Most Admired Law Professor

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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11 Responses

  1. Raindog says:

    Bush is most admired? By whom? This is a joke, right?

  2. clerk says:

    I like the law professors who are respected in their fields and who also argue cases and interact professionally with people other than students and fellow law professors.

    On that basis, I’ll toss 3 names out there: Larry Tribe, Mark Lemley, and Marci Hamilton.

    I’m tempted to suggest Chemerinsky, but I find his approach to the real world noxious. I’ll explain if pressed, but I think that sort of thing would be off-topic and I don’t want to hijack the thread.

  3. Nate Oman says:

    Karl Llewellyn: I actually think that he was wrong on gazillions of different issues, but it is hard to think of any field of law that has been as completely made over by the force of a single academic as was the law of sales by Llewellyn.

  4. dave says:

    But Llewellyn has passed. (If it is anyone living or dead, the field is pretty vast!)

  5. Ex Miami Guy says:

    Speaking of the ones who’ve passed, I’ll put in my vote for the late Richard Hausler of the University of Miami. Half the lawyers in in South Florida might have taken Contracts from him, and they probably all have their favorite Hausler stories.

    Don’t know if he ever published anything, but when it came to teaching contracts he was a classic. Don’t know if he ever did Gilbert and Sullivan, but he would have been perfect for it.

    He was a master at doing the Socratic method deadpan. He’d throw out a question, you’d answer it, and he’d respond like he was hearing this for the first time, with his mock helpless expression, holding his head like he was puzzled, and saying that he was all confused. He’d then explain why he was confused, which of course went to the heart of the issue. He’d wonder aloud in this tone of mock distress, if anyone could possibly help him out of his confusion. It was simply heart breaking to see your contracts professor who had taught the course for so many years be so confused by what appeared to be a simple principle of law.

    Then he’d look to one side of the room, stare at somebody, point to him, and at the same time call on someone on the opposite side of the room, while still pointing at the first student. Of course the answer would just mock confuse him even more, so he’d put someone on the spot with another question to allay his confusion. He’d do that for the whole class, almost every class, and somehow when all appeared to be lost, he’d find a way to get unconfused.

    What was amazing is that he did it all with a straight face. Don’t think he cracked a smile the whole year.

  6. elektratig says:

    The late Grant Gilmore, for two reasons. 1. The Death of Contract. 2. “Contorts” (see item 1). His lectures were mesmerizing and brilliant — although I have no idea what he said.

  7. Brannon Denning says:

    No question: The late Boris Bittker. He remains a model for anyone in the teaching profession. Boris was a gifted teacher, intellectually curious, a great scholar, a wonderful writer, and made serious contributions to Yale Law School as an institution. Yet, despite having every reason not to be, he was modest, self-effacing, and extraordinarily generous. I knew him late in his life, well after his retirement, but was astounded at his energy and drive though he was more than triple my age at the time.

  8. Law Student '06 says:

    I’ll nominate Richard Lazarus. He taught Environmental Law at Columbia University one semester, but usually teaches at Georgetown. In addition to teaching, he also commonly writes briefs and/or argues major environmental law cases before the Supreme Court. Excellent teacher, excellent advocate.

  9. Law Student '06 says:

    I’ll nominate Richard Lazarus. He taught Environmental Law at Columbia University one semester, but usually teaches at Georgetown. In addition to teaching, he also commonly writes briefs and/or argues major environmental law cases before the Supreme Court. Excellent teacher, excellent advocate.

  10. Passingby says:

    Not a “household name,” but Prof. Gordon Young, Uni of Maryland. Brilliant, engaging, able to show respect for opposing viewpoints, and he actually cares if you understand what he says.

  11. FAP says:

    James Boyle. Brilliant combination of critical theorist, activist, and all around decent fellow. Hilarious when he satirizes various bizarrerie of the legal system.