Lisa Bernstein

Lisa Bernstein

Wilson-Dickinson Professor of Law

After obtaining a BA in economics from the University of Chicago in 1986 and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1990, Bernstein served as a clerk for the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts and was a visiting research fellow in law and economics at Harvard Law School. She began teaching at Boston University in 1991, and after visiting at the University of Pennsylvania and the Georgetown Law Center, joined the Georgetown faculty in 1995. After visiting the Law School in the fall of 1997 and Columbia Law School in the spring of 1998, Bernstein joined the Law School faculty. She has also been a visiting professor of law at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, The College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel. Bernstein was recently appointed as an international research fellow at the Oxford University Center for Corporate Reputation.

Bernstein's research interests are in the area of contracts and commercial law with a special emphasis on industry specific dispute resolution, modern supply chain relationships, social network analysis, and the intersection of strategy and relational contracting. She is also interested in the design of commercial courts in emerging and transitioning economies and the relationship between social structures and economic development.

Education

Harvard Law School
JD, cum laude, 1990

  • John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics
  • John M. Olin Prize 

University of Chicago
BA in economics with general and departmental honors, 1986

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Experience

University of Chicago Law School
Wilson-Dickinson Professor of Law, 1998-present
Visiting Professor of Law, Fall 1997

Said School of Business, University of Oxford
International Research Fellow, Center for Corporate Reputation

Tilburg University Center for Law and Economics
Ronald Coase Visiting Professor, 2016

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Visiting Professor of Law, December 2011

Columbia University School of Law
Visiting Professor of Law, Spring 1998

Georgetown University Law Center
Professor of Law, April 1996-Spring 1998
Associate Professor of Law, Fall 1995-April 1996
Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Fall 1994 

University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Spring 1995

Boston University School of Law
Associate Professor of Law, 1991-1995 

Harvard Law School
Visiting Research Fellow in Law and Economics, Spring 1991

Ramat Gan College of Law and Business
Visiting Professor for Short Course

Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
Visiting Professor for Short Course

University of Paris Quest Nannetare
Visiting Professor for Short Course

Tel Aviv University
Visiting Professor for Short Course

Books (Editor)

  • Customary Law and Economics. (Edward Elgar, 2014) (edited with Francesco Parisi). cu

Journal Articles

  • "Contract Governance in Small-World Networks: The Case of the Maghribi Traders," __ Northwestern University Law Review __ (forthcoming 2019).
  • "The Myth of Trade Usages: A Talk," 23 Barry University Law Review 119 (2018). ssrn
  • "Black Hole Apparitions," 67 Duke Law Journal Online 102 (2017). www
  • "Custom in the Courts," 110 Northwestern University Law Review 63 (2015). cu www
  • "Not What You Wanted to Know: The Real Deal and the Paper Deal in Consumer Contracts - Comment on the Work of Florencia Marotta-Wurgler," 12 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 128 (2015) (with Hagay Volvovsky). cu www
  • "Beyond Relational Contracts: Social Capital and Network Governance in Procurement Contracts," 7 Journal of Legal Analysis 561 (2015). cu www
  • "Private Orderings," 7 Journal of Legal Analysis 247 (2015) (with Alan B. Morrison & J. Mark Ramseyer). cu www
  • "Foreword to Reviews (Books on the Law of Contracts)," 81 University of Chicago Law Review 2039 (2014). cu
  • "Copying and Context: Tying as a Solution to the Lack of Intellectual Property Protection of Contract Terms," 88 NYU Law Review Online 1 (2013). ssrn cu www
  • "An (Un)Common Frame of Reference: An American Perspective on the Jurisprudence of the CESL," 50 Common Market Law Review 169 (2013). ssrn cu
  • "Private Commercial Law in the Cotton Industry: Creating Cooperation Through Rules, Norms, and Institutions," 99 Michigan Law Review 1724 (2001). ssrn cu
  • "The Secrecy Interest in Contract Law," 109 Yale Law Journal 1885 (2000) (with Omri Ben-Shahar). ssrn cu
  • "The Questionable Empirical Basis of Article 2's Incorporation Strategy: A Preliminary Study," 66 University of Chicago Law Review 710 (1999). ssrn cu
  • "The New Chicago School: Myth or Reality?," 5 University of Chicago Law School Roundtable 1 (1998) (with Richard A. Epstein, Eric Posner & Randal C. Picker). cu
  • "Foreword: The Internet and Shasta County," 73 Chicago-Kent Law Review 941 (1998). cu
  • "Merchant Law in a Merchant Court: Rethinking the Code's Search for Immanent Business Norms," 144 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1765 (1996). ssrn cu
  • "The Silicon Valley Lawyer as Transaction Cost Engineer?," 74 University of Oregon Law Review 239 (1995). cu
  • "An Economic Analysis of Mary Carter Settlement Agreements," 83 Georgetown Law Journal 2215 (1995) (with Daniel Klerman). cu
  • Comment, "Social Norms and Default Rules Analysis," 3 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 59 (1993). cu
  • "Understanding the Limits of Court-Connected ADR: A Critique of Federal Court-Annexed Arbitration Programs," 141 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 2169 (1993). cu
  • "Opting Out of the Legal System: Extralegal Contractual Relations in the Diamond Industry," 21 Journal of Legal Studies 115 (1992). cu

Book Sections

  • "Customary Law: An Introduction," in Customary Law and Economics, Lisa Bernstein & Francesco Parisi eds. (Edward Elgar, 2014) (with Francesco Parisi). ssrn cu
  • "Merchant Law in a Modern Economy," in Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law, Gregory Klass, George Letsas & Prince Saprai eds. (Oxford University Press, 2014). cu
  • "Private Commercial Law," in 3 New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law 108.1998). cu

"Comment: Investment Bankers, Lawyers, and Procurement: Towards Managerial Contracting," Relational Contracts Meetings, 2018

"Comment on Wallis," Relational Contracts Meetings, 2018

"Comment: Investment Bankers, Lawyers, and Procurement: Towards Managerial Contracting," Reputation Symposium, Said School of Business, University of Oxford, 2018

"The Future of Reputation Research," Reputation Symposium, Said School of Business, University of Oxford, 2018

"Contract Governance in Small World Networks: The Case of the Maghribi Traders," Hebrew University Law and Economics Workshop, 2018; Case Western Law School, Faculty Workshop, 2018; PIPES Workshop at the Ostrom Workshop, 2018; American Law and Economics Association, 2017; Harvard Law School, Private Law Workshop, 2017; Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2017; Tel Aviv University, Private Law Reading Group, 2017; Relational Contracts 2016: Kellogg School of Business

"Black Hole Apparitions: A Comment on the Hole Theorists," Conference on Contractual Black Holes, Duke Law School, 2017

"Comment: Reexamining Ethnically Homogeneous Trade: A Social Network Perspective on the work of Landa and Richman," Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2017

"The Myth of Trade Usage," University of Montpellier Workshop, Center for Usage, 2017

"Internal and External Remedies," Warren Schwartz Memorial Conference, November 2016 (with Avery Katz)

"Comment: A Network Theory of Reputations Demise," Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, 2016

"Comment: Toward a Theory of Nonlegal Equity," Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2016

"A Keynote Revisited," University of Tilburg Law and Economics Workshop, 2016

"A Comment on Brooks and Restitution," Contracts as Promise Conference, Yale Law School, 2016

"The Myth of Public Order," Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2016

Comment: Morozo and Spiller, American Law and Economics Association, 2015

"Private Ordering, Social Capital and Network Governance in Procurement Contracts: A Preliminary Exploration," Chicago Booth Organizations and Markets Workshop, 2015; International Society for the New Institutional Economics, 2015; American Law and Economics Association, 2015; Stanford Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, 2015; Harvard Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, 2015; Columbia Law School, 2015; Tel Aviv University Law and Economics Workshop, 2014

"The Real Deal and the Paper Deal in Consumer Contracts," Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, Conference on the Work of Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, Winter 2014

"Merchant Law for a Modern Economy," Conference on the Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law, University College London, Spring 2012

Commentator on Interpretation, Boalt Hall Conference on Mel Eisenberg’s Contracts Book, Spring 2012 

"Trade Usage in the Courts: The Flawed Evidentiary Basis of Article 2’s Incorporation Strategy," American Law and Economics Association, 2013; Canadian Law and Economics Association, September 2012; Oxford Business School Reputation Symposium, September 2012; University of Virginia Law and Economics Workshop, Spring 2012; Harvard Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, 2012; Northwestern University Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, 2012; Duke Law School, Law and Social Science Workshop, 2012; Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, 2011; University of Iowa Faculty Workshop, 2011; Georgetown Contract as Promise Workshop, 2011;Hebrew University International Contracts Conference, 2011; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty Workshop, 2011; Ramat Gan College of Law and Business, 2011; Empirical Legal Studies Conference, 2011; Columbia University Legal Theory Workshop, 2010; Tel Aviv University Law and Economics Workshop, 2010

"Tying as a Substitute for Intellectual Property Protection," New York University School of Law, Contracts and Innovation Conference: Comment on Davis, 2012

"Comment: The Merchant Promise as Contract," Suffolk Law School, Contract As Promise Symposium, 2011

"A Workshop on Workshops," Haifa University Law School, 2011 (with Robin Effron)

"The Limits of Private Order," Tilburg University Law and Economics Center, September 2010 (keynote speaker)

"A Comment on Voight," Tilburg University Law and Economics Center, 2010

"The Diamond Industry," University of Utrecht Department of History, 2011

"Custom in the Courts," Northwestern University Law School, November 2003

"Creating Cooperation: Private Commercial Law in the Cotton Industry," Yale Faculty Workshop, March 2001

"On Compensation and Information: The Secrecy Interest in Contract Law," Michigan Law and Economics Workshop, February 2000

"The Cost of Compensation: Revisiting Expectation Damages in Repeat Play Contexts," Canadian Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting, September 1999 (with Omri Ben Shahar)

"Revisiting Expectation Damages in Repeat Play Contexts," American Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting, May 1999 (with Omri Ben Shahar)

"The Questionable Empirical Basis of Article 2's Incorporation Strategy," Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, May 1999; American Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting, May 1999; University of Virginia, Faculty Workshop, April 1999; Columbia Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, April 1999; University of California at Berkeley, Law and Economics Workshop April 1999; University of Montreal, March 1999; Harvard Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, March 1999; University of Chicago Law School, Legal Formalism Revisited Symposium, February 1999; Northwestern University Law School, Symposium on the Work of Ian MacNeil, January 1999

"Private Commercial Law in the Cotton Industry: Creating Cooperation through Rules, Norms and Institutions," ISNIE Conference, September 1998;University of Michigan, Law and Economics Workshop, March 1998; American Law and Economics Association, Annual Meeting Panel on Norms, May 1997

"Private Commercial Law," Vanderbilt Law School, Faculty Workshop, April 1998

"Private Commercial Law in the United States," Tel Aviv University, Conference on Contracts and Intermediation, January 1997; Hebrew University, Faculty Workshop, December 1996 

Discussant, George Mason University Law School Conference on formalism and freedom of contract, November 1996

Discussant, European Law and Economics Association, August 1996

"Merchant Law in a Merchant Court: Rethinking the Code's Search for Imminent Business Norms," Tel Aviv University, Law and Economics Workshop, December 1996; Quinnipiac College of Law, Faculty Workshop, October 1996; Canadian Law and Economics Association, Annual Meetings, September 1996; European Law and Economics Association, August 1996; American Law and Economics Association, Annual Meetings, Panel on Contracts, May 1996; American Bar Foundation Workshop, May 1996; Northwestern University School of Law, Faculty Workshop, May 1996; Harvard Law School, Faculty Workshop, April 1996; Yale Law School, Law, Economics & Organization Workshop, March 1996; New York University School of Law, Faculty Workshop, February 1996

"Merchant Law and Merchant Reality: Private Commercial Law in the Grain and Feed Industry," Harvard University Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, February 1996; University of Pennsylvania Law School, Symposium on Law, Economics and Social Norms, February 1996; Georgetown University Law Center, Law and Economics Workshop, November 1995

"Default Rules Analysis and the Teaching of Contracts," Association of American Law Schools, Annual Meeting, January 1996

"The New Law Merchant: Private Commercial Law in the United States," Association of American Law Schools, Annual Meeting, January 1996; University of California at Berkeley, Law, Economics and Organization Workshop, November 1995; Stanford University Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, October 1995; American Law and Economics Association, Panel on Law, Economics and Sociology, May 1995; Boston University School of Law, Faculty Workshop, April 1995; George Mason University, Faculty Workshop, April 1995; University of Toronto, Law and Economics Workshop, March 1995; Columbia Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, March 1995; University of Pennsylvania Law School, Legal Studies Workshop, February 1995; University of Chicago Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, February 1995; University of Michigan Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, December 1994; IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law, December 1994

"The Silicon Valley Lawyer as Transaction Costs Engineer," University of Oregon, Symposium on Business Transactions, November 1994

Commentator, Georgetown University Law Center, Olin Foundation Conference on Litigation Reform, October 1994

"An Economic Analysis of Mary Carter Type Settlement Contracts," Georgetown University Law Center, Law and Economics Workshop, September 1994; American Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting, May 1994 (with Daniel Klerman)

"Comment: The Hired Gun as Transaction Cost Engineer," University of Wisconsin at Madison Conference on Emerging Trends in Business Disputing, November 1993

"Understanding the Limits of Court-Annexed ADR: A Critique of Federal Court-Annexed Arbitration Programs," Georgetown University Law Center, Law and Economics Workshop, September 1993

"Social Norms, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Default Rules Analysis: A Reply to Feinman," University of Southern California Law Center, Symposium on Default Rules and Contractual Consent, March 1993

"The Use of Wisemen in Negotiation: A Comment on Sebanius," Stanford Law School Theoretical Approaches to Disputing Conference, February 1993

"An Economic Analysis of Federal Court-Annexed Arbitration," American Law and Economics Association, Annual Meeting, April 1993; Stanford Law School, Workshop on the Legal Profession, February 1993; Harvard Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, October 1992; Emory University Law School, Faculty Colloquium, September 1992

Admitted to practice in New York

Events

  • Co-Organizer (with G. Zanarone and M. Troya), Relational Contracts conference, Becker-Friedman Institute (2018)
  • Co-Organizer (with Alan Morrison), Theory of the Firm conference at Oxford University, Said School of Business (2017)
  • Co-Organizer, Private Ordering conference at Oxford University, Said School of Business (2014), published in the Journal of Legal Analysis
  • Co-organizer (with Omri Ben-Shahar), Empirical Commercial Law conference at the University of Michigan Law School, published in the Michigan Law Review
  • Co-organizer, Law, Economics and Social Norms conference at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (spring 1996), published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review
  • Co-organizer and Co-Editor, The Internet and Legal Theory symposium at the IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law (March 1998), published in the Chicago-Kent Law Review
  • Co-organizer, Formalism Revisited conference at the University of Chicago Law School (February 1999), published in the University of Chicago Law Review
  • Co-organizer (with Lucian Bebchuk), symposium on Corporate Law at the University of Chicago Law School, (February 2002)

Memberships and Boards

  • Board Member, Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2016-present
  • Association of American Law Schools: Chair, Section on Law and Economics, 1997-98; Chair, Section on Contracts, 2010-2011
  • Advisory Board, SSRN Contracts and Commercial Law Abstracts, 1998-present
  • Advisory Board, SSRN Law, Norms and Informal Order ejournal
  • Board of Advisors, Journal of Law, Economics & Policy
  • Advisory Board of Editors, American Law and Economics Review, founding to 2012
  • American Law and Economics Association, Board Member, 1999-2001
  • Illinois Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Advisory Committee 

Other Activities

  • Grants: Recipient, Big Ideas Grant (declined); Recipient, National Science Foundation three-year $100,000 grant to research a book on private commercial law
  • Peer Reviewer for: Harvard Press, Oxford Press, Cambridge Press, The Law and History ReviewJournal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Law and Social Inquiry