Hello. I’m Jay Wexler, and this is my website. I grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts, where I wore bad clothes and had a butthead hairdo until I was 21. I liked lots of girls, but they didn’t like me, which was not surprising given my hairdo and bad clothes. Anyway, this experience made me sad and insecure.I went to Harvard College where I tried three times to get onto the Harvard Lampoon but never made it. The rest of my life I consider simply to be an Epilogue to these early failures. Currently I live in a loft in the leather district of Boston with my wife and son.
I’ve been teaching law at Boston University since 2001, and I also write stories and humor pieces and essays and all sorts of other things, many of which you can find somewhere on the site. All of these publications are futile attempts to stave off the sad fact that I and everything I love will soon die.
Welcome to the site!
Before coming to teach at BU, I worked for two years as an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Legal Counsel, the office that (long, long after I left) issued the infamous “torture memo.” Before that I clerked for Judge David Tatel on the D.C. Circuit and Justice Ginsburg at the Supreme Court.
I have a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard, a M.A. in religious studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Before law school I lived for a total of about two years in Asia, including Taiwan, Xiamen P.R.C., Hong Kong, and Japan. In the spring of 2008, I taught in Lyon, France, and then in Krakow, Poland on a Fulbright Fellowship. In 2015, I lived in Buenos Aires, where I taught a course at the University of Buenos Aires, again on a Fulbright. I’ve given talks on constitutional law in Warsaw, Moscow, Bangkok, Oslo, Hanoi, Santiago, and Tallinn. I like traveling (again, futile attempt to etc. etc.)
When God Isn’t Green: A Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide, a nonfiction book about the previously underappreciated fact that very often religious practices happen to harm the environment, was published by Beacon Press in Spring 2016. In the book, I describe my travels around the world—from Singapore to Guatemala, from India to the northernmost point in Alaska, and much more—to investigate this phenomenon and figure out how societies can best balance religious freedom with environmental protection.
My CV, current as of May 20, 2017, is here.