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Dean Koh Announces New Faculty Chairs

The Yale Corporation approved the appointment of four members of the Law School faculty to endowed Chairs.

Yochai Benkler was named the inaugural Joseph M. Field ’55 Professorship of Law. This professorship, established by a gift from a pioneer in the telecommunications industry, is to be held by someone with expertise in telecommunications law.

Yochai Benkler has been Professor of Law at Yale Law School since 2003, and is widely viewed as one of the world’s leading scholars regarding information law and policy in the digital environment, communications law, and intellectual property. Professor Benkler earned his LL.B. in 1991 from Tel-Aviv University and his J.D. in 1994 from Harvard University. Professor Benkler offers courses in Communications and Internet Law, A Framework for Access to Knowledge, and The Regulation of Information Production and Exchange: An Introduction to Patents, Copyrights, and Similar Exclusive Rights Regimes. Before starting to teach, he clerked for the Honorable Stephen Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court, then started his teaching career at NYU Law School before coming to Yale.

Professor Benkler’s research focuses on the effects of laws that regulate information production and exchange on the distribution of control over information flows, knowledge, and culture in the digital environment. His particular focus has been on the neglected role of commons-based approaches towards management of resources in the digitally networked environment, which he has set forth in his acclaimed book The Wealth of Networks and such important articles as “Coase's Penguins”, or “Linux and the Nature of the Firm”, 112 Yale Law Journal 369 (2002) and “Freedom in the Commons, Towards a Political Economy of Information”, 52 Duke Law Journal 1245 (2003). He has also written about the economics and political theory of rules governing telecommunications infrastructure, with a special emphasis on wireless communications, rules governing private control over information, in particular intellectual property, and of relevant aspects of U.S. constitutional law.

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Christine Jolls has been named the fourth Gordon Bradford Tweedy Professor of Law and Organization following Professors Oliver Williamson, Jerry Mashaw, and Carol Rose. Professor Jolls, who came to the Law School from Harvard, is the acknowledged leader of the new generation of law and economics. Already one of the country’s foremost experts in employment law, she has co-founded the emerging field of behavioral law and economics, a cutting-edge area of scholarship that incorporates behavioral models into the economic analysis of law.

Professor Jolls was Professor of Law at Harvard since 2001, where she taught employment law and contracts, and won the Dean’s teaching award in Spring of 2003. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in English and Quantitative Economics, and Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where she won the John M. Olin Prize in Law and Economics, Professor Jolls earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the Harvard faculty in 1994. She served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the D.C. Circuit, and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, before returning to the Harvard faculty in 1997. Professor Jolls serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, and is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, where she co-directs the Program in Law and Economics. She served as Harvard Law School’s Vice Dean for Scholarship and Intellectual Life in 2003-04.

Professor Jolls’s many articles include "The Law of Implicit Bias" (with Cass R. Sunstein) (forthcoming in California Law Review, 2006); "Identifying the Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act Using State-Law Variation: Preliminary Evidence on Educational Participation Effects," 94 American Economic Review 447 (2004); "Antidiscrimination and Accommodation," 115 Harvard Law Review 642 (2001); "The Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," 68 University of Chicago Law Review 793 (2001) (with Christopher Avery, Richard Posner & Alvin E. Roth); "Accommodation Mandates," 53 Stanford Law Review 223 (2000); "A Behavioral Approach to Law and Economics," 50 Stanford Law Review 1471 (1998) (with Cass Sunstein & Richard Thaler), and "Contracts as Bilateral Commitments: A New Perspective on Contract Modification," 26 Journal of Legal Studies 203 (1997). She is currently working on a book entitled Equality’s Tools.

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Henry E. Smith ‘96 has been appointed Fred A. Johnston Professor of Property and Environmental Law, following Professors Carol Rose and Bob Gordon. He holds an A.B. from Harvard, a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford, and a J.D. from Yale. After law school, he clerked for the Hon. Ralph K. Winter, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and taught at the Northwestern University School of Law. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School (Fall 2000) and in 2003 he was awarded a Berlin Prize Fellowship by the American Academy in Berlin. Henry has just returned to the faculty after a visit at Harvard Law School. At Yale Law School, Professor Smith teaches in the areas of property, intellectual property, natural resources, and taxation.

Professor Smith is widely recognized as the leading young scholar in the country on property law, and he has written extensively on the law and economics of property and intellectual property. His representative publications in law and economics include "Self-Help and the Nature of Property," 1 Journal of Law, Economics & Policy 69 (2005); "Exclusion and Property Rules in the Law of Nuisance," 90 Virginia Law Review 965 (2004); "The Language of Property: Form, Context, and Audience," 55 Stanford Law Review 1105 (2003); "Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle," 110 Yale Law Journal 1 (2000) (with Thomas W. Merrill); "Semicommon Property Rights and Scattering in the Open Fields," 29 Journal of Legal Studies 131 (2000); and "Exclusion versus Governance: Two Strategies for Delineating Property Rights," 31 Journal of Legal Studies S453. As a linguist, he is also the author of Restrictiveness in Case Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1996). He is currently working on a pathbreaking Property casebook with Thomas W. Merrill, which will soon be published by Foundation Press.

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Kenji Yoshino ‘96 has been named the inaugural Guido Calabresi Professor of Law. Professor Yoshino also served as a law clerk to Judge Calabresi after graduating from Yale Law School.

Professor Yoshino holds a B.A. from Harvard, an M.Sc. from Magdalen College, Oxford, where (like Judge Calabresi before him) he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is one of the country’s leading young scholars in constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, and law and literature, and he has also taught in the area of Japanese Law and Society. Professor Yoshino’s most recent book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Human Rights, has made a large public impact as the leading study of the pressure for assimilation, and its potential discriminatory impacts. In the area of law and sexuality, he has published pathbreaking articles in a wide variety of academic journals, including “Covering”, 111 Yale Law Journal 769 (2002); “The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure”, 52 Stanford Law Review 353 (2000); “Assimilationist Bias in Equal Protection: The Visibility Presumption and the Case of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’”,108 Yale Law Journal 487 (1998); and “Suspect Symbols: The Literary Argument for Heightened Scrutiny for Gays”, 96 Columbia Law Review 1753 (1996). Professor Yoshino’s popular writing has also been featured in The Boston Globe, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Village Voice.

Special Announcement by Dean Harold Hongju Koh: Professor Kenji Yoshino Named Inaugural Guido Calabresi Professor of Law (pdf)