Professor Thomas W. Merrill Returns to Columbia Law School Faculty

Professor Thomas W. Merrill Returns to Columbia Law School Faculty

Media Contact:  Nancy Goldfarb, 212-854-1584, [email protected]
Public Affairs Office: 212-854-2650, [email protected] 

New York, June 7, 2009
  – Thomas W. Merrill has accepted an offer to rejoin the Columbia Law School Faculty, after leaving a year ago for Yale Law School.  Professor Merrill is a leader in three fields – property, administrative law, and environmental law. 

"I’m delighted to welcome our friend and colleague Professor Tom Merrill,” said David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law.  "He will resume his place as a central player in the intellectual and collegial life of the School. It’s wonderful to have him back.”

Merrill was the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School from 2003 through 2008, and the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University where he taught starting in 1981. From 1987 to 1990 he served as deputy solicitor general in the Department of Justice, where he represented the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

He practiced for many years with Sidley Austin. He received a B.A. from Grinnell College in 1971 and a B.A. with first-class honors in politics, philosophy and economics in 1973 from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977 and went on to clerk for Judge David L. Bazelon of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and then Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.


Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.