Samantha Von ende

Senior Research Associate

B.Sc. (Oglethorpe University), M.A. (Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences), Ph.D (Indiana University) 2019


Samantha von Ende (M.A., Bioethics; B.S., Biopsychology) is an enthusiastic educator and scholar whose research and teaching interests span the topics of constitutional design, transitology, institutional analysis, and comparative and technology law. Her expertise in comparative legal matters aids her international development consulting work on institutional design/reform projects.

In her primary role as an academic, Sam’s research examines the means by which fundamental legal ordering structures social outcomes, political transitions, and civic spaces. Among the courses she has offered and assisted in developing are Academic Legal Writing – Workshop (for SJDs), Legal Discourse and Writing – Lab (for LLMs), Legal English: Topics (for LLMs), Democratic Citizenship, and Constitutional Design and the Economy (for JDs/PhDs). She has published and presented her scholarship in fora hosted by UC Berkeley, IU, the People’s Supreme Court of Lao PDR, Dartmouth College, and the Political Parties of Myanmar’s Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee. Sam’s Ph.D. dissertation, her current writing project, focuses on constitutional conceptions of current and future majorities with a particular focus on Israeli constitutional identity, political development, and reform processes in comparative context.

Before initiating her dual J.D./Ph.D. program (expected 2021) at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, Sam spent a year in Washington, D.C., working consecutively with Greenpeace and Ashoka on environmental advocacy and social entrepreneurship initiatives. Since 2015, she has been affiliated as a graduate fellow with the Center for Constitutional Democracy (CCD), an institution which advises and empowers preexisting reform movements in pluralistic societies. As a research fellow supporting the CCD’s work abroad, Sam consulted on and participated in advising projects in Jordan, Myanmar, and Lao PDR. Her responsibilities in these roles included the provision of expert guidance and technical assistance to partners on-the-ground regarding the progression of peace process negotiations, advancement of state constitution and legislative drafting missions, and the development of women’s empowerment programs, inclusive public participation processes, legal skills curricula, and legal capacity-building projects.

During her academic career, Sam has contributed extensively to the practice of law in both judicial and appellate litigation settings. In 2016, she assisted the chambers of Judge David Hamilton (United States Federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) with the resolution of appellate cases and, in 2015, developed amicus brief strategy for the Center for Reproductive Rights’ U.S. Legal Program in their victorious “Whole Women’s Health” appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has dedicated extensive time to pro-bono work and academic service, most notably in her two-year term as the Faegre Baker Daniels’ Access to Justice Pro Bono Graduate Fellow.

In recent years, Sam has served in several distinguished roles, including a one-year term on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Maurer and multi-year editorships on the Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design and the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality (as the Executive Articles Editor). Named a “Next Generation Leader” by the American Constitution Society and “Development Adviser” to the University of Iceland’s Center for Democratic Constitutional Design, Sam was also recently invited to present at Yale Law School’s 8th Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference (2018) and awarded the prestigious graduate fellowship at IU’s Ostrom Workshop for the 2018-2019 academic year.

In her most important role, Sam is the eldest child of a supremely close 4-sibling set. A former two-sport intercollegiate athlete, she is also an animal lover, speaks three languages (English, Hebrew, Arabic), and describes herself as “predisposed to delight.” Outside of work, Sam enjoys traveling, game nights, intramural sports, reading, and the performing arts.