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Thomas Merrill Appointed Professor of Law

Thomas W. Merrill, the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia University, will join Yale Law School on July 1, 2008, as Professor of Law. Professor Merrill was Sidley Austin-Robert D. McLean ’70 Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School this past fall.

Professor Merrill specializes in property, environmental law, administrative law, eminent domain, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He received a B.A. from Grinnell College in 1971 and a B.A. with first-class honors in politics, philosophy and economics in 1973 from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He went on to earn his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977 and served as law clerk for Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. Before coming to Columbia, Merrill taught as the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University from 1986 to 2003. He also served as a Deputy Solicitor General from 1987 to 1990, where he argued numerous cases on behalf of the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as of counsel (1981-2003) and associate (1979-81) at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood.

Said Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh, “Tom Merrill is a scholar-lawyer of unusual breadth and influence. He is that rare legal academic who leads four fields: property and natural resources law, administrative law, environmental law, and Supreme Court practice. In bringing Tom to Yale, we welcome one of the very few legal scholars who can both argue and win a Supreme Court case and write a leading law journal article analyzing the place of that critical Supreme Court decision in the legal doctrine. Perhaps best of all, he is also an exemplary citizen, who has been the heart of every law faculty on which he has sat.”

Professor Merrill has co-authored multiple textbooks, most recently the pathbreaking casebook Property: Principles and Policies (with Henry Smith), which was recently selected by Foundation Press as one of the landmark publications of the Press’ first 75 years. He has also published dozens of articles in the country's most prestigious law reviews, including the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, and the Harvard Law Review. His recent influential publications include “The Making of the Second Rehnquist Court,” St. Louis L. J. 2003; “Agency Rules with the Force of Law: The Original Convention,” Harvard Law Review (with Kathryn Watts, 2002); “Property: Takings” (with David Dana, 2002); “Chevron's Domain,” Georgetown Law Journal (with Kristin Hickman, 2001); “Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle,” Yale Law Journal (with Henry Smith, 2000); “The Landscape of Constitutional Property,” Virginia Law Review (2000); “The Influence of Amicus Curiae Briefs on the Supreme Court,” 148 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 743 (2000) (with Joseph Kearney); and “The Economics of Public Use,” Cornell L. Rev. 1986. Professor Merrill is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and on the Board of Editors of the Foundation Press University Casebook Series.