Richard Brooks

Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law

Richard Brooks

Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law

Richard R.W. Brooks is the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He joined the faculty in 2013. His scholarship focuses on contracts and agency, among other forms of business and social organization. Brooks has published numerous books and articles that analyze behavior through the lens of economics, custom, and law.

His most recent book, Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norms (co-authored with Carol Rose), examines the history and enduring legacy of racially restrictive property agreements (or racial covenants), which the Supreme Court ruled unenforceable in 1948.

Brooks’ work also includes articles about contract law and theory, experimental economics, the economics of environmental law, fairness, and perceptions of the legal system.

He was a visiting professor at the Law School in 2006, and was the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He also taught previously at Northwestern University School of Law and at Cornell University in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. Brooks has served as a visiting researcher at the Center in Law, Economics and Organization at the University of Southern California Law School; on an advisory committee to the Social, Behavioral and Economics Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation; and as a research specialist in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

Brooks holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. from Cornell University.



  • J.D., The University of Chicago Law School, 1998
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1998
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1996
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1988
Areas of Expertise
  • Contracts
  • Business organization
  • Agency and fiduciary law
  • Law, economics, and social practice
  • Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norms, (with Carol M. Rose), Harvard University Press, 2013
  • Contracts: Cases and Materials, (with E. Allan Farnsworth, Carol Sanger, Neil Cohen, and Larry Garvin), Foundation Press, 2013
  • “Racial Covenants and Housing Segregation, Yesterday and Today,” (with Carol Rose), Race and Real Estate in series Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities (Cathy Cohen and Fred Harris, eds.), Oxford University Press, 2013
  • “Framing Contracts: Why Loss Framing Increases Effort,” (with Alexander Stremitzerand Stephan Tontrup), Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, vol. 168(1), 62, 2012
  • “On and Off Contract Remedies Inducing Cooperative Investments,” (with Alexander Stremitzer), American Law & Economic Review, vol. 14(2), 488, 2012
  • “Covenants without Courts: Enforcing Residential Segregation with Legally Unenforceable Agreements,” American Economic Review, vol. 101(3), 360, 2011
  • “Response to Robert Ahdieh's Beyond Individualism in Law and Economics,” Boston University Law Review, vol. 97(1), 379, 2011
  • “Beyond Ex Post Expediency: An Ex Ante View of Rescission and Restitution,” (with Alexander Stremitzer), Washington and Lee Law Review, vol. 68(3), 1171, 2011
  • “Trigger Happy or Gun Shy: An Analysis of Texas Shoot-outs and other Partnership and Corporate Buy-out Agreements,” (with Claudia Landeo and Kathryn Spier), Rand Journal of Economics, vol. 41(4), 649, 2010
  • “Social Science Evidence of Legal Responsibility for Sexual Violence in Darfur,” (with John Hagan and Todd Haugh) Law & Social Inquiry, vol. 35(4), 881, 2010
  • “Remedies On and Off Contract,” (with Alexander Stremitzer), Yale Law Journal, vol. 120, 2010
  • Economics of Environmental Law, (Volume I: Theoretical Foundations & Volume II: Issues and Applications), (with Nathaniel O. Keohane & Douglas A. Kysar), Edward Elgar Press, 2009
  • Contracts: Cases and Materials, (with E. Allan Farnsworth, William F. Young, Carol Sanger & Neil Cohen), Foundation Press, 2008
  • “The Supermodular Architecture of Diversity,” (with Valerie Purdie-Vaughns) Harvard Journal on Law and Gender, vol. 30(2), 379, 2007
  • “The Efficient Performance Hypothesis,” Yale Law Journal, vol. 116(3), 568, 2006
Corporations and Constitutions
S. Advanced Contracts, A Legal and Economic Approach
S. Comparative Consumer Contracts and Consumer Law
S. Law and Economics of Contracts