Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Thursday, February 9, 2006

More Lateral Hires and Offers by Illinois

The University of Illinois College of Law has made two more lateral appointments (in addition to the hiring of Christine Hurt (corporate) from Marquette reported earlier):  they have hired Amitai Aviram (antitrust, business associations, law and economics), currently an Assistant Professor of Law at Florida State University; and Robert Lawless (corporate, bankruptcy), currently holder of a Chair in the law school at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and prior to that a faculty member for almost a decade at the University of Missouri, Columbia (Lawless is also an Illinois Law grad).

In addition, Illinois has made senior offers to the lawyer/economist Andrew Morriss, who is the Galen J. Roush Professor of Business Law and Regulation and Associate Professor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University (and who is well-known for empirically informed work in a variety of areas); and to Erin O'Hara at Vanderbilt University, who also works in economic analysis, and behavioral law and economics, in a variety of areas, including choice of law and criminal law.

Two observations.  First, I am hard-pressed to think of a law school more completely transformed in the last few years than Illinois.  From a school that had almost no presence in interdisciplinary legal scholarship (other than longtime distinguished faculty member, Thomas Ulen), Illinois has built up a large cohort of junior and senior scholars working in law and economics (broadly construed) and law and philosophy (broadly construed).  Second, Florida State has to be acknowledged as a traditionally regional law school that has established itself--much like San Diego did in the 1990s, or Cardozo, Chicago-Kent and George Mason before that--as having a very good eye for junior talent, as reflected in the schools now raiding FSU.  Aviram's move to Illinois follows Virginia's recruitment of Gregory Mitchell this year as well.  FSU has warded off recruitment efforts of some other faculty by top 25ish schools as well.

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