Oct. 1, 1998
Vol. 18, No. 1

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    New Law School Dean appointed

    By Jennifer Vanasco News Office Daniel Fischel, one of the nation's leading scholars in the path-breaking field of law and economics, has been appointed Dean of the Law School effective July 1, 1999. He will succeed Douglas Baird, who has served as Dean since 1994.

    "I could not be more pleased that Dan Fischel has agreed to serve as the Law School's 11th Dean," said President Sonnenschein. "The Law School is a gem of the University, and Dan is the perfect person to ensure its continued brilliance."

    Fischel, chair of the Law School's appointments committee this year, worked with Baird to hire eight outstanding new professors in a coup that the National Law Journal recently called "one of the greatest law school faculty raids of all time."

    Fischel, the Lee and Brena Freeman Professor in the Law School and a Law School alumnus, pioneered the legal analysis of corporate law subjects such as hostile takeovers, securities fraud litigation and corporate crime. His text, The Economic Structure of Corporate Law , co-authored with Federal Judge Frank Easterbrook, has become the classic reference work for analysis of corporate law through law and economics.

    A University faculty member for nearly 15 years, Fischel served for eight years as Director of the Law and Economics program, which has been copied by every other major law school in the nation. He also was Professor of Law and Business in the Graduate School of Business from 1987 to 1990.

    Baird, the Harry A. Bigelow Distinguished Service Professor and an expert in commercial law, corporate reorganizations and law and economics, will complete his five-year term in June.

    "Douglas Baird is a most distinguished scholar who has done an outstanding job as Dean," Sonnenschein said. "He will leave the Law School even stronger than he found it, and for that, we are all profoundly grateful. His return to full-time teaching and scholarship will further burnish the Law School's stellar scholarly reputation." During his tenure, Baird has overseen the building of the Arthur Kane Center for Clinical Legal Education, which will house the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. He has also enhanced student services, modernized the Law School's financial and administrative structure and strengthened the faculty. Baird said he was pleased that Fischel was appointed as his successor. "Dan's scholarship revolutionized the study and the practice of corporate law in this country, and at the Law School he has long been one of our great citizens," Baird said. "As faculty chair of the appointments committee last year, he was the architect behind the remarkable expansion of our faculty that has taken place in the last year. "Dan is committed to keeping the Law School on the course that deans from Edward Levi to the present have charted for us," Baird added. "Speaking for a moment as a faculty member who will look to him for leadership and guidance come next July and then for many years thereafter, I can say confidently and happily that our law school could not be in better hands." In addition to his research and teaching, Fischel serves as a principal in Lexecon Inc., widely regarded as the leading law and economics consulting firm in the nation. Formed in 1977 by two Law School professors, Lexecon consults on antitrust suits and regulatory cases and helps determine damages in product liability, employment discrimination and intellectual property suits. He is currently acting as consultant to the U. S. Department of Justice on several major issues. Fischel received his J.D. from Chicago in 1977, was elected to the Order of the Coif and then clerked for Associate Justice Potter Stewart of the U. S. Supreme Court. He taught at Northwestern before joining the Chicago faculty in 1984.

    The Law School's Dean's Search Committee was chaired by Stephen Schulhofer, the Julius Kreeger Professor in the Law School, and was composed of Law School faculty members Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor; Associate Professor Jack Goldsmith; Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Professor; Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor; and Professor Alan Sykes.