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Scott J. Shapiro ’90 Appointed Professor of Law and Philosophy

University of Michigan Professor Scott J. Shapiro ’90 will join the Yale Law School faculty in July 2008 as a professor of law and philosophy. Professor Shapiro was a visiting professor at Yale Law School from 2002 to 2003. He currently holds a joint appointment with the University of Michigan’s Law School and philosophy department. His areas of specialty include jurisprudence, criminal law, constitutional law and theory, and family law.

Professor Shapiro joined the Michigan faculty after nine years at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. From 2003 to 2004, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Columbia College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor on the Yale Law Journal, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University.

In addition to visiting at Yale, Professor Shapiro served as a visiting professor of law at Trinity College in Dublin and at the Central European University in Budapest. He began his teaching career as an instructor in the department of philosophy at Columbia University. During graduate school, he worked as a volunteer attorney at the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services in New York City. He received the Gregory Kavka award from the American Philosophical Association for best published article in political philosophy and was honored for best paper in jurisprudence by the Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum.

Dean Harold Hongju Koh said, “Yale Law School has had a distinguished tradition in legal philosophy and jurisprudence, dating back to Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld, the Realists, and Ronald Dworkin, and continuing with the modern work of Jules Coleman, and many members of our current faculty, including Bruce Ackerman, Owen Fiss, Paul Kahn, Tony Kronman, Daniel Markovits, Michael Reisman, Jed Rubenfeld, and Robert Post. That tradition has now been immeasurably deepened by the arrival of Scott Shapiro, who is widely recognized as the leading young scholar in the country currently working in the field of jurisprudence. He has imaginatively answered a vexing question—‘what is the relationship between law and practical reasoning?’—by working out a comprehensive and original model of legal positivism that sees law as a highly sophisticated practice of social planning, and legal reasoning as practical reasoning about plans and their uses.” 

Professor Shapiro is the author of numerous articles, and editor (with Jules Coleman) of The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law. His most recent publications include “Five Answers,” M.E.J., edited by Nielson & I. Farrell, Legal Philosophy: 5 Questions (2007); “How Rules Affect Practical Reasoning,” Rationality and Intentions, edited by G. van Donsellar and B. Verbeek (2007); “The ‘Hart-Dworkin’ Debate: A Short Guide for the Perplexed,” in Ronald Dworkin, edited by A. Ripstein (2007); “What is the Internal Point of View?” Fordham Law Review, (2006); and “The Rationality of Rule-Guided Behavior: A Statement of the Problem,” University of San Diego Law Review (2005). He is author of influential papers, including “The Difference that Rules Make” and “Law, Plans and Practical Reasons,” and he is currently completing a major forthcoming book entitled Legality.