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, 1989-1990
  • John M. Olin Prize for one of the two best student papers in Law and Economics

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

  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1985
  • Student Marshal

Experience

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

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
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

  • "The Myth of Trade Usages: A Talk for Kcon," __ Barry University Law Review __ (forthcoming 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

"Revisiting the Maghribi Traders (Again): A Social Network and Relational Contracting Perspective," Berkeley Law and Economics Workshop, February 2018

"Beyond Relational Contracts," AEA Meetings, 2018

"Revisiting the Maghribi Traders (Again): A Social Network and Relational Contracting Perspective," Harvard Law School, Private Law Workshop, November 2017

Conference on Heller and Dagan, October 2017

"Revisiting the Maghribi Traders (Again): A Social Network and Relational Contracting Perspective," at Third Annual Relational Contracts Conference, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2017

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

"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, France, 2017

"Revisiting the Maghribi Traders (Again): A Social Network and Relational Contracting Perspective," Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2017

"Revisiting the Maghribi Traders (Again): A Social Network and Relational Contracting Perspective," American Law and Economics Association, 2017

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

"The Network Basis of Reputation’s Demise, A Comment on Richman’s Autopsy," Society for Empirical Legal Studies, 2016

"A Keynote Revisited," Tilburg Law School, 2016

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

Panelist, "The Myth of Public Order," SIOE, 2016

Commentator on Smith, Bray and Kelly: "Towards a Theory of Nonlegal Equity," SIOE 2016

Commentator on Barak Richman: "A network closure theory of the diamond industry," CELS, 2016

Comment, American Law and Economics Association, 2015

"Private Ordering, Social Capital and Network Governance in Procurement Contracts: A Preliminary Exploration," University of Paris Nanneterre, 2015; John Kidwell Memorial Lecture, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2015; 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 Werguler, 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 Annual Meeting, 2013; Oxford Business School Reputation Symposium, September 2012; Canadian Law and Economics Association, September 2012; University of Virginia Law and Economics Workshop, Spring 2012; Northwestern University Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, 2012; Duke Law School, Law and Social Science Workshop, 2012; Harvard Law School, Law and Economics Workshop, 2012; University College London Conference on the Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law, Merchant Law for a Modern Economy, Spring 2012; Empirical Legal Studies Conference, 2011; Ramat Gan College of Law and Business, 2011; Hebrew University International Contracts Conference, 2011; Georgetown Contract as Promise Workshop, 2011; University of Iowa Faculty Workshop, 2011; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty Workshop, 2011

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

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

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

"Custom in The Courts: The Flawed Empirical Basis of Article 2's Incorporation Strategy," Tel Aviv University Law and Economics Workshop December 2010; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty Workshop December 2010

"The Limits of Private Ordering," Tilberg University Law and Economics Center, October 2010

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

"Diamonds," University of Utrect Department of History, February 2010

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

Commentator, University of Pennsylvania conference on Norms and Corporate Governance, November 2000

"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," American Bar Foundation Workshop 2001; Yale Faculty Workshop 2001; ISNIE Conference September 1998; Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Workshop April 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 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 Immanent 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 University Law School Faculty Workshop April 1996; Yale Law School Law, Economics & Organization Workshop March 1996; New York University Law School 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 University School of Law Law and Economics Workshop March 1995; University of Pennsylvania School of Law Legal Studies Workshop February 1995; University of Chicago School of Law 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 University 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 University 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, Fourth Annual Relational Contracts Conference (2018)
  • Co-Organizer, Theory of the Firm Revisited at Oxford University, Said School of Business (2017) (with Alan Morrison)
  • Co-Organizer of a conference on Private Ordering at Oxford University, Said School of Business (2014) (with Alan Morrison). Published in the Journal of Legal Analysis.
  • Co-organizer, Empirical Commercial Law Conference held at the University of Michigan Law School and published in the Michigan Law Review
  • Co-organizer, Law, Economics and Social Norms Conference at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (spring 1996)
  • Co-organizer and Co-Editor, The Internet and Legal Theory Symposium at the IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law (March 1998)
  • Co-organizer, Formalism Revisited Conference at the University of Chicago Law School (February 1999)
  • Co-organizer, Symposium on Corporate Law at the University of Chicago Law School, (February 2002)

Memberships and Boards

  • Board Member, Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, 2015-present
  • Editorial Board, SSRN Contracts and Commercial Law Abstracts, 1998-present
  • Chair, Association of American Law Schools, 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 and 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

  • 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 Review
    • Journal of Legal Studies
    • Journal of Law, Economics and Organization
    • Law and Social Inquiry.