Edward Morrison, leading bankruptcy scholar, to join Law School faculty
Edward R. Morrison, one of the country’s leading scholars in law and economics, will join the University of Chicago Law School, his alma mater, effective July 1.
Morrison is Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics at Columbia University and the co-director of the Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy. He is credited with developing ideas that changed how the legal and business communities view bankruptcy, and he is highly regarded by practicing lawyers and judges as well as in the academic world.
Morrison is also a three-time UChicago graduate, having earned a master’s and PhD in economics (in 1997 and 2003) and his JD from the Law School in 2000.
“Ed is the perfect addition to our faculty; his values and commitment to the academic enterprise are our values,” said Michael Schill, dean of the Law School. “With Ed, Douglas Baird, Randy Picker and Tony Casey on our faculty, we easily have the strongest commercial law faculty in the nation.”
Morrison said he’s happy to be back, and he’s armed with ideas.
“I am particularly enthusiastic about helping the school build a new center focused on the intersection of law, business and regulation,” he said. “I want to support deeper connections with the University’s outstanding business school and with the city’s leading business and legal professionals.
“There are many potential synergies here, and I hope to play a role in finding and leveraging them.”
Morrison is a first-rate empirical economist whose legal skills are second-to-none, said Douglas G. Baird, Harry A. Bigelow Distinguished Service Professor of Law.
The popular impression of law professors often overlooks their connections with the day-to-day practice of law, but Morrison remains “completely wired with the bankruptcy bench and bar,” Baird added. And his empirical papers are standard readings in business and economics courses.
Randal C. Picker is part of the National Bankruptcy Conference, a small group of practicing lawyers, judges and academics, along with Morrison and Baird. It’s clear that Morrison is “well-regarded as among the elite of the bankruptcy world,” said Picker, the Paul H. and Theo Leffmann Professor of Commercial Law.
His new UChicago colleagues described Morrison as a talented teacher who was beloved by students during his 2008 stint as a visiting professor.
“His intellectual honesty, his mental quickness, his curiosity about every subject and his willingness to chase down ideas wherever they might lead him — all these traits describe both Ed and the University of Chicago Law School," said Lior Strahilevitz, deputy dean of the Law School.
Immediately following his graduation with high honors from the Law School, Morrison worked as a law clerk for Judge Richard A. Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Morrison’s best-known work includes a measurement he developed to determine how adept bankruptcy judges were at predicting which firms were likely to survive, Baird said. The common thought at the time was that judges tended to be fairly bad at that, but Morrison proved otherwise, just as he had predicted.
Beyond academics, Morrison said he’s simply happy to rejoin the Hyde Park community, where he met his wife Anne in Prof. Gary Becker’s Price Theory course.
“We are thrilled to return,” Morrison said. “Hyde Park offers a great fit for my three children: a calm environment and welcoming community with first-rate educational opportunities and quick access to Sox games.”
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