Served from September 30, 2015 through November 8, 2017
Justice Joan L. Larsen was named to the Michigan Supreme Court on September 30, 2015, by Governor Rick Snyder. She left the Court on November 8, 2017, after being sworn in as a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Before assuming office, Justice Larsen served on the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School where she was also special counsel to the dean. An award-winning legal scholar, Justice Larsen taught for more than a decade at the University of Michigan where she received the L. Hart Wright Award for Excellence in Teaching. She continues to assist the law school as the adviser to the Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition.
Justice Larsen graduated first in her class from Northwestern University School of Law, where she served as articles editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. At Northwestern, she earned the John Paul Stevens Award for Academic Excellence, the Lowden-Wigmore Prize for the best student note published in the Law Review, and the Raoul Berger Prize for the best senior research paper.
After graduation, Justice Larsen clerked for the Hon. David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. Following her clerkships, she joined Sidley & Austin’s Washington, D.C., office, where she was a member of the Constitutional, Criminal, and Civil Litigation Section.
Before coming to Michigan in 1998, she was a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern. She later served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, where she provided advice to the White House, the attorney general, and government agencies regarding constitutional and statutory law.
While at the University of Michigan Law School, Justice Larsen’s research and teaching interests included constitutional law, criminal procedure, statutory interpretation and presidential power.