Five faculty honored with distinguished professorships

May 4, 2012Duke Law News

During a university ceremony Thursday evening, three Duke Law faculty members were installed into named professorships: Guy-Uriel Charles was named the Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law; John M. de Figueiredo was named the Edward and Ellen Marie Schwarzman Professor of Law; and Ralf Michaels was named the Arthur Larson Professor of Law.

The Law School also announced two additional professorships: Matthew Adler, who will join the faculty July 1, will assume the Richard A. Horvitz Professorship, and Curtis A. Bradley will become the first holder of the William W. Van Alstyne Professorship.

Named professorships at Duke Law recognize outstanding scholarship and teaching and are among the highest honors bestowed by the university on its faculty. Twenty-seven Duke Law faculty hold such positions. Following are details about the professorships announced this week.

Guy-Uriel Charles
Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law

An expert in constitutional law and election, campaign financing, and redistricting law, Guy-Uriel Charles is the founding director of the Duke Center on Law, Race and Politics. His chair is named for Charles S. Rhyne, a 1935 graduate of Duke Law who served as a professor of government and law at American University and George Washington University and as a trustee of Duke University and George Washington University. He argued numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Baker v. Carr, the legislative reapportionment case that established the one-man, one-vote principle. In 1955, he became president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia on a pledge to racially integrate the association. And in his role as trustee at Duke, he helped to integrate the university.

"Charles Rhyne was a distinguished public servant who committed his life and career to the causes of equality, fairness in elections, and civil rights," said Charles. "As a scholar who cares deeply about these issues, I feel privileged to accept a professorship that bears his name."

John M. de Figueiredo
Edward and Ellen Marie Schwarzman Professor of Law

John de Figueiredo studies competitive strategy, political and legal strategy, law and economics, and the management of innovation. He was recently named a 2012-13 fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., which supports scholars from around the world in pursuing path-breaking theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. His creative approach to the study of law and business is complemented by the Schwarzman professorship, which was established by Stephen A. Schwarzman, founder and CEO of Blackstone, a global investment and financial advisory firm. The chair is named for Schwarzman’s son and daughter-in-law, who are both 2006 graduates of Law. Edward (Teddy) Schwarzman is a member of the Duke Law Board of Visitors and founder and owner of Black Bear Pictures, a film production and financing company. Ellen Schwarzman works in client development at Sotheby’s in New York City.

“The Schwarzman name is readily associated with excellence and innovation in both business and law, so I am extremely honored to be the inaugural holder of this professorship,” said de Figueiredo. “It is also a special privilege to be associated through this professorship with alumni of the Law School who care deeply about the institution and the ability of its faculty to pursue new interdisciplinary paths of research and teaching.”

Ralf Michaels
Arthur Larson Professor of Law

Ralf Michaels is an expert in comparative law and the conflict of laws, with particular expertise in the role of domestic courts in globalization, the potential of conflict of laws as a theory of global legal fragmentation, and the status and relevance of law beyond the state. His chair is named for Professor Arthur Larson, who joined the Duke Law faculty in 1958 after working for the Eisenhower Administration. Larson taught international law and established the Rule of Law Research Center at Duke, serving as its director until his retirement in 1980. He died in 1993 at the age of 82. In addition to this professorship, he is memorialized by a student scholarship named in his honor and a special collection of permanent and course reserve materials held in the J. Michael Goodson Law Library.

“Arthur Larson laid an important foundation for Duke's focus on comparative and international law,” said Michaels. “I am proud to hold a chair in his name, and to be part of the Duke Law community that keeps strengthening this international focus.”

Curtis A. Bradley
William W. Van Alstyne Professor of Law

Curtis Bradley studies international law, U.S. foreign relations law, and constitutional law. Co-director of Duke Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law, Bradley previously held the Richard A. Horvitz Professorship. In becoming the first holder of the Van Alstyne Professorship, Bradley takes the title of the eminent scholar of constitutional law who served on the faculty at Duke Law from 1965 to 2004. Through his scholarship, public testimony, and private advice to many congressional committees and members of the House and Senate, Van Alstyne ¬⎯ now serving on the faculty at William and Mary Law School ⎯ is counted among the nation’s leading constitutional law scholars, with particular expertise on the First Amendment. The professorship was established in Van Alstyne's honor by alumnus and Duke Law Board of Visitors member J. Michael Goodson '66.

“It is a great honor to be receiving the Van Alstyne Chair, just as it was a great honor to receive the Horvitz Chair when I first came to Duke,” said Bradley. “Professor Van Alstyne is one of the most influential constitutional law scholars of his generation, and I have been a huge fan of his work since first reading his famous article on Marbury v. Madison in law school. The rigor, independence of mind, and clarity of thought that are evident in his scholarship are all qualities that I deeply admire and hope to emulate in my own work.”

Matthew Adler
Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law

Matthew Adler joins the Duke Law faculty this summer from the University of Pennsylvania as the Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law. A highly respected scholar and teacher, Adler studies public policy, risk regulation, and constitutional theory. Richard A. Horvitz is a 1978 graduate of Duke Law and leading supporter of the school’s programs in constitutional and public law. In addition to endowing a professorship, Horvitz has underwritten the Duke Program in Public Law since 1998; started the Fund for Faculty Excellence; and provided significant support for recent renovations of the Law School.

"It is an honor to come to Duke and to assume the Richard A. Horvitz Professorship,” said Adler. “This professorship carries a reputation for excellence in scholarship, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to bear this prestigious title."

Read more about Matthew Adler here.
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