New York, May 25, 2012—Professor Robert E. Scott has been named president-elect of the American Law and Economics Association (ALEA), an organization of law professors and economists dedicated to advancing economic understanding of law and related areas of public policy and regulation.
Scott, the Alfred McCormack Professor of Law, was announced as the association’s new president-elect at an ALEA banquet last week. He will formally assume the ALEA presidency for the 2014–15 academic year, and in the spring of 2015, Columbia Law School will host the organization’s principal event, an annual conference attended by hundreds of academics from North America and Europe.
“It’s a nice recognition, and I’m happy to serve,” said Scott, a leading authority in the fields of contracts, commercial transactions, and bankruptcy. “I hope that the conference we bring to Columbia Law School will be the best conference we have ever had.”
The ALEA publishes a scholarly journal, the American Law and Economics Review, and awards the biannual Ronald H. Coase Medal in recognition of significant contributions to the field of law and economics. But its annual conference typically marks the pinnacle of its yearly activities.
“When we hold the conference in New York, we usually have more than 400 people attending,” Scott said. “We have six panels of three papers each running simultaneously for almost two full days. It has become a significant academic conference for a significant academic association.”
The law professors and economists who attend the conference are committed to the same overarching principle, Scott said: the promotion of outstanding scholarship. “We want to give people the chance to see the works in progress of as wide a number of scholars in this field as possible,” he said.
Scott is a founding member and previous board member of the ALEA, which held its first annual conference in 1991. The organization’s previous presidents have included distinguished economists Orley Ashenfelter and Oliver E. Williamson, as well as Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
The founding director of Columbia University’s interdisciplinary Center for Contract and Economic Organization, Scott joined the Law School faculty in 2006 after more than 30 years on the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as dean from 1991 to 2001.