New Faculty: Curtis Milhaupt, Professor of Law

FOR CURTIS MILHAUPT, a year spent studying abroad in Tokyo as an undergraduate shaped the direction of his career. After graduating with a BA in government and international studies from the University of Notre Dame and then a JD from Columbia Law School, he worked in the New York and Tokyo offices of a major corporate law firm. “Most of my professional life as a lawyer and legal scholar was focused on Japan, and it continues to be an important part of my research and teaching,” says Milhaupt.

His career in academia began a few years after graduating from Columbia, when the law school invited him back as a visiting scholar to teach a class on the Japanese legal system. “I took a leave of absence from the firm to test out academia, and twenty-five years later I still can’t believe that my job is teaching highly engaged students and researching fascinating areas of comparative law.”

“It’s a truism to say the world is global, and Curtis Milhaupt is a legal scholar who has shaped our understanding of that reality, as well as its implications. His expertise––comparative corporate governance, state capitalism, and economic development—is both rare and absolutely essential to understanding the dynamic economies and legal systems in East Asia,” remarked M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean. “He is likewise a valued colleague and a devoted teacher and mentor to his students. We are delighted that Curtis will call Stanford Law home.”

New Faculty: Curtis Milhaupt, Professor of Law
Professor Curtis Milhaupt

Charles J. Meyers Professor of Law and Business George Triantis echoed those sentiments: “His intellectual integrity and generosity of spirit make him an especially valuable colleague,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have recruited him to SLS.”

“We are lucky to have Curtis join the faculty. He’s a marvelous colleague and the leading authority on the economic function and role of corporate law rules in Japan and China,” said Robert M. Daines, Pritzker Professor of Law and Business and associate dean for global programs. “Both students and faculty will benefit enormously from his insights gained by comparing the U.S. economy and legal system with other systems around the world.

Milhaupt’s scholarly focus, which over time expanded to other areas of East Asia, is on the legal systems of the region, comparative corporate governance, law and economic development, and state capitalism. “Understanding the institutions, political economies, and corporate governance environments of these countries has been a prime source of motivation in my scholarly agenda,” said Milhaupt.

In addition to his extensive research on comparative corporate governance, Milhaupt is at the forefront of legal scholarship on state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which have become important global actors in the wake of China’s rise. In connection with his scholarship on Chinese SOEs, he has testified before a congressional commission and consulted with U.S. executive branch agencies on trade and national security issues. After Brazil’s Petrobras scandal, together with a Brazilian scholar, Milhaupt was commissioned by the São Paulo stock exchange to undertake a worldwide study of the corporate governance of listed state-owned enterprises.

His published works include seven books (as co-author or editor) including Law and Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal about Legal Systems and Economic Development around the World. His research has been profiled in publications including The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Milhaupt’s appointment at Stanford Law, which begins on January 1, will contribute to the law school’s ongoing global initiatives and add depth to the comparative law dimension. He will teach Comparative Corporate Capitalism in the spring quarter. SL