Paul M. Collins, Jr.

Professor and Director of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Paul M. Collins, Jr. is Professor of Political Science and Director of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Binghamton University and a B.S. in political science from the University of Scranton. His research focuses on understanding the democratic nature of the judiciary, interdisciplinary approaches to legal decision making, and interest group litigation.

The recipient of numerous research awards, he has published articles in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Journal of Politics, Law & Social Inquiry, Law & Society Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Political Research Quarterly, and other journals. His research has been funded by grants from the Dirksen Congressional Center and the National Science Foundation. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of the Justice System Journal, Law & Society Review, and Political Research Quarterly. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Studies Programs and is the List Master of the Law and Courts Discussion List.

Collins is also the author of two books. Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change, coauthored with Lori A. Ringhand, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press and was recognized by Choice as an 2014 Outstanding Academic Title. Friends of the Supreme Court: Interest Groups and Judicial Decision Making was published in 2008 by Oxford University Press and received the 2009 C. Herman Pritchett Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. This award recognizes Friends of the Supreme Court as the best book on law and courts written by a political scientist.


  • 2016–present
    Professor and Director of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst


  • 2005 
    Binghamton University, Ph.D. Political Science