College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Political Science > Faculty > Joseph F. Mello

Joseph F. Mello

  • Associate Professor and Pre-law Advisor
  • PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Political Science
  • Faculty
  • Law and courts; constitutional law; American political development
  • 773-325-7384


Dr. Mello joined the faculty at DePaul University in 2013. His teaching and scholarship is focused on understanding the intersection of law and society. He explores questions, such as: how social movement activists use the law, how legal symbols and discourse shape our sense of identity, and how the “law-on-the books” differs from the “law-in-action.” Dr. Mello teaches a number of courses on law and American politics including: the American Political System (PSC 120), Law in the Political System (PSC 260), Law and Popular Culture (PSC 265), and Rights-Based Social Movements (PSC 368). He also serves as a pre-law advisor for the department.

Research & Publications

Dr. Mello’s book, The Courts, the Ballot Box, and Gay Rights: How our Governing Institutions Shape the Same-Sex Marriage Debate, was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2016. It examines how debates about important moral and political issues play out differently in the elite-centered environment of the courtroom, versus the more popular arena of the ballot box.

Dr. Mello's research interests include the study of legal mobilization, legal culture, and conservative political thought and ideology. His dissertation​ on conservative opposition to same-sex marriage was awarded the George F. Cole dissertation fellowship for outstanding dissertation in the field of public law. He has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Law and Social Inquiry; Studies in Law, Politics, and Society; and Judicature.

Curriculum Vitae