Incoming Faculty Profile: Brian G. Slocum

Press Date
June 23, 2023
Slocum headshot

Brian G. Slocum is joining the FSU Law faculty this summer as the Stearns Weaver Miller professor. Professor Slocum’s research and teaching experience lie in legislation/statutory interpretation, language and law, administrative law, and contracts. He comes to FSU Law from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he held the titles of distinguished professor of law and associate dean for scholarship. Professor Slocum has also served as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, University of California Berkeley School of Law, and University of California Davis School of Law. He is the author of “Ordinary Meaning: A Theory of the Most Fundamental Principle of Legal Interpretation" (University of Chicago Press, 2015), the editor of "Inference, Intention and 'Ordinary Meaning': What jurists can learn about legal interpretation from linguistics and philosophy" (University of Chicago Press, 2017), and a co-editor of “Justice Scalia: Rhetoric and the Rule of Law” (University of Chicago Press, 2019). He also has published numerous articles in top law journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Yale Journal of International Law, and New York University Law Review. Professor Slocum has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship. Prior to entering academia, Professor Slocum worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and clerked for the Honorable Frank Magill, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in linguistics from U.C. Davis, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his B.B.A. from Pacific Union College. He will teach Language and Legal Interpretation at FSU Law in the fall.

“I am currently working on projects in the field of experimental jurisprudence, where I help obtain empirical evidence about how ordinary people understand the language of rules. One current paper (written with Professor Kevin Tobia from Georgetown Law) examines whether ordinary people incorporate normative values like 'fairness' into their understanding of statutes. The paper questions the prevailing legal view that normative values are irrelevant to determining the linguistic meaning of a statute.” 


Published on June 23, 2023