I am an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, I earned my PhD in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 2023.

My research interests include administrative law, executive-branch politics, and quantitative methods. My research has appeared (or is forthcoming) in peer-reviewed publications and law reviews, including the American Political Science Review, Political Science Research and Methods, the Cardozo Law Review, the George Washington Law Review, and the Minnesota Law Review.

My research agenda asks two broad questions. First, how do bureaucratic agencies acquire the capacity they need to implement the tasks delegated to them by Congress and the President? My ongoing research examines when members of Congress and the President make meaningful investments in bureaucratic capacity to improve the performance of federal agencies. Second, how does variation in bureaucratic capacity across the administrative state affect policy implementation and the ability of agencies to meet to their statutory mandates? My recent work examines how the allocation of human capital within the Immigration Courts affects outcomes in removal proceedings. Other projects seek to develop new measures of bureaucratic capacity for researchers in law, political science, and public administration.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Political Science and History in 2012. While earning my BA, I also earned a Certificate in Irish Politics from University College Cork. I earned my JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016, where I was awarded the William B. Lockhart Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Leadership, and Service. Following law school, I clerked for Judge Tracy Smith of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

When I am not cleaning data or running regressions, I bike, hike, play board games, and maintain reef aquariums.


E-Mail: nbednar@umn.edu
Twitter: @NicholasBednar