Chicago Alumni in Academia

Go back to section I. Paths to Law Teaching

II. Chicago Alumni in Academia

A significant advantage Chicago grads have in looking for jobs in academia is that Chicago has a distinguished tradition of producing legal scholars and teachers.  Indeed, Yale, Harvard, and Chicago have been the most successful producer of law teachers over the last twenty-five years.   The Law School’s unique intellectual culture, and close student-faculty relations, as well as its leadership role in so many areas of legal scholarship--law and economics and behavioral law and economics; the ‘old’ and ‘new’ legal realism; legal history and constitutional law; and, more recently, jurisprudence and philosophy, feminist legal theory and international law—prepares graduates to be at the cutting-edge of research and teaching in law and cognate fields.

Graduates of the Law School include such giants of law and legal education as Jerome Frank ’12, one of the two leading figures in 20th-century American Legal Realism, who later served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the other leading American Legal Realist was Karl Llewellyn, who taught at the Law School from 1950-1962); Edward H. Levi ’35, former Dean of the Law School and President of the University of Chicago, former Attorney General of the United States, and author of, among other works, the classic An Introduction to Legal Reasoning; Bernard Meltzer ’37, longtime Chicago faculty member and one of the great innovators in labor law after WWII; Quintin Johnstone ’38, renowned scholar in property and legal ethics, now emeritus at Yale; Harry Kalven, Jr. ’38, one of the giants of modern First Amendment scholarship, who was also a pioneer in empirical studies of the legal system with his classic The American Jury (co-authored with Chicago colleague Hans Zeisel); Walter Blum ’41, a leading tax scholar and teacher at the Law School for several decades; Gordon Tullock ’47, one of the principal founders of public choice theory and law and economics; Henry Manne ’52, one of the founders of law and economics; Robert H. Bork ’53, leading antitrust and constitutional law scholar and former Solicitor General of the United States, who taught at Yale for many years before serving as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; Marvin Chirelstein ’53, leading tax law authority, who taught for decades at Yale and Columbia; Saul Mendlovitz ’54, influential radical international lawyer, scholar, and activist, who is now emeritus at Rutgers University; Roger C. Cramton ’55, distinguished authority in conflicts of law and legal ethics, who taught for many years at Chicago, Michigan, and Cornell, where he was also Dean; Marc Galanter ’56, one of the preeminent figures in law & society scholarship over the last half century, who is now emeritus at Wisconsin; William Twining ’58, leading figure in Anglo-American jurisprudence and expert on American Legal Realism, who is Quain Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at University College London; Joseph L. Sax ’59, probably the most influential environmental law scholar of his generation, who taught for decades at Michigan and then Berkeley, where he is now emeritus; Douglas H. Ginsburg ’73, former law professor at Harvard, now an influential Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; Frank H. Easterbrook ’73, Chicago law professor who is now one of the most widely cited federal judges in the United States and sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; and Daniel Fischel ’77 who, with Easterbrook, revolutionalized corporate law scholarship in the 1980s, and is now emeritus at Chicago and teaching part-time at Northwestern.

Some 360 Chicago alumni currently serve on the full-time law faculties at more than 170 law schools in the United States and abroad, including the tenured and tenure-stream academic faculties at Yale Law School (Richard R.W. Brooks ‘98, Tracey L. Meares ‘91, George L. Priest ‘73), Harvard Law School (Martha A. Field ‘68, Jacob E. Gersen ‘04, Mary Ann Glendon ‘61, Hal S. Scott ‘72, Robert H. Sitkoff ’99, Alvin C. Warren ‘69), Stanford Law School (Richard Craswell ‘77, Lawrence M. Friedman ‘51, Larry B. Kramer ’84, Michael McConnell ‘79), Columbia Law School (Vincent A. Blasi ‘67, George P. Fletcher ‘64, Thomas W. Merrill ‘77), as well as Chicago (Anthony Casey '02, M. Todd Henderson ‘98, William Hubbard '00, Anup Malani ‘00, Edward R. Morrison ‘00, Randal C. Picker ‘85, Geoffrey R. Stone ‘71).

Other distinguished alumni currently teaching include Herma Hill Kay ’59, leading authority on family law, conflicts, and sex discrimination, who was also Dean for many years at Berkeley; Franklin Zimring ’67, an internationally renowned authority on the criminal justice system (Berkeley); one of the nation’s preeminent authorities on the law of religious liberty and on remedies, Douglas Laycock ’73 (Virginia); Lawrence Rosen ’74, one of the world’s most eminent anthropologists of law (Princeton); Carol Rose ’77, distinguished scholar in property and environmental law, who recently retired from the Yale Law School faculty to take up a Chair at the University of Arizona; Suzanna Sherry ’79, one of the most influential constitutional law scholars and theorists of her generation (Vanderbilt); Leo Katz ’82, a leading criminal law theorist (Penn); Barry E. Adler ’85, a leading bankruptcy scholar (NYU); Shari Seidman Diamond ’85, a ground-breaking scholar working at the intersection of law and psychology (Northwestern); Robert K. Rasmussen ’85, now Dean at the University of Southern California; Deborah Malamud ‘86, one of the most influential labor law scholars of her generation (NYU); distinguished environmental law expert Lisa Heinzerling ’87 (Georgetown), and Christopher Eisgruber ’88, leading constitutional theorist, who taught for more than a decade at NYU and who is now Provost at Princeton University.  There are many others.  (A full list of alumni in law teaching appears in Appendix A.)

Although Chicago alumni are, of course, leading figures in economic analysis of law, other alumni are also major scholarly figures in feminist legal theory (Mary Becker ’80 at DePaul University and Martha A. Fineman ’75, who taught for many years at Columbia and Cornell, before taking up a distinguished chair at Emory); Critical Legal Studies (John Henry Schlegel ’67 at Buffalo and Jay Feinman ’75 at Rutgers-Camden); and Critical Race Theory (Angela Harris ’86 at Berkeley).

Chicago graduates are currently tenure-track, or just recently tenured, law faculty at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Yale University, New York University, University of Virginia, University of Texas at Austin, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Washington University in St. Louis,  University of North Carolina, Boston University, Emory University, Fordham University, Indiana University at Bloomington, University of Arizona, George Mason University, University of Florida, Gainesville, University of Georgia, Florida State University, University of Missouri, Hofstra University, University of Houston, St. Louis University, and DePaul University, among many other schools.

Continue to the next sections of the article:

III. The Mechanics of the Academic Job Market in Law
IV. Ranking Law Schools
V. Upward Mobility

Appendix A: University of Chicago Law School Alumni in Academia (also available as Excel spreadsheet)

Appendix B: Model Resume for On-Campus Interviews (PDF)