The Faculty Podcast

Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.

August 23, 2012

On April 3, 2012, the Law School hosted a timely discussion with Sam Zell, one of the world’s leading investors, on "The Economy, Law and Entrepreneurialism." Zell, whose investment interests span real estate, energy, logistics, transportation, media, and health care, was joined in conversation with Dean Michael Schill.

Zell is one of the most insightful analysts of economic trends, whose successful investment strategy has made him a perennial member of Forbes billionaire list. Zell founded Equity Group Investments (EGI), the private entrepreneurial investment firm, more than 40 years ago. EGI created one of the largest real estate investment trusts (REITs) in history. He also is chairman and co-founder of Equity International. EI has invested in 22 portfolio companies, including homebuilding, retail, warehousing, distribution, office, hospitality, self-storage, senior living and specialty finance sectors spanning Latin America, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Previously, Mr. Zell served as chairman for Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP), the largest office REIT in the U.S. EOP was sold in February 2007 to The Blackstone Group for $39 billion in the largest private equity transaction in history at the time.

Among Zell’s investment “fundamentals” are these maxims: “When everyone is going right, look left.” “Look for good companies with bad balance sheets.” “Liquidity=Value.” “Understand the downside.” Mr. Zell serves on the JPMorgan National Advisory Board; the Eurohypo International Advisory Board; the President’s Advisory Board at the University of Michigan; the Visitor’s Committee at the University of Michigan Law School; and with the combined efforts of the University of Michigan Business School, he established the Zell/Lurie Entrepreneurial Center. Mr. Zell’s continual assistance to Michigan’s MBA program has also enhanced the Business School’s Polish Studies Program. He was appointed a DeRoy Visiting Professor in Honors at the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan. He is a long-standing supporter of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Real Estate Center, and has endowed the Samuel Zell/Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton. Mr. Zell has also endowed the Northwestern University Center for Risk Management.

A native Chicagoan, Mr. Zell is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. He began his career in real estate as an undergraduate at the University by managing apartment buildings throughout Southeast Michigan.

August 9, 2012

This introduction to the Law School clinical programs was recorded on May 18, 2012. It included representatives from the following clinics:

  • Young Center Immigrant Children’s Advocacy Clinic – Maria Woltjen
  • Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship – Beth Kregor
  • Housing Initiative Clinic – Jeff Leslie
  • Corporate Lab Clinic – David Zarfes and Michael Bloom
  • Poverty and Housing Law Clinic – Larry Wood
  • Gendered Violence and the Law Clinic – Neha Lall
  • Prosecution and Defense Clinic – Jeff Leslie
July 26, 2012

The 2011-12 Dewey Lecture in Law and Philosophy, recorded on February 29, 2012, was presented by Elizabeth Anderson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan.

Critics of every social insurance proposal in the U.S., including recent health care reform, have called them socialist attacks on private property. To be sure, social insurance is a central pillar of social democracy, and social democratic parties originated in a socialist critique of capitalism. Yet the equation of social insurance with socialism is doubly ironic. The first realistic proposal to abolish poverty by means of universal social insurance was Thomas Paine, who explicitly advanced his scheme as a defense of private property against socialist revolutionaries. And the first actual social insurance scheme was introduced by Otto von Bismarck, who advanced it against the German Social Democratic Party, which opposed his plan. This talk will consider how Paine grounded the justification of social insurance in a neo-Lockean theory of private property rights, and explore the implications of the ironic inversion of social insurance from a bulwark of to a perceived assault on capitalism.

July 12, 2012

This introduction to the Law School clinical programs was recorded on May 17, 2012. It included representatives from the following clinics:

  • Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic – Randolph Stone
  • Mental Health Advocacy Clinic – Mark Heyrman
  • Employment Discrimination Clinic – Jeff Leslie            
  • Exoneration Project Clinic – Tara Thompson
  • Abrams Environmental Law Clinic – Mark Templeton
  • Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic – Craig Futterman
  • Federal Criminal Justice Clinic – Alison Siegler
June 21, 2012

This talk, recorded on May 1, 2012, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series, puts in an explicitly Coasian context some of the speaker's prior work on the new reproductive technologies and on analogies in the evolution of the laws governing marriage and business corporations. Just as one is now generally free, as Coase observes, to structure one's business affairs in corporate or partnership form, as a franchise operation, or as a sole proprietorship through a series of individual, isolated market transactions, so both law and society now offer a variety of ways to structure one's personal life: the provision of sex and of care (for example, elder and child care) and the production of children can each now be outsourced or internalized within a legally recognized family structure.

Using analysis of both long history and the recent past to make predictions about possibilities for the future, the talk will remind listeners that the Mom and Pop production of children has been no more universal a model than the Mom-and-Pop business enterprise.

Mary Anne Case is Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

June 12, 2012

Remarks by Dean Michael Schill, Dan Doctoroff, '84 (CEO of Bloomberg LP and winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award), and R. H. Helmholz (Ruth Wyatt Rosenson Distinguished Service Professor of Law) at the 2012 Law School Hooding Ceremony in Rockefeller Chapel on June 9.

May 31, 2012

This discussion between Professor of Law M. Todd Henderson and Richard L. Sandor, (CEO, Environmental Financial Products, LLC, and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School) was sponsored by the Law School and Chicago Booth School of Business and was recorded on April 17, 2012.

May 17, 2012

Julie Brill, a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, participated in a fireside chat with Professors Randal Picker and Lior Strahilevitz on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

Julie Brill was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission on April 6, 2012. Since joining the Commission, Ms. Brill has worked actively on issues most affecting today's consumers, including protecting consumers' privacy, encouraging appropriate advertising substantiation, guarding consumers from financial fraud, and maintaining competition in industries involving high tech and health care.

Commissioner Brill has received several national awards for her work protecting consumers. She has testified before Congress, published numerous articles, and served on many national expert panels focused on consumer protection issues such as pharmaceuticals, privacy, credit reporting, data security breaches, and tobacco. Commissioner Brill has also served as a Vice-Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association.

Commissioner Brill graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and from New York University School of Law, where she had a Root-Tilden Scholarship for her commitment to public service.

May 3, 2012

Scheming Washington insiders, Congressional power plays, and allegations of pedophilia were not enough to keep James C. Hormel, Class of 1958, from becoming America’s first openly gay ambassador. In his new memoir, Fit to Serve, Jim recounts a life of public service and private struggle, from his privileged childhood in the Minnesota meatpacking family to the long, personal journey and six-year fight that culminated in his appointment in 1999 as Ambassador to Luxembourg. This history might have been different were it not for University of Chicago protesters who shook Jim – then dean of students at the law school (1961-67) – from his conventional life and onto the path to social justice. Hear Jim Hormel’s insights into his ambassadorial quest and his perspective on what the rebellious Chicago students of the 1960s have in common with their peers today. This talk was recorded January 25, 2012.

April 19, 2012

In this 2012 Coase Lecture on Law and Economics, Professor M. Todd Henderson examines the rise of pay for performance in corporate America, and considers several puzzles about legal regulation of executive compensation and the use and non-use of performance incentives in other areas, ranging from hospitals to schools to government bureaucracies. It was recorded on January 24, 2012.