Jody S. Kraus

Patricia D. and R. Paul Yetter Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director, Center for Law and Philosophy

Office: 708 Jerome Greene Hall
435 W. 116 Street
New York NY 10027
Tel: 212-854-7957
Fax: 212-854-7946

Assistant Info

Name: Gabriel Soto
Phone: 212-854-0522

Areas of Research and Teaching

  • Contracts
  • Commercial Law
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law and Economics
  • Political Philosophy


  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1990
  • Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1987
  • M.A., University of Arizona, 1984
  • B.A., Ohio State University, 1982


An expert on contracts and commercial law, Jody Kraus is the Patricia D. and R. Paul Yetter Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Law and Philosophy, at Columbia University.  His scholarship focuses on the relationship between moral and economic theories of law in general and contract law in particular. Kraus has published extensively in both law reviews and peer reviewed journals, and testified as an expert in both U.S. and foreign disputes.  He is the co-author of a leading contracts casebook, served as the area organizer for the contracts and commercial law section of the American Law and Economics Association, teaches introductory and advanced contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code (sales, secured transactions, and negotiable instruments), creditor’s rights, and suretyship, and regularly lectures and consults for American and foreign attorneys.

Kraus was a Woodrow Wilson/Charlotte W. Newcombe doctoral fellow, a John M. Olin Scholar in Law and Economics and a senior editor on The Yale Law Journal.  He has received numerous teaching awards, including the University of Arizona's Meritorious Teaching Award and the University of Virginia Law School’s First Year Teaching Award.

He is a member of the New York Bar, the Virginia Bar, the American Law Institute, the Advisory Board of Legal Theory, the Association of American Law Schools, and the American Philosophical Association.

Selected Publications:


  • Contract Law and Theory (with Robert E. Scott) (LexisNexis, 4th ed. 2007).
  • The Jurisprudential Foundations of Corporate and Commercial Law (ed. with Steven D. Walt) (Cambridge U. Press, 2000).
  • The Limits of Hobbesian Contractarianism (Cambridge U. Press, 1993).


  • "The Correspondence of Contract and Promise," 109 Columbia Law Review 1603 (2009).
  • "Personal Sovereignty and Normative Power Skepticism," 109 Columbia Law Review Sidebar 126 (2009).
  • "Contract Design and the Structure of Contractual Intent" (with Robert E. Scott), 84 New York University Law Review 126 (2009).
  • "From Langdell to Law and Economics: Two Conceptions of Stare Decisis in Contract Law and Theory," 94 Virginia Law Review 157 (2008).
  • "A Critique of the Efficient Performance Hypothesis," 116 Yale Law Journal Pocket Part (2007).
  • "Transparency and Determinacy in Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense of Explanatory Economic Analysis," 93 Virginia Law Review 287 (2007).
  • "Legal Indeterminacy and Moral Justification," 48 William and Mary Law Review 1773 (2007).