Paul Diller

Visiting Professor


Professor Paul Diller’s professional work focuses on the legal structures, including federalism and gerrymandering, that constrain or empower local policymaking. Diller’s work on state preemption of local power has been widely cited; his recent work argues that some forms of preemption are more democratically legitimate than others. In September 2017, Diller authored an amicus briefon behalf of several municipal organizations and local government law professors in a Supreme Court case challenging gerrymandering of state legislative districts.

Diller graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan Law School, both magna cum laude. After law school, he clerked for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he litigated constitutional, employment discrimination and Freedom-of-Information-Act cases, among others. In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, skiing, drinking coffee, and travel.

Diller teaches State and Local Government, Property, and Public Health Law, and has also taught First Amendment and State Constitutional Law. He also teaches a self-designed course on Legal Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic. His current research examines the growing disconnect between urban policy preferences and those of state legislatures in many states. Other recent work addresses the unique potential of cities to spur regulatory change, particularly with respect to protecting public health.


  • JD, University of Michigan, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2001
  • BS, BAS, University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, 1996