Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Faculty Profile

Amy Peikoff

Amy Peikoff

Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Research Fellow for the Study of Objectivism

B.S., Math/Applied Science (Physics and Economics), University of California Los Angeles, 1992; J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1998; Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Southern California, 2003; Member, California State Bar

Courses    Publications

Phone: (213) 738-6803
Office: BW345

An accomplished scholar on Objectivism and privacy law, Professor Amy Peikoff has served as a faculty member at universities around the country over the past decade, teaching and writing in the areas of Contemporary Moral Problems, Contracts, Ethics, Information Privacy Law, Morality and Business, Philosophy of Law, Political Philosophy and Professional Responsibility. She served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003, a visiting assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004, an assistant and associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2005 to 2008, and as a visiting fellow at Chapman University School of Law from 2008 to 2012.

She joined Southwestern’s adjunct faculty in January 2013, also serving as a research fellow, and was appointed as Visiting Associate Professor and Research Fellow for the Study of Objectivism at Southwestern in July 2014. She is teaching courses in Law and Literature, Education Law and Jurisprudence Seminar. In her role as a Research Fellow, Professor Peikoff will engage in scholarly work related to the philosophy and writings of Ayn Rand. The Fellowship is funded by the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship.

In trying to convey to her students some effective ways to approach their studies, Professor Peikoff shares what she found to be true in her own law school career. “If you care about what the law says about a particular issue, you will remember it and do better on exams,” she says. “Always try to connect what you're learning in school to things and people you value.”

Professor Peikoff’s articles have been published in a variety of scholarly journals such as Brandeis Law Journal, NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, St. John’s Law Review and Virginia Journal of Social Policy & The Law, among others. She has lectured and served as a panelist on privacy issues and individual rights at dozens of Objectivist conferences and scholarly forums around the country, including DePaul College of Law, Keck Graduate Institute, Stanford, UCLA and University of Texas at Austin, as well as the Liberty Conference in Brazil.

Professor Peikoff finds the most exciting aspect of her area of interest to be “seeing a problem and coming up with a solution that can affect something you care about.” For example, after writing about privacy issues for many years, she found her interest waning, until the 2012 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Jones inspired her to solve the problem of the "third-party doctrine" and, one year later, “Edward Snowden's revelations made that solution more relevant than ever.”


Books and Chapters


A Moral Dynamiting in ESSAYS ON AYN RAND'S THE FOUNTAINHEAD (R. Mayhew, ed.; Lexington Books, 2006)

Freedom of Disassociation in Anthem in ESSAYS ON AYN RAND'S ANTHEM (R. Mayhew, ed.; Lexington Books, 2005)


Of Third-Party Bathwater: How to Throw Out the Third-Party Doctrine While Preserving Government's Ability to Use Secret Agents, ST. JOHN'S LAW REVIEW (forthcoming Spring 2014)

Pragmatism and Privacy, 3 NYU JOURNAL OF LAW & LIBERTY  638 (2010)

Beyond Reductionism: Reconsidering the Right to Privacy, 3 NYU JOURNAL OF LAW & LIBERTY 1 (2008)

The Right to Privacy: Contemporary Reductionists and Their Critics, 13 VIRGINA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY & THE LAW 474 (Spring 2006)

No Corn on this Cobb: Why Reductionists Should be All Ears for Pavesich, 42 BRANDEIS LAW JOURNAL 751 (Summer 2004)

Rational Action Entails Rational Desire: A Critical Review of Searle's Rationality in Action, 6 PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLORATIONS 124 (May 2003)

In Defense of Elian Gonzalez, 14 THE INTELLECTUAL ACTIVIST 13 (June 2000)