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.

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.

April 5, 2012

How has the Supreme Court confirmation process changed over the years? Are members of the Senate more prone to oppose nominees today than they were in the past? If so, to what extent is this due to the controversy over the Bork nomination? Professor Stone will discuss these and other questions arising out of the process by which the Senate does -- or does not -- confirm a President's nominees to the Supreme Court. This Chicago's Best Ideas talk was recorded January 26, 2012, and was sponsored by Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP. Geoffrey Stone is Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

March 22, 2012

In 1937, Ronald Coase asked a profound question: if markets are so efficient at allocating resources, why are so many resources allocated within firms?  Coase’s answer was that market allocation entailed transactions costs and, when these were very high, transactions will take place within firms. Oliver Williamson, a Nobel Prize winner like Coase, elaborated on the sorts of transactions costs that discouraged market transactions. Among these was the holdup problem: buyer agrees to pay a set price for a widget to be supplied by seller at some future date, but when the date arrives the seller demands a higher price. Oliver Hart, with co-authors Sanford Grossman and John Moore, suggested this problem could be overcome if the buyer owns a key asset of the seller or the seller’s whole firm. This can prevent the seller from holding up the buyer. In this manner Hart et al. transformed Coase’s theory of how large firms were into a theory of who owns firms. Since then there have been numerous efforts to demonstrate that asset ownership or integration is not necessary to overcome the holdup problem. In this presentation, Professor Malani will describe a number of surprising contract provisions that can be used to tackle the holdup problem and how contract law can affect the scope and ownership of firms.

This talk was recorded on November 9, 2011 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series. Anup Malani is Lee and Brena Freeman Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

March 8, 2012

It is common to hear Europe described today as the power of the past. Europe is perceived to be weak militarily. Its relative economic power is declining as Asia’s is rising.  Its common currency may be on the verge of disintegrating. On the world stage, the European Union is thought to be waning into irrelevance due to its inability to speak with one voice.  Contrary to this prevalent perception, "the Brussels Effect" highlights a deeply underestimated aspect of European power that the discussion on globalization and power politics overlooks: Europe’s unilateral power to regulate global commerce.  It explains how Europe is successfullyexporting its legal institutions and standards—ranging from antitrust and privacy to health and environmental regulation—to the rest of the world and why the markets, other states and international institutions can do little to constrain Europe's global regulatory agenda.

Anu Bradford is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.This talk was recorded on January 18, 2012, as part of the University of Chicago Law School's "Chicago's Best Ideas" lecture series.

December 29, 2011

As we near the end of the first term of our nation’s first African American President, does race still matter?  How have our perceptions of race changed?

In this talk, "Race in the Obama Era: Observations from Eight Square Blocks of Chicago's South Side," recorded on November 17, 2011, Clinical Professor of Law Craig Futterman will share observations and experiences arising from his and his students’ engagement working on issues of police accountability from the ground floor of a family high rise in a Chicago public housing community that made up eight square blocks of Chicago’s South Side.

Prof. Futterman argues that engaging this “view from the ground” is necessary to inform our policies and conversations around fundamental issues of race and class in America and to move us toward a more just society.

December 15, 2011

International Women’s Human Rights: Paradigms, Paradoxes, and Possibilities, a Sawyer Seminar organized by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, addresses contradictions within the concept and practice of women’s human rights. The year-long program will include public lectures, symposia, faculty seminars, an undergraduate workshop and a large international conference in spring quarter, “Engendering Rights in India: The Colonial Encounter and Beyond.” Made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Catharine A. MacKinnon, Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, specializes in sex equality issues under international and constitutional law. She pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment and, with Andrea Dworkin, created ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation and the Swedish model for addressing prostitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography, and hate speech.

This talk was recorded November 14, 2011.

December 1, 2011

In November, the Supreme Court heard arguments in United States v. Jones, which will decide whether the Constitution allows police to put a tracking device on a car without either a warrant or the owner's permission. We asked several faculty members for their reaction to the arguments, including Deputy Dean and Sidley Austin Professor of Law Lior Strahilevitz, Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law Richard McAdams, and Clinical Professor of Law Craig Futterman.