Distinguished Legal Scholar Richard R.W. Brooks Joins Columbia Law School

Brooks' Work Includes Empirical and Theoretical Contributions on Issues Ranging from Criminal Justice and Race to Law and Economics

New York, May 9, 2013—Richard R.W. Brooks, a renowned legal scholar from Yale Law School with expertise in contracts, law and economics, and issues of racial justice, will join the Columbia Law School faculty as the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law on July 1. 

Richard R.W. Brooks

His scholarship includes numerous books and articles that analyze policy issues through the lens of law and economics. For example, in 2006 he had two articles published in the Columbia Law Review: “Incorporating Race,” concerning the theory and practice of attributing race, as a matter of law, to corporate persons and “Credit Past Due,” about the absence of traditional credit institutions in poor communities. 

Last year, Brooks and several other leading academics filed an amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the high profile affirmative action case argued at the U.S. Supreme Court in October. The co-authors countered another amici’s argument that race-based admissions policies harm minorities by “mismatching” them in environments where their academic credentials are substantially lower than those of their classmates.
Brooks is also author of a new book analyzing the history and enduring legacy of racially restrictive property agreements, which limited ownership and residency based on race until the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed them in 1948. Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norms, written with Yale Law School Professor Carol M. Rose, was published by Harvard University Press.
Brooks’ work also includes articles about the economics of environmental law, minorities’ perceptions of the legal system, and rescission in contracts.
“Rick is one of our nation’s preeminent legal academics, and we are delighted to welcome him at Columbia,” said Columbia Law School Dean David M. Schizer, the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law and Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics.
In addition to Brett DignamMichael J. Graetz, and Thomas W. Merrill, Brooks is the fourth faculty member to join Columbia from Yale Law School in the past five years.
He holds a B.A. from Cornell; an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley; a J.D. from University of Chicago Law School; and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the faculty at Yale in 2003 and taught previously at Northwestern University School of Law and in Cornell University’s 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.