William Ortman

William Ortman

Assistant Professor of Law

Room 3259

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(313) 577-3962


Curriculum Vitae

William Ortman


William Ortman writes about institutional design in public law, with a particular focus on criminal law and procedure. Ortman’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in leading law journals, including the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review and the Washington University Law Review. Before joining Wayne Law, he was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. From 2007 to 2013, he was a criminal defense lawyer and commercial litigator in private practice in Des Moines, Iowa. After graduating from the University of Chicago with highest honors in 2006, he was as a law clerk to Judge David Tatel of the U.SCourt of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

At Wayne Law, Ortman teaches criminal law, evidence, administrative law, and a seminar on advanced topics in criminal law and procedure. In 2018, he was voted Professor of the Year by Wayne Law’s second and third-year students.


Degrees and Certifications

J.D., University of Chicago Law School
B.A., Swarthmore College

Selected Publications

Second-Best Criminal Justice, 96 Washington University Law Review (forthcoming 2019)

The Lottery Docket, 116 Michigan Law Review 705 (2018) (with Daniel Epps)

The Yates Memo Versus Administrative Law, 165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 191 (2017)

Probable Cause Revisited, 68 Stanford Law Review 511 (2016)

Rulemaking's Missing Tier, 68 Alabama Law Review 225 (2016)

Chevron for Juries, 36 Cardozo Law Review 1287 (2015)


  • William Ortman

    co-authored with Daniel Epps an article titled, “The Lottery Docket,” which was published in the Michigan Law Review. Read the article here.

  • William Ortman

    forthcoming paper for the Michigan Law Review, co-authored with Professor Daniel Epps, won an honorable mention award at the 2018 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition. The paper is titled "The Lottery Docket." Read the announcement

  • William Ortman

    had his latest essay, "The Yates Memo Versus Administrative Law," published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Read the full essay here.

In the news

  • William Ortman

    and his forthcoming paper titled, "The Lottery Docket," were featured in the June ABA Journal.

    Read article
  • William Ortman

    was featured in the Macomb County Legal News for its report, "High stakes: New professor enjoys challenges of criminal law."

    Read article
  • William Ortman

    was featured in the Detroit Legal News for its report, "Lecturer from Harvard Law joins Wayne Law as assistant professor."

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