Leading Scholars George G. Triantis and Robert W. Gordon Join the Stanford Law School Faculty

STANFORD, Calif., June 09, 2011—Stanford Law School today announced that two leading legal scholars have joined the faculty. They are commercial law scholar George G. Triantis and legal historian Robert W. Gordon.  Both are appointed as professors of law and will begin teaching at Stanford fall quarter 2011.

The appointments of Triantis and Gordon come on the heels of the appointment of James Cavallaro as professor of law and director of the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of the Mills Legal Clinic, and follow a string of prominent appointments including the hiring of John J. Donohue III, the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law, and Judge Michael W. McConnell, now the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law.

“These are capstone appointments in what has been a steady program of enlarging the law school faculty while preserving its longstanding tradition of excellence,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “Both Bob and George are intellectual leaders in their fields. As important, both are fabulous teachers, colleagues, and mentors of students.”


George Triantis is a renowned expert in contract, corporate, and commercial law. His scholarship spans the fields of bankruptcy law, contracts, corporate finance and secured transactions. Most recently, he was the Eli Goldston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and one of the leaders in the law and economics program.  Triantis pioneered the application of options theory to the study of contracts and commercial law, and more recently authored path-breaking articles developing principles of contract design.

“George is unique in his ability to do cutting-edge scholarship across so many fields and to apply conceptual paradigms from all these fields in ways that are truly original, said Dean Kramer. “He is also a great institution builder, capable of contributing to the university in a myriad of ways.”

Professor Triantis has written widely about contracts, commercial transactions, corporate finance, and bankruptcy. His recent work includes Strategic Vagueness in Contracts: The Case of Corporate Acquisitions (Yale Law Journal 2010) andCompleting Contracts in the Shadow of Verification Costs (Journal of Legal Studies 2008), as well as the book Foundations of Commercial Law (Foundation Press 2009).

Triantis’s appointment as professor of law adds yet another dimension to the strength of the law and economics faculty at Stanford Law School, and he will become affiliated faculty of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance.

“I am delighted to be joining Stanford’s exceptional faculty and students, committed as they are not only to the interdisciplinary study of law, but also the integration of theory and legal practice,” said Triantis.  “My family and I are excited to become part of the Stanford community.”

More on George G. Triantis:

George Triantis earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto, an LLM from the University of Virginia, and JSD from Stanford Law School. He began his teaching career in 1989 on the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Faculty of Management. Before joining the faculty at Harvard in 2006, he held the chairs of Seymour Logan Professor at the University of Chicago and Perre Bowen Professor at the University of Virginia. He is a former editor of the Journal of Law & Economics and a former director of the American Law and Economics Association.  He is currently Vice-Chair of the Avoiding Powers subcommittee of the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee, and a member of the American Law Institute and the American Law and Economics Association.


Professor Robert W. Gordon’s expertise in American legal history, evidence, the legal profession, and law and globalization spans four decades. He has written extensively on contract law, legal philosophy, and the history and current ethics and practices of the organized bar. Most recently, he was the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School.

“Robert Gordon is one of the preeminent legal historians of his, or any, generation,” said Stanford Law Vice Dean Mark G. Kelman. “Not only has his own work, both historical and historiographical, been enormously influential, but he has been a key mentor in the development of an astounding proportion of the best young legal historians in the academy. He is a gifted teacher, as well as a spectacular mentor and colleague. We are delighted that he is returning to Stanford Law School.”

Professor Gordon is known for his key works, The Legacy of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1992), and Storie Critiche del Diritto (Critical Legal Histories) (1995), and On the Critical Use of History: The Arrival of Critical Historicism (1997) and is editor ofLaw, Society, and History: Themes in the Legal Sociology and Legal History of Lawrence M. Friedman, which examines and celebrates the scholarship of Stanford’s Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law Lawrence Friedman. Other forthcoming publications include: Lawyers of the Republic; Taming the Past: Law in History and History in Law (essays on legal history and the uses of history in legal argument); and The American Legal Profession, 1870-2000.

Gordon’s appointment as professor of law complements the heritage of legal historians at Stanford Law School which today includes faculty members Barbara Babcock, David Engstrom, Barbara Fried, Lawrence M. Friedman, Thomas Grey, Michele Landis Dauber, Amalia Kessler, Dean Larry Kramer, Jenny Martinez, Alison Morantz, and Norman Spaulding.

“Bob Gordon helped reinvent the field of legal history,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “His importance and influence as a scholar generally and a legal historian in particular are surpassed by no one.”

“I’m happy to be back at Stanford,” said Professor Robert Gordon. “This is a genuinely interdisciplinary place. I’m looking forward to working with faculty and students both within the law school and across the university. I really think that some knowledge of legal history, of the paths that have led us to the legal system we have, is an indispensable part of the education of a professional lawyer.  In recent years Stanford has also been educating more graduates who eventually go into law teaching, and I’d like to be a part of that as well.”

More on Robert W. Gordon:

Robert Gordon received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. Before going to law school, he worked as a newspaper reporter and served in the U.S. Army.  Following law school, he served in the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts (1971). Prior to joining the faculty at Yale in 1995, Professor Gordon taught at the University of Buffalo Law School SUNY (1971-1974), University of Wisconsin (1974-1983), and at Stanford Law School (1983-1995). He has also visited at Harvard University (1979-1980; 1991; 1999-2000), Oxford University (1988), University of Toronto (1990), and the European University Institute (1992). Gordon has served on several ABA and Connecticut Bar Task Forces on professional ethics and practice and on the Advisory Board of the Legal Profession Program of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation). He also is a past president of the American Society for Legal History (2001-2003).

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.