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 producers 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); Herman Oliphant ’14, also a leading figure in legal realism, who taught at Chicago, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins; 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; 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; Lawrence Friedman ’51, leading legal historian and law & society scholar, who spent most of his academic career at Stanford; 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; Herma Hill Kay ’59, leading authority on family law, conflicts, and sex discrimination, who was also Dean for many years at Berkeley; Joseph L. Sax ’59, probably the most influential environmental law scholar of his generation, who taught for decades at Michigan and then Berkeley; Franklin Zimring ’67, influential criminologist and scholar of the criminal justice system who taught at Chicago and for most of his career at Berkeley; 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 and faculty member at George Mason; Frank H. Easterbrook ’73, Chicago emeritus 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; Lawrence Rosen ’74, one of the world’s most eminent anthropologists of law, who is now emeritus at Princeton; and Daniel Fischel ’77 who, with Easterbrook, revolutionized corporate law scholarship in the 1980s, and is now emeritus at Chicago.

Almost 300 Chicago alumni currently serve on the full-time law faculties at nearly 150 law schools in the United States and abroad, including the tenured and tenure-stream academic faculties at Yale Law School (Tracey L. Meares ’91, George L. Priest ’73), Harvard Law School (Martha A. Field ’68, Jacob E. Gersen ’04, Robert H. Sitkoff ’99, Alvin C. Warren ’69), Columbia Law School (Vincent A. Blasi ’67, George P. Fletcher ’64, Thomas W. Merrill ’77, Edward R. Morrison ’00), New York University School of Law (Barry E. Adler ’85, Richard R.W. Brooks ’98, Christopher J. Sprigman ’93, Katherine J. Strandburg ’95), as well as Chicago (Anthony Casey ’02, Adam Davidson ’17M. Todd Henderson ’98, William Hubbard ’00, Anup Malani ’00, Randal C. Picker ’85, Geoffrey R. Stone ’71).

Other distinguished alumni currently teaching include Michael McConnell ’79, a preeminent expert on the law of religious liberty at Stanford; Leo Katz ’82, a leading criminal law theorist (Penn); Shari Seidman Diamond ’85, a ground-breaking scholar working at the intersection of law and psychology (Northwestern); Robert K. Rasmussen ’85, the former Dean at the University of Southern California; distinguished environmental law expert Lisa Heinzerling ’87 (Georgetown); Christopher Eisgruber ’88, leading constitutional theorist, who taught for more than a decade at NYU and who is now President at Princeton University; Lisa Bressman ’93, one of the nation’s leading authorities on administrative law (Vanderbilt); Sonia Katyal ’98, a scholar of law & technology and intellectual property (Berkeley); and Michael Kang ’99, a leading election law scholar (Northwestern). 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 (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); and Critical Race Theory (Angela Harris ’86, who is now emerita at UC Davis).

Chicago graduates are currently tenure-track, or recently tenured, law faculty at the University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Northwestern University, University of Southern California, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UCLA, Notre Dame, George Mason, Fordham University, Florida State University, Brooklyn Law School, University of Melbourne, University of Colorado, Arizona State University, Emory University, University of South Carolina, Wayne State University, and University of Houston, 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

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