Boston University School of Law


kenneth simons

Kenneth W. Simons

The Honorable Frank R. Kenison Distinguished Scholar in Law
Professor of Law

BA, summa cum laude, Yale University
JD, magna cum laude, University of Michigan Law School

Full CV


Phone: 617-353-4701

Areas of Expertise:
  • Torts
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Moral and Political Philosophy
Recent Course Topics:
  • Criminal Law
  • Torts
  • Law and Ethics of War
  • Philosophy of Punishment

Professor Kenneth Simons has been a member of the BU Law faculty since 1982, and was named the Honorable Frank R. Kenison Distinguished Scholar in Law in 2004. He is currently co-Reporter of the Restatement Third of Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons.

Simons is a leading scholar on the topic of assumption of risk in tort law, and has published an influential series of articles concerning the nature and role of mental states in criminal, tort and constitutional law. He has also explored such topics as bias crimes, contributory negligence, corrective justice, the logic of egalitarian norms, mistake and impossibility in criminal law, negligence as a moral and legal concept, and strict criminal liability. "Legal doctrine is a fascinating combination of the practical and the theoretical," he says. "Do we punish murderers because they deserve it, or because this will prevent future murders? A good lawyer must have the analytical tools to answer this type of question. In this spirit, I try to help students master both the analytical and the philosophical dimensions of law."

Professor Simons has been a visiting professor at Michigan Law School and a clerk for Judge James L. Oakes of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the US Supreme Court.

Selected Book chapters

Unravelling Tort and CrimePhilosophical Foundations of the Law of TortsPhilosophical Foundations of Criminal LawCriminal Law ConversationsTorts Stories


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