The Professors

5 Alumni Scholars Who Are at the Top of Their Game
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May 2, 2017

Allison Orr LarsenAllison Orr Larsen ’04

Professor, College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law

Not many law professors have been cited by both the Ninth Circuit and “The Colbert Report.” Just a few years into her teaching career, Allison Orr Larsen’s work has already been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, not to mention a charismatic on-set interview about amicus briefs with Stephen Colbert. Larsen, who clerked for U.S.  Supreme Court Justice David Souter and Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III ’72 before practicing at O’Melveny and Myers in Washington, D.C., joined William & Mary, her undergraduate alma mater, in 2010.

Since then she has garnered numerous teaching awards at the school and was recognized as a “Rising Star” by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Her scholarship has explored topics such as the use of dissents by judges on controversial cases, the possibility of a “constitutional shelf life” for outdated laws, and negotiation by jurors in the jury room. Her influential 2012 work, “Confronting Supreme Court Fact Finding,” published in the Virginia Law Review, was cited in the Ninth Circuit’s 2013 opinion in Isaacson v. Horne, and addresses the consequences of modern information technology on how courts find facts.

Daryl LevinsonDaryl Levinson ’95

Vice Dean and David Boies Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Once called the “Michael Jordan of the legal academy” by former Harvard and University of Virginia colleague Michael Klarman, Daryl Levinson has earned a reputation as a top legal academic through a trifecta of producing original scholarship, garnering teaching accolades and gracious mentoring of colleagues. The Harvard University graduate came to Virginia as a student, graduating in 1995 with a J.D. and an M.A. in English and modern studies, then returned as a teacher in 1996. He remained on the faculty until 2002, when he joined NYU. From 2005-10 he taught at Harvard, where he earned the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, before rejoining the NYU law faculty. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of another teaching honor at NYU, the Podell Distinguished Teaching Award.

Levinson’s teaching and scholarship focus on constitutional law, including uncovering new questions and ideas about familiar processes and structures in government. In “Rights and Votes,” published in the Yale Law Journal in 2012, he explored the ways in which rights and votes are alternative tools for accomplishing similar functional goals. Other articles have looked at how political actors entrench themselves and their policies through unofficial means, the surprising connections between constitutional law and international law, and how political parties — rather than the branches of government — control the levers of power.

Dayna MatthewDayna Matthew ’87

Professor and Director, Health Law & Policy Program, University of Colorado Law School

Dayna Matthew, author of “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in Health Care,” has made it her mission to expose and find solutions to racial and socioeconomic inequities in the United States.

Matthew’s dedication to health care advocacy was propelled by her work as the co-founder of the Colorado Health Equity Project, a medical-legal partnership incubator whose mission is to remove barriers to good health for low-income clients. She also is a frequent contributor to policy discourse as a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and as a visiting scholar at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Matthew, who has served as Colorado’s associate dean of academic affairs and vice dean, recently served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, giving her the opportunity to work with leading experts and lawmakers on current public health issues, and as a senior adviser to the director of the Office of Civil Rights for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Her scholarship, which focuses on health and antitrust law topics, has appeared in the Virginia Law Review, the Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives, and the American Journal of Law and Medicine, among others. Before law school, she graduated from Harvard with an A.B. in economics. After law school, where she served on the board of the Virginia Law Review, she clerked for Judge John Charles Thomas ’75, the first African-American justice to sit on the Virginia Supreme Court.

David SkeelDavid Skeel ’87

S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

When the Obama administration named seven people to serve on a bipartisan financial control board overseeing the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt last year, only one law professor made the list: David Skeel, an authority on bankruptcy and corporations.

Also known for his interest in Christianity and law, Skeel has written widely for popular media, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and has made appearances on everything from ABC’s “Nightline,” to the PBS Evening News. He is the author of “The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences,” “True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World” and “Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America.” His 2005 book “Icarus in the Boardroom” explored flaws in corporate America that spur “Icaran executives” to take misguided and even illegal chances.

Skeel is also famous at Penn for teaching: He has received the school’s Harvey Levin award three times for outstanding teaching, as selected by a vote of the graduating class; the Robert A. Gorman Award for excellence in upper-level course teaching; and the University of Pennsylvania’s Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.

Michael GraetzMichael Graetz ’69

Columbia Alumni Professor of Tax Law, Columbia Law School
Justus S. Hotchkiss Professor of Law Emeritus and Professional Lecturer, Yale Law

Michael Graetz, one of the nation’s preeminent tax scholars and the author of a leading law school text on federal taxation, is both a Virginia graduate and former faculty member (1972-79).

His career includes several positions in academia — at Yale Law School for nearly 25 years before joining Columbia, at the California Institute of Technology and at the University of Southern California — and in the federal government, where he was assistant to the secretary and special counsel and deputy assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department. He served on the commissioner’s advisory group of the Internal Revenue Service.

Graetz’s more than 80 articles focus on a wide range of tax, international taxation, health policy and social insurance issues, and his books, including “100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Simple, Fair, and Competitive Tax Plan for the United States,” “Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth,” and “True Security: Rethinking Social Insurance,” reveal his longstanding interest in improving the tax code. In 2016, Graetz published “The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right” (with Linda Greenhouse), on U.S. legal history and problems around economic inequality. A paper he posted online in February, “The Known Unknowns of the Business Tax Reforms Proposed in the House Republican Blueprint,” is among his most downloaded articles posted on the research site SSRN to date.

Graetz is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has been a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, and received an award from Esquire magazine for courses and work in connection with the provision of shelter for the homeless. In 2013, he was awarded the Daniel M. Holland Medal by the National Tax Association for outstanding contributions to the study and practice of public finance.
 

The Administrators

5 More Alumni in Higher Education

Robert IulianoRobert W. Iuliano ’86
Senior Vice President and General Counsel Deputy to the President
Harvard University

Allen GrovesAllen Groves ’90
Dean of Students
University of Virginia

Felicia WashingtonFelicia A. Washington ’90
Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Caroline Laguerre-BrownCaroline W. Laguerre-Brown ’97
Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement
George Washington University

Katharine BuchananKatharine Buchanan ’01
Associate Dean, Alumni and Development
Duke University School of Law
 

UVA Law Professors Who Are Alums

5 LEADERS

FORGING A PATH FOR LEADERS IN LEGAL EDUCATION


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