Alumni (National Fellow)

Ajay Mehrotra

National Fellow
Kingston, New York
J.D. Georgetown University
B.A. University of Michigan
Ph.D. University of Chicago (2002)
Professional Sectors:
Law/Legal Services
Dream Mentor:
Elliot Brownlee
University of California, Santa Barbara
Fields of Interest:
American Political Development
Legal History
Political Economy
Tax Policy


Ajay Mehrotra is the executive director of the American Bar Foundation (ABF), an independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and legal processes. He is also a research professor at the ABF, a professor of law at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, and an affiliated professor of history at Northwestern University. Mehrotra is a legal scholar whose research focuses on the history of American law and political economy and the relationship between taxation and state formation in historical and comparative contexts. Prior to his ABF directorship, Mehrotra was a professor of law and Louis F. Niezer Faculty Fellow at the Indiana University (IU) Maurer School of Law. From 2012-2015, he also served as the IU law school’s associate dean for research. He was an adjunct professor of history at Indiana University and an affiliated faculty member of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Mehrotra was previously a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation while completing his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan. After law school and prior to his graduate training in history, Mehrotra was an associate in the Structured Finance Department in the New York offices of J.P. Morgan. Mehrotra’s writings have appeared in student-edited law reviews and interdisciplinary journals including Law & Social Inquiry, Law & History Review, and Law & Society Review.

Thesis Description:

Creating the Modern American Fiscal State: The Political Economy of U.S. Tax Policy, 1880-1930

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