Our Faculty


Michael R. Dillon, Ph.D., J.D.

Professor and Chair, Political Science

Contact Information

Office: Olney Hall Room 358
Phone: 215.991.3748
Email: dillonm@lasalle.edu


Michael Dillon has spent a total of 23 years teaching at La Salle (from 1968 – 1985 and, more recently, from 2007 to 2011). He also spent 22 years practicing environmental law in federal courts across the United States while with the Litigation Section of the national law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. He serves as Chair of the Political Science Department and as the Coordinator of the University Pre-Law Program. His research interests include constitutional law, especially First Amendment and environmental cases, American political theory, especially Henry David Thoreau and his critique of American politics, and the continuity between English common law and American constitutionalism as the common law was incorporated into the American founding.

Areas of Expertise

  • Political Theory (Classical, Modern, American)

  • Constitutional Law (Powers and Institutions, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties)

  • Environmental Law and Policy (Natural Resources, Superfund)

  • Jurisprudence (Role of Courts in Democratic Society)


  • J.D. Temple University Beasley School of Law 1985

  • Post-graduate study at Duke University 1976, Princeton University 1978, Harvard University 1979, and University of Wisconsin 1983

  • Ph. D. University of Notre Dame 1970

  • M.A. University of Notre Dame 1966

  • B. A. University of Notre Dame 1964


  • POL 260 Classical Political Theory: The Foundations (Plato to Machiavelli)

  • POL 361 Modern Political Theory: Democracy & Its Critics (Machiavelli to Marx)

  • POL 302 & 303 Constitutional Law I and II

  • POL 316 Courts, Judges & Judging: Anglo-American Jurisprudence

  • POL 319 Environmental Law and Policy


  • How to Think About Law School: A Handbook for Undergraduates and their Parents (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013)

  • “Religious Liberty, the Common Law and the Supreme Court,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 14, No. 2., p. 211.

  • “Poets and Statesmen: Thornton Wilder’s Political Vision in The Ides of March,” The Intercollegiate Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 149

  • “The Perennial Appeal of Anarchism,”  Polity, Journal of the Northeast Political Science Association, Vol. VII, No. 2, p. 234.

  • “The Sensitive Citizen: Authority and Modernity in the Political Philosophy of Bertrand de Jouvenel,” The Political Science Reviewer, Vol. 5, p. 1.. 

  • “Thomas Hobbes as Democratic Citizen,” The Review of Politics, Vol. 37, No. 1, p. 133.

  • “In Post-Avial Litigation the Recovery of Key Tronic Response Costs Must be Addressed Early,” American Bar Association, Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Report, 2005, p. 32.

  • Review of Fr. James Schall, The Mind that is Catholic: Philosophical & Political Essays, American Catholic Studies, Vol.120, No. 4, p. 86.


  • “Rousseau’s Political Philosophy,” at the American Political Science Association annual meeting

  • “The Longing for Autonomy: Obligation and Disobedience in Jean-Jacques Rousseau,” at the Pennsylvania Political Science Association annual meeting

  • “Thoreau on the State: Romantic Rebellion in America,” at the Northeast Political Science Association annual meeting

  • “Lessons from the Anti-Federalists on the Bill of Rights,” at the Pennsylvania Political Science Association annual meeting

  • “Henry Thoreau: Hermit, Anarchist, Political Philosopher,: G. Greybill Diehm Annual Lecture, Juniata College

  • “Constitutional Challenges: The Third Century,” at the Philadelphia Bar Association Bicentennial Celebration, Congress Hall, Independence National Historic Park

  • “Fair and Balanced Pre-Law Advising: Our Obligations to Our Students,” at the NAPLA annual meeting, Yale University Law School

For a full c.v. please email me at dillonm@lasalle.edu

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