Michael A. Heller

Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law

Michael A. Heller

Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law

Michael Heller is Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School and has served as the school’s vice dean for intellectual life.  He writes and teaches on private law theory, with a focus on property and land use.

Heller has authored several books, including The Choice Theory of Contracts (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (with Hanoch Dagan) and The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives (Basic Books, 2008).  He is the editor of the two-volume set Commons and Anticommons (Elgar, 2009), and co-editor of Corporate Governance Lessons from Transition Economy Reforms (Princeton University Press, 2006) (with Merritt Fox).  He has published widely on property theory, including “The Tragedy of the Anticommons,” Harvard Law Review, 1998.

Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Heller taught at the University of Michigan Law School where he received the L. Hart Wright Award for excellence in teaching.  Heller has been a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and the New York University School of Law; visiting lecturer at Yale Law School; fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Olin Senior Fellow at Columbia.  In the early 1990s, Heller worked at the World Bank on post-socialist property law transition. He clerked for the Honorable James R. Browning of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1989
  • A.B., Harvard University, 1985
Areas of Expertise
  • Property
  • Land use
  • Real estate law


Selected Book Chapters and Articles

Download Full C.V.
Land Use