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Property Law Scholars to Deliver Rosenthal Lecture Series

Lectures: “What’s So Special About Property?” and “The Audiences of Property”

CHICAGO --- Thomas W. Merrill and Henry E. Smith, two of the country’s leading property law scholars, will be the featured speakers during Northwestern University School of Law’s Julius Rosenthal Foundation Lecture Series March 16 to 18.

Columbia Law School’s Merrill and Harvard Law’s Smith will present “Property and Information,” a series of three lectures, at the School of Law, 375 E. Chicago Ave., Room 150, in the Arthur Rubloff Building.

The lectures include “What’s So Special About Property?” (4 p.m. Monday, March 16); “The Audiences of Property” (noon, Tuesday, March 17); and “The Property Spectrum” (noon, Wednesday, March 18). The lecture series is free and open to the public.

Attendees are encouraged to register by emailing

Merrill is the Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a prominent legal scholar in the fields of property, natural resources, administrative law and constitutional law. He has authored, with Smith, a series of articles relating the structure of property rights to information costs, as well as a leading casebook on property law. He is a graduate of Grinnell College and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Chicago Law School. He clerked for the Hon. David L. Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for the Hon. Harry A. Blackmun, U.S. Supreme Court. From 1987 to 1990 he was deputy solicitor general, U.S. Department of Justice. Merrill previously taught at Yale Law School and at Northwestern Law, where he was the inaugural John Paul Stevens Professor of Law. Merrill is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute.

Smith is the Fessenden Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he directs the Project on the Foundations of Private Law. He has written extensively on the law and economics of property and intellectual property, with a focus on how property-related institutions lower information costs and constrain strategic behavior, previously taught at Northwestern Law and was the Fred A. Johnston Professor of Property and Environmental Law at Yale Law School. He holds an A.B. from Harvard, a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford, and a J.D. from Yale. After law school, he clerked for the Hon. Ralph K. Winter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is the reporter for the American Law Institute’s project for a Fourth Restatement of Property.

One of the principal programs supported by the Julius Rosenthal Foundation, the lecture series has assumed a preeminent position among distinguished lecture programs in the legal world. Publication of the lectures has made a notable contribution to legal literature and scholarship for more than 70 years.

The Rosenthal Lecture Series was established in 1919 in memory of Julius Rosenthal (1827-1905), an eminent and beloved member of the Chicago Bar.

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