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Nina Varsava

Nina Varsava

Field of Study: 
Jurisprudence, Applied Ethics, Law and Humanities, Courts and Judging, Empirical Legal Studies, Digital Humanities, Professional Responsibility
Profile / Bio: 
Nina studies legal ethics and the legal profession; adjudication and procedure; and health law and bioethics. Her primary line of research examines the often dubious justifications for common legal practices. She combines legal theory and empirical methods to reveal injustices and irrationalities in the process of adjudication. In particular, she is engaged in projects on the precedential value of plurality decisions, federal versus state methods for interpreting precedent, and the professional norms around judicial opinion writing.
Nina’s research in bioethics involves normative and empirical analyses of professional responsibility in health care and biomedical research. Her work focuses on issues of (mis)communication, (mis)trust, and consent. 
Nina has published her research in law reviews and peer-reviewed journals in the humanities and social sciences, and has presented her work at numerous conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She has extensive teaching experience, having served as principal instructor or teaching assistant for courses in rhetoric, literature, and bioethics. She has also given guest lectures for undergraduate and law school classes. While a student at Yale Law School, Nina served on the Legal Ethics Bureau, where she worked on cases concerning professional responsibility, criminal procedure, and criminal justice. She has further practice experience as a Summer Associate for Yale’s Office of the General Counsel, where she advised clients on legal and policy issues in health care, clinical research, and professional responsibility.
Nina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and is a dual-citizen of Canada and Finland. She holds a B.A. from the University of Alberta and an M.A. from the University of British Columbia. She will receive her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2018, and in 2018-19 will serve as a Judicial Clerk on the Supreme Court of Colorado.

Selected Publications:

  • How to Realize the Value of Stare Decisis: Options for Following Precedent, 30 YALE JOURNAL OF LAW & THE HUMANITIES (forthcoming, 2018). 
  • The Elements of Judicial Style: A Quantitative Guide to Justice Gorsuch’s Writing, NYU LAW REVIEW ONLINE (forthcoming, 2018).
  • Dating Markets and Love Stories: Freedom and Fairness in the Pursuit of Intimacy and Love, 95 CULTURAL CRITIQUE 162 (Winter, 2017).
  • Beyond Consent: Building Trusting Relationships with Diverse Populations in Precision Medicine Research. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BIOETHICS (forthcoming, 2018) (with Stephanie A. Kraft, Mildred K. Cho, Katherine Gillespie, Meghan Halley, Kelly Ormond, Harold Luft, Benjamin Wilfond, and Sandra Soo-Jin Lee).

Selected Grants and Fellowships:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (2012-2016)
  • Province of Alberta Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction, Doctoral Level (2013)
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2009-2010)
  • Province of Alberta Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction, Master’s Level (2009)