Eleven scholars and teachers join the faculty,
bringing new expertise,
experience, and perspectives
Duke Law School typically welcomes a handful of new faculty each summer, but for the upcoming academic year, the welcome mat has had to be enlarged. At press time, 11 scholars and teachers had accepted offers to join the faculty in 2022-23, a record for the Law School. They include well-established professors who are experts in their fields and noted for their teaching, promising young scholars with experience in cutting-edge methods of conducting research, seasoned practitioners with a wealth of insights from varied areas of practice, and a veteran jurist joining Duke Law from the federal bench. They are also a diverse group who bring an array of identities and backgrounds to their work and amplify many of the Law School’s existing faculty strengths, including corporate law, international law, intellectual property, and empirical research.
Among the Law School’s new recruits are Veronica Root Martinez, an expert on corporate compliance and monitorships; Christopher Buccafusco, a scholar of intellectual property law and innovation policy; and Timothy Meyer, an international public law scholar who specializes in international trade, investment, and economic law. All three start July 1.
Joining the July arrivals is Jedediah Purdy, a renowned public intellectual and a prolific scholar of environmental, property, and constitutional law who is returning to Duke from Columbia Law School. Purdy was on the Duke Law faculty from 2004 to 2019 and was a perennially popular teacher who won the Duke Bar Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008.
Since arriving at Duke in 2018, James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean Kerry Abrams has made retaining and recruiting excellent faculty a strategic priority. Under her leadership, the Law School has hired 18 new professors, including 10 who are women and nine who are people of color, and people of color have increased from 12% to 20% of the tenure-track faculty.
Abrams began the 2021-22 academic year with a goal of increasing the pace of hiring and growing in new directions following a number of retirements and departures. The result is unprecedented momentum in adding faculty.
“Without a great faculty, we can’t continue to be a great school,” Abrams says. “The faculty we hire today will shape the school for years to come and so it’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for me and for the faculty as a whole to think about the future of Duke Law and who we want to be and where we want to go.”
The Law School’s Lateral Appointments and Promotions Committee, chaired by Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law Laurence Helfer, and Entry-Level Appointments Committee, chaired by Pamela B. Gann Professor of Law Lawrence Zelenak, vetted hundreds of candidates and read thousands of pages of scholarship before inviting promising recruits to meet the faculty. The search committees formed to identify candidates to lead the Health Justice Clinic and new Criminal Defense Clinic and the Bolch Judicial Institute were just as discerning.
The result is an extraordinary new cohort of professors who will have an immediate impact on the Duke Law community. In fact, the Law School was intentional about hiring “triple threats” who excel at teaching, scholarship, and service, says Lisa Kern Griffin, the Candace M. Carroll and Leonard B. Simon Professor of Law and senior associate dean for faculty and research. In addition to being innovative scholars, those coming from professorships at other universities have records as “major institutional citizens” who directed centers, chaired committees, won teaching awards, or held significant administrative posts, she says.
Many of the recruits are already well known to the Duke faculty. Several have co-authored articles with Law School professors, contributed to journal symposia, or participated in the Culp Colloquium and Emerging Scholars programs, mentoring programs established at Duke Law School that seek to increase the diversity of the legal academy overall by helping minority candidates advance in legal academic careers.
“At every stage of the hiring process, we were not only considering excellence in research but also potential as colleagues,” Griffin says.
Placing a premium on teaching and mentoring abilities, the committees involved students throughout the interview process and solicited their feedback on each candidate.
“I was really proud that every single candidate we brought in was one whom the students wanted to hire,” Abrams adds. “We are a school that prides ourselves on the relationship between faculty and students, the classroom environment, and the whole student experience. Not all distinguished researchers care about that. So the student concurrence told us we were doing a good job of identifying the people who then would actually contribute well to our mission and culture.”
Read on to learn about the new faculty joining Duke Law School in 2022-23.
Veronica Root Martinez
A leading scholar of corporate ethics and compliance
Wide-ranging scholar of innovation, creativity, and intellectual property law
International law scholar focuses on evidence-based strategies for peace, security, and human rights
Bankruptcy scholar brings insights from practice to study of courts and culture
Empirical scholar focuses on improving operations, access of courts and other public institutions
Veteran federal public defender takes helm of new Criminal Defense Clinic
Innovative clinician brings interdisciplinary background to Health Justice Clinic
Veteran jurist to lead the Bolch Judicial Institute