Sarah Seo is a legal historian of criminal law and procedure in the twentieth-century United States. She is working on a book, titled Policing Everyman: How Cars Transformed American Freedom (under contract with Harvard UP), which examines the history of the automobile to explain the evolution of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence and to explore the problem of police discretion in a society committed to the rule of law. The book is based on her Ph.D. dissertation, which won Law & Society Association’s Best Dissertation Prize in 2017. Seo has also published in the Yale Law Journal, Law and Social Inquiry, and Law and History Review, among others.
Seo has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships. Most recently in 2017, she received grants from the American Philosophical Society and the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, and was honored with the Professor Eric K. Yamamoto Emerging Scholar Award from the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty. Prior to joining Iowa Law School, Seo received the Samuel I. Golieb Fellowship at NYU Law School and the Charles W. McCurdy/Miller Center Fellowship at UVA Law School while completing her Ph.D.
Seo received her A.B. and Ph.D., both in history, at Princeton University. After earning her law degree at Columbia Law School, she clerked for Judge Denny Chin, then of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Judge Reena Raggi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She has also practiced at an international law firm and as a pro bono lawyer.
Princeton University, AB, 2002
Columbia Law School, JD, 2007
Princeton University, Ph.D., 2016