Dr. William E. Lee

Professor, Journalism

About: Dr. Lee teaches Communication Law, The First Amendment and Political Campaigns, and Telecommunications Policy. His research appears in top legal journals such as the Supreme Court Review. He is a co-author of a top-selling textbook The Law of Public Communication.

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Ph.D., (Mass Communications) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977
M.A., (Telecommunications) Michigan State University, 1974
B.A., (Broadcasting) San Jose State University, 1972

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Lee has published articles on freedom of expression in leading legal periodicals such as the Supreme Court Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vanderbilt Law Review, University of California at Davis Law Review, Iowa Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Emory Law Journal, American University Law Review, Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, Washington University Law Quarterly, Georgia Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Tulane Law Review, University of Florida Law Review, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, and William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal. His work is widely cited in judicial opinions, executive and legislative branch documents, books, law review articles and legal briefs. Dr. Lee is also a co-author of The Law of Public Communication, a textbook used at more than 100 universities and colleges in the United States and other countries.

The Conscience of Corporations and the Right Not to Speak William E. Lee

Abstract: Despite the fact that corporations do not have consciences, in recent years the Supreme Court has been presented with the question of whether restrictions on the actions of a corporation abridge the First Amendment conscience rights of shareholders. Although the Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission sidestepped that question, in another October […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Lee is especially interested in the legal problems of public communication. He primarily teaches Law of Mass Communication, The Press and National Security, and The First Amendment and Political Campaigns at the undergraduate level. Dr. Lee is a member of the Graduate Faculty and teaches three graduate seminars, Mass Communication Law, Telecommunication Policy, and The Press and National Security. In 1990 and 1997, Dr. Lee received the outstanding teaching award given by the Grady Graduate Caucus; in 2009 he received an outstanding teaching faculty award from UGA. He currently serves as a Senior Faculty Fellow of the Foundation Fellows Program, UGA’s most prestigious undergraduate fellowship program.


Dr. Lee serves as a consultant to media firms, public policy organizations, and law firms throughout the United States. In addition, he has testified as an expert witness in 28 lawsuits involving mass media practices, government control of media markets, and government control of the Internet.

William E. Lee
In the News

Tenth edition of ‘The Law of Public Communication’ published

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Papers in 1972 Supreme Court case have implications for journalist’s privilege today

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"Trump’s New War on Leaks: Reporters Caught in the Crossfire?" via Just Security

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