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Today’s Leaders

GW Law Announces New Endowed Chairs and Research Professorships

By Dan Williams

GW Law is pleased to announce the appointment of eight faculty members to endowed chairs and research professorships. From left to right (seated): John Duffy, Lewis Solomon, and Robert Tuttle. From left to right (standing): Paul Butler, Naomi Cahn, Roger Trangsrud, and Theresa Gabaldon. (Lawrence Mitchell is pictured below.)

Claire Duggan

The strength of a great law school is built upon its faculty; this fall, GW Law shows its strength through the appointment of eight professors to endowed chairs and research professorships. While their backgrounds are varied, these professors—Paul Butler, Naomi Cahn, John Duffy, Theresa Gabaldon, Lawrence Mitchell, Lewis Solomon, Roger Trangsrud, and Robert Tuttle—all display a high level of expertise in their research and teachings. These appointments are made possible through the support of alumni and friends.

“It is always a great pleasure to acknowledge both excellence in our faculty and the generosity of our benefactors,” says Dean Frederick M. Lawrence. “Each of these individuals is deserving of recognition for outstanding contributions to scholarship, and I am certain each will bring honor to those for whom the positions are named.”

Paul Butler

Carville Dickinson Benson Research Professor of Law

Many students and media outlets seek out the perspective of Paul Butler on race relations and criminal law, as he consistently demonstrates a fresh and poignant take on the topics.

Butler, the Carville Dickinson Benson Research Professor of Law, appears on programs including CNBC’s The News with Brian Williams and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. He writes op-ed pieces for the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He also is praised for his lectures, including “A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,” which analyzes criminal justice themes in contemporary music.

Butler says his previous work as a prosecutor for the Department of Justice, where his focus was public corruption, in part motivated him to concentrate on race relations in academia. “Every African-American man must have some interest in race relations, and criminal law as a survival skill,” Butler says. “My theoretical interest in the subjects coincides with my experience as a former prosecutor and my life as a black male in the United States.”

Butler was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Service Award three times by GW Law graduating classes. He also has been awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship for 2006-07. He is writing a book tentatively titled Ain’t Gonna Take It No More: How Angry Black Men Are Changing America, which he describes as a work that “looks at the strong influence blacks have on popular culture, and how this is affecting law, policy, and social norms.”

Naomi Cahn

John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law

The efforts of Naomi R. Cahn emphasize the compassionate aspects of law, notably research she conducted in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From 2002 to 2004, Cahn spent time in the former Zaire, as it recovers from years of civil war. She studied post-conflict legal issues and women’s and children’s rights.

“It’s in the midst of a big transition to democracy. There were a lot of innovative ideas on how to go about reconstructing a country that is recovering from devastating war,” Cahn says.

The John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law, Cahn is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of family law, domestic violence, and professional responsibility. In recent years, she has published “Battered Women, Child Maltreatment, Prison and Poverty: Issues for Theory and Practice” as part of the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law symposium issue on domestic violence (2003) and “Parenthood, Genes, and Gametes: The Family Law and Trusts and Estates Perspectives” as part of a symposium in 32 University of Memphis Law Review 563 (2002).

In 1993, Cahn came to GW Law after five years as the assistant director of the Sex Discrimination Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. She also serves as associate dean for faculty development.

John F. Duffy

Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law

Once a physics major during his undergraduate days at Harvard, John Duffy now is a nationally recognized specialist in intellectual property and administrative law, as well as the co-author of the leading casebook on patent law.

After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, Duffy, the Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, clerked for Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as an attorney-adviser in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel and practiced law with the Washington firm Covington & Burling.

Since entering academia in 1996, Duffy has been on the faculty of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the William and Mary School of Law, and also has served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago. Duffy has published articles in the University of Chicago Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Texas Law Review, and Supreme Court Law Review.

Theresa A. Gabaldon

Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law

There was a time when Theresa Gabaldon thought she would become a tax attorney; instead, she is a pioneer in securities law, approaching the discipline with a feminist view. Gabaldon says this perspective has allowed her to “create my own niche.”

Gabaldon, the Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law, contends that the theory behind corporate law was primarily set forth by empowered white men, and that it doesn’t necessarily reflect the value system of many women. She says a class her husband taught inspired her to look at corporate law from a feminist angle.

Gabaldon joined the GW Law faculty in 1990. She has served as a member of a number of committees and task forces, including the Colorado Supreme Court’s Task Force on Gender Bias and the committee responsible for drafting the Association of American Law Schools’ Statement of Good Practices by Law Professors in the Discharge of Their Ethical and Professional Responsibilities. She also is the author of a leading casebook in securities law, and she is widely published in the areas of securities law and professional responsibility.

Lawrence E. Mitchell

Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law

Lawrence Mitchell

Claire Duggan

For 15 years, Lawrence Mitchell has reminded GW Law students that, even in the corporate world, one has an ethical duty to “look out for the little guy.” Mitchell, the Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law, is a leader in the field of progressive corporate law. He champions the use of economic sociology to address corporate-law issues.

“I think we ought to create legal institutions that protect the most vulnerable amongst us,” Mitchell says. “Many lawyers view corporate law as a very financial and technical field, but it’s also an association of human being within a framework, and it naturally has vulnerabilities.”

Mitchell’s book Stacked Deck: A Story of Selfishness in American (Temple University Press, 1998) was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. In 2002, he penned Corporate Irresponsibility: America’s Newest Export, which also was submitted by the publisher for a Pulitzer Prize. Mitchell serves as director of the Sloan Program for the Study of Business in Society and the International Institute for Corporate Governance and Accountability.

Mitchell says his Jewish faith is a contributing factor to the way he teaches and practices law, with an emphasis on empathy and responsibility.

Lewis Solomon

William Van Vleck Research Professor of Law

Lewis Solomon’s expertise in corporate and securities law, taxation, business and estate planning, and policymaking has earned him several named appointments at respected universities. He has served as the inaugural Arthur Young Visiting Professor of Tax Law at Monash University in Australia; the inaugural Rupert and Lillian Redford Visiting Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University; the Frances Lewis Scholar-in-Residence at Washington and Lee Law School; and the Heyman Center Scholar-in-Residence at Cardozo Law School.

At GW Law, he serves as the William Van Vleck Research Professor of Law.

Prior to joining the Law School faculty in 1977, Solomon clerked for a federal district court judge in Wilmington, Del.; practiced law in New York; and taught law at the University of Missouri. Known for his ability to connect with students, Solomon also has taught at the law schools of the University of Sydney, Australian National University, University of Miami, and Florida State University.

Roger H. Trangsrud

James F. Humphreys Chair in Complex Litigation and Civil Procedure

Roger H. Trangsrud is a respected member of the faculty whose leadership as interim dean between the administrations of Michael K. Young and Frederick M. Lawrence leaves a lasting impression on GW Law today. Trangsrud has been with the Law School since 1982, and has been the faculty expert on complex litigation ever since. His interest in large class-action lawsuits stems from working as a litigator for the Washington firm Hogan & Hartson.

Trangsrud enjoys these cases because of their intricacies. “It’s not obvious how to handle them,” Trangsrud says. “These are difficult cases for the courts to manage fairly and efficiently, and that makes them of interest to me. When I first started teaching the class on complex litigation, the kinds of cases that our students were working on were increasingly cases of that type.”

Trangsrud is the inaugural appointee to the James F. Humphreys Chair in Complex Litigation and Civil Procedure. He says it was an honor to receive the honor in the name of GW Board of Trustees charter member James F. Humphreys, JD ’78, a member of the GW Board of Trustees.

As a scholar in his field, Trangsrud co-authored the casebook Complex Litigation and the Adversary System and also wrote the treatise Complex Litigation: Problems in Advanced Civil Procedure. In addition to his time as interim dean, Trangsrud served as senior associate dean for academic affairs for 13 years.

Robert Tuttle

David R. and Sherry Kirschner Berz Research Professor of Law and Religion

After graduating from GW Law in 1991, Robert Tuttle earned a PhD in religious ethics from the University of Virginia; he also holds a master’s degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His education as well as his widespread scholarship and consulting work related to religion and law have made him a respected leader in the field.

The David R. and Sherry Kirschner Berz Research Professor of Law and Religion, Tuttle joined the GW Law faculty in 1994. His specialties include legal ethics, constitutional law and religion, and moral philosophy.

Tuttle is the author of Love Thy Neighbor: Churches and Land Use Law. He also is the co-editor of Citizens in Two Cities: New Lutheran Perspectives on Church and State. With professor Ira C. Lupu, he is the co-author of numerous articles and reports on government aid for and control of religious institutions. He and Lupu serve as co-directors of the Legal Tracking Project of the Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy, which is funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust.

Tuttle also serves as legal counsel to the Lutheran bishop of Washington and has been a board member and consultant for the Division for Church in Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.