Research Centers

Professor Adam Chilton giving the 2023 Coase Lecture.

Cutting-edge legal research has long been a hallmark of the Law School. Our faculty create and participate in numerous research centers and projects housed both in the Law School and throughout the University. 

Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics

The goal of the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics is to promote the understanding and dissemination of the economic approach to law. It supports research and learning by students, faculty and fellows, and organizes events and activities in Chicago and beyond.

Center on Law and Finance

The Center on Law and Finance has two primary objectives. The first is to advance the research and understanding of how law interacts with—and shapes—financial systems. It does by supporting conferences, speakers, academic programming, and research on law and finance. The second objective is to connect research concretely to the real world. Continuing the Law School’s commitment to the practical application of legal theory, the Center holds events that foster a meaningful dialogue between academics and practitioners.

Constitutional Law Institute

Created in 2020, the Constitutional Law Institute supports research and scholarship on longstanding constitutional issues as an integral part of the Law School’s scholarly and research mission. The Institute also shares the Law School’s commitment to free speech and intellectual inquiry that is independent of partisan fashions. The Institute promotes rigorous analysis of constitutional issues and then shares those ideas more broadly with the general public. The Institute additionally hosts events, activities, and visitors.

Malyi Center for the Study of Institutional and Legal Integrity

The Malyi Center for the Study of Institutional and Legal Integrity is the Law School’s newest center, established in 2023. The Malyi Center will stimulate new research on the sources of sound institutions, their consequences, and the conditions of their endurance. The Malyi Center will focus on expanding academic research in international and comparative law by Law School faculty; encourage real-world impact via activities such as conferences, events, speakers’ series, and other collaborations with practitioners; and support additional scholarship in international and comparative law from the academic community outside the University. Professor Tom Ginsburg, a leading expert on international and comparative law, is the new center’s faculty director.

Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values

The Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values established in 2008, sponsors speakers and conferences to support and encourage the reflective, critical, and philosophical study of human values, with a particular emphasis on the conceptual, historical, and empirical foundations of the normative systems—moral, political, and legal—in which human beings live. The Center’s mission encompasses not only the traditional concerns of moral, political, and legal theory—in Anglophone, European, and non-Western traditions—but also the history of thought about ethical, political, and legal questions as these bear on contemporary questions. Traditional problems of conceptual analysis and normative justification are supplemented by attention to empirical results in the human sciences as they relate to the nature and viability of various forms of normative ordering. Professor Brian Leiter directs the Center.

Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics

The Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics supports research on important policy-related questions through the application of economic analysis. This mission builds on Chicago’s tradition of rigorous intellectual inquiry motivated and backed by empirical evidence. Over the last century, contributions by University of Chicago faculty in the Department of Economics, the Chicago Booth School of Business, the Law School, and other departments and schools have helped to shape the study of economics in profound ways. The Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics continues this tradition. It supports the broad exchange of ideas among University of Chicago faculty and visiting scholars across the most exciting areas of economic research.

The Center for Comparative Constitutionalism

The Law School enjoys an affiliation with The Center for Comparative Constitutionalism, coordinated by Professor Martha C. Nussbaum. Established in 2002, this Center's work focuses on the relationship between constitutional law and the concerns of marginalized or subordinated people and groups.