Professor Stephen E. Sachs has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (ALI).
ALI members are distinguished lawyers, judges, and legal academics who produce scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law through publication of the highly influential Restatements of the Law, model statutes, and principles of law. Sachs, a scholar of civil procedure, constitutional law, Anglo-American legal history, and conflict of laws, is one of 58 individuals whose election to membership was announced by the ALI on Jan. 9, following their confidential nomination, vetting, and election by the ALI Council.
“I have the great luck of welcoming each class of new members,” said ALI President Roberta Cooper Ramo in a statement. “Each group of lawyers, accomplished in their own fields and professions, brings new experience and new perspectives to our work of clarifying the law.”
Sachs joined the Duke Law faculty in 2011 after practicing in the litigation group of Mayer Brown LLP in Washington, D.C. He clerked for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. during the 2009-2010 Supreme Court term. He clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2007-2008, prior to joining Mayer Brown.
Sachs's research spans a variety of substantive topics, focusing on the history of procedure and private law and its implications for current disputes. His research interests include federal jurisdiction, constitutional interpretation, sovereign immunity, and the legal status of corporations. At Duke, he teaches Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, and seminars on constitutional law.
He is a member of the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules and an adviser to the ALI’s project on the Restatement of the Law (Third), Conflict of Laws.
In June 2013, Sachs wrote an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on forum selection agreements in civil cases. The Court ordered the parties to be prepared to address the brief, which was discussed at oral argument and in the Court's opinion. The brief was later named among the "Exemplary Legal Writing of 2013" by The Green Bag Almanac & Reader, a legal journal.
Sachs received his A.B. summa cum laude in history from Harvard University in 2002, graduating first in his class and winning the Sophia Freund Prize. He was a Rhodes Scholar, graduating from Oxford University in 2004 with a first-class BA (Hons) degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. He received his J.D. in 2007 from Yale Law School, where he was executive editor of the Yale Law Journal and served both as executive editor and articles editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review.
He is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, and he is authorized to practice before the D.C. Circuit, the Seventh Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Twenty-six Duke Law faculty scholars and more than 50 alumni have been elected members of ALI. Dean David F. Levi will become president of the organization in May.