Ajay K. Mehrotra

Professor of Law


Ajay K. Mehrotra is Professor of Law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and an Affiliated Professor of History at Northwestern University. He is also currently the Executive Director and a Research Professor at 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.

His scholarship and teaching focus on legal history, tax law, and diversity in legal education and the profession. More generally, his research explores law and political economy in historical and comparative perspective, with a particular focus on tax law and policy. He also supervises independent student research and reading in tax law and policy, structured finance, and the history of American law and political economy. He is the author of Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), and co-editor (with Isaac William Martin and Monica Prasad) of The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Before joining the ABF and Northwestern, Mehrotra taught American legal history, federal income tax, taxation of business entities, and tax policy at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He also taught strategic tax planning at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. From 2012-15, Mehrotra served as the IU law school's associate dean for research. He was also 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. While at Indiana University, Mehrotra received the law school’s Leon E. Wallace Teaching Award, and Indiana University’s Trustees Teaching Award. 

Prior to his time at Indiana University he was a Doctoral Fellow at the ABF. After law school and before he embarked on his academic career, Mehrotra was an Associate in the Structured Finance department of the New York offices of J.P. Morgan.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Legal History
  • Tax Law
  • Taxation
  • Legal Profession
  • Legal Education
  • Tax Policy

Selected Publications

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  • BA, University of Michigan
  • JD, Georgetown University
  • PhD, University of Chicago

Prior Appointments

  • Professor of Law & Niezer Faculty Fellow, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Associate Dean for Research, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Co-Director, Indiana University Center for Law, Society & Culture, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Visiting Scholar, American Academy of Arts & Sciences

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