Columbia Law School Welcomes Four New Faculty Members

Bernard Harcourt, Sarah Knuckey, Edward Morrison, and Elora Mukherjee Join the Full-Time Faculty in Time for the Fall Semester

New York, August 29, 2014—Columbia Law School students returning to campus for the fall semester will be joined by four new full-time faculty members who bring expertise in areas ranging from immigration law and human rights to bankruptcy and social and political thought.

The professors may look familiar; each has made contributions to the Law School’s intellectual community over the years. Bernard E. Harcourt spent the 2013-2014 academic year as a visiting professor. Sarah Knuckey, who joins from NYU School of Law, has delivered Columbia Law School lectures on human rights investigations in each of the past three years. Edward R. Morrison, formerly the Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics, is returning to Morningside Heights after a two-year stint at The University of Chicago Law School. And Elora Mukherjee is joining the full-time faculty after serving as a lecturer and clinical teaching fellow in the Mass Incarceration Clinic directed by Professor Brett Dignam
(left to right) Professors Bernard Harcourt, Sarah Knuckey, Edward Morrison, and Elora Mukherjee
The four scholars join a dynamic roster of faculty led by Interim Dean Robert E. Scott, the Alfred McCormack Professor of Law, who will head the Law School until Gillian Lester becomes the 15th dean on Jan. 1, 2015. Each of the new professors was hired by former Dean David M. Schizer, whose ten-year term was marked by an unprecedented 19 percent increase in the size of the faculty. Schizer added 43 new professors during his tenure, bringing the student-faculty ratio to the lowest it has ever been.
Here’s a snapshot of the new professors and their expertise:
Professor Harcourt is one of the nation’s leading scholars of social and political thought, critical theory, the political economy of punishment, and penal law and procedure. His recent work includes pioneering empirical research on asylums and prisons that has rigorously refocused attention on the complex relationship between the institutions. In 2014, he and a team of scholars launched an innovative project investigating the nature of the state and its interactions with citizens in a world of increasing interconnectivity, surveillance, privatization, and globalization. Harcourt’s work on the project, “The State as History and Theory,” focuses on the “carceral state” emerging from our domestic security practices and apparatuses, and the tension between mass incarceration and economic liberalism.
Harcourt is teaching Legal Methods this fall.
Knuckey is faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute (HRI), director of the Human Rights Clinic, and Lieff Cabraser Associate Clinical Professor of Law. An international human rights lawyer and special advisor to the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, she has carried out fact-finding investigations and reported on human rights and armed conflict violations around the world, addressing issues such as unlawful killings, armed conflict, sexual violence, corporate accountability, extractive industries, and protest rights.
Knuckey is teaching the Human Rights Clinic this fall.
Morrison is the Charles Evans Gerber Professor of Law. One of the country’s foremost scholars of bankruptcy law and law and economics, he explores the causes and consequences of insolvency, both consumer and corporate, and collaborated with colleagues at Columbia Business School on a paper forthcoming in the American Economic Review, Mortgage Modification and Strategic Default: Evidence from a Legal Settlement with Countrywide.”
Morrison is teaching Bankruptcy Law this fall.
Mukherjee, an associate clinical professor of law, directs the Law School’s newest clinical offering, the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, which provides high-quality legal representation to immigrants detained at two immigrant detention centers in New Jersey and collaborates with local and national immigrants’ rights organizations on regulatory and legislative reforms, impact litigation, grassroots advocacy, and strategic planning.
Mukherjee is teaching the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic this fall.