Jody Kraus

Patricia D. and R. Paul Yetter Professor of Law

Jody Kraus

Patricia D. and R. Paul Yetter Professor of Law

Jody Kraus is the Patricia D. and R. Paul Yetter Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy. He is an expert on contracts and commercial law. Kraus is the co-author of a leading contracts casebook, has published extensively in both law reviews and peer reviewed journals, testified as an expert in both U.S. and foreign disputes, and served as the area organizer for the contracts and commercial law section of the American Law and Economics Association. He teaches introductory and advanced contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code (sales, secured transactions, and negotiable instruments), creditor’s rights, and suretyship. Kraus also regularly lectures and consults for American and foreign attorneys.

Kraus’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between moral and economic theories of law in general, with particular emphasis on contract law. He serves as the co-director of the Center for Law and Philosophy at Columbia University.

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.  

Kraus 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.

He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and has a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1990
  • Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1987
  • M.A., University of Arizona, 1984
  • B.A., Ohio State University, 1982
Areas of Expertise
  • Contracts
  • Commercial law
  • Law and economics
  • Philosophy of law
  • Political philosophy
  • “The Correspondence of Contract and Promise,” Columbia Law Review, 2009
  • “Personal Sovereignty and Normative Power Skepticism,” Columbia Law Review Sidebar, 2009
  • “Contract Design and the Structure of Contractual Intent,” (with Robert E. Scott), New York University Law Review, 2009
  • “From Langdell to Law and Economics: Two Conceptions of Stare Decisis in Contract Law and Theory,” Virginia Law Review, 2008
  • Contract Law and Theory, (with Robert E. Scott), LexisNexis, 2007
  • “A Critique of the Efficient Performance Hypothesis,” Yale Law Journal Pocket Part, 2007
  • “Transparency and Determinacy in Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense of Explanatory Economic Analysis,” Virginia Law Review, 2007
  • “Legal Indeterminacy and Moral Justification,” William and Mary Law Review, 2007
  • The Jurisprudential Foundations of Corporate and Commercial Law, (ed. with Steven D. Walt), Cambridge University Press, 2000
  • The Limits of Hobbesian Contractarianism, Cambridge University Press, 1993
Office Hours

Spring 2018:

On sabbatical. Contact professor or assistant to make an appointment.

American Contract Law
Introduction to American Law