Leading Scholars Joining Stanford Law School

Leading Scholars Joining Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School welcomes four scholars this fall.

This fall Stanford Law School is delighted to welcome new scholars specializing in legal history, the application of economics to international legal problems, and the intersection of tax policy with behavioral economics. Gregory Ablavsky joins as an assistant professor focusing on early American history. Alan O. Sykes, a specialist in international economic law, is returning as a professor of law. And Rabia Belt and Jacob Goldin are serving as academic fellows this year and will join the faculty as assistant professors in 2016.

“We are thrilled to welcome these scholars and teachers to Stanford,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law.  “They join a remarkable group of faculty, and they will expand our range in both research and opportunities for our students.”

Gregory Ablavsky has joined as an assistant professor exploring the issues of sovereignty, territory and property in the early American West. He will teach “Federal Indian Law” in the spring. A Yale University graduate with a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (Penn Law), he clerked for Judge Anthony Scirica of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He was the Sharswood Fellow in Law and History at Penn Law while working on his doctoral thesis, which is titled “Federal Ground: Sovereignty, Property and the Law in the U.S. Territories, 1783-1803.”

Rabia Belt’s fields of study are 19th and 20th century U.S. history, disability history, legal history, the law of democracy, the history of suffrage, African American history, American Indian history and gender history. A graduate of Harvard College, she earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and has been working on a Ph.D. in American Studies there. Last year she was a visiting assistant professor and research fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. She will be finishing her dissertation, “Disabling Democracy in America: Disability, Citizenship, Suffrage and the Law, 1830-1920,” while serving as an academic fellow at Stanford Law School (SLS). She will join the SLS faculty in the fall of 2016.

Alan O. Sykes, a leading expert on the application of economics to international legal problems, has returned to Stanford Law School as a professor of law and will again directing the LLM Program in International Economic Law, Business and Policy that he founded in 2010. He first joined the SLS faculty in 2005 after 19 years at the University of Chicago Law School. He joined New York University School of Law in 2012. His writing and teaching have encompassed international trade, torts, contracts, insurance, antitrust, international investment law and economic analysis of law.

Professor Sykes has been a member of the executive committee and board of the American Law and Economics Association, and has served as an editor of the Journal of Law and Economics and the Journal of Legal Studies. He is presently associate editor of the Journal of International Economic Law and a member of the board of editors of both the American Journal of International Law and the World Trade Review. He earned a B.A. in economics from the College of William and Mary, a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Jacob Goldin will serve as an academic fellow at SLS this year while working at the U.S. Treasury Office of Tax Policy in Washington, D.C., and will join the SLS faculty in 2016-17 as an assistant professor. After graduating with a B.A. in economics and government from Wesleyan University, he earned a J.D. at Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. His research focuses on tax policy and behavioral economics. His newest paper, “Which Way to Nudge: Uncovering Preferences in the Behavioral Age,” is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal.