carolina Academic Press 2020).
  • Peter Nicolas, Evidence: A Problem-Based and Comparative Approach (4th ed. Carolina Academic Press 2018). 971 pages. [First published in 2005; includes statutory supplement and teacher's manual; supplemented annually.]
  • Peter Nicolas & Mike Strong, The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps) (5th ed. Peter Nicolas and Mike Strong 2014). 36 pages. [First published in 2011.]
  • Peter Nicolas, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Constitution (Carolina Academic Press 2012, annual supps.). 612 pages.
  • Peter Nicolas, Florida and Federal Evidence Rules, 2012-2013 (Aspen Publishers 2012). 426 pages. [First published in 2006.]
  • Peter Nicolas, New York and Federal Evidence Rules, 2012-2013 (Aspen Publishers 2012). 374 pages. [First published in 2007.]
  • Peter Nicolas, Texas and Federal Evidence Rules, 2009-2010 (Aspen Publishers 2009). 336 pages. [First published in 2006.]

News Media

  • Speaker, "The History of the LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement: 50 Years After Stonewall", QLawWA and King County Superior Court (June 7, 2019)
  • Speaker, "The Federalization of Family Law", Meeting, Washington Superior Judges’ Association (April 8, 2018)
  • Speaker, "Evidence: The Admissibility of Electronic Information under the Federal Rules", 2017 National Workshop for Magistrate Judges I, Federal Judicial Center (April 3, 2017)
  • Panelist, "Setting the Post-Obergefell Agenda", Annual Meeting, Association of American Law Schools (January 6, 2017)