Seven Duke Law faculty receive Distinguished Chair awards

May 2, 2018Duke Law News

Duke University has honored seven members of the Duke Law School faculty with Distinguished Chair awards that will take effect on July 1.

Professors Joseph Blocher, Rachel Brewster, Trina Jones, Theresa Newman '88, and Jane Wettach were announced as Distinguished Chair recipients by Duke University President Vincent Price at a ceremony on May 2. He also announced that Lawrence Baxter, who previously was the William B. McGuire Professor of the Practice of Law, would become the inaugural recipient of the David T. Zhang Professorship, and that Brandon Garrett will join the Law School faculty in July as the first L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law.

To qualify for a Distinguished Chair as a research scholar, a faculty member must have amassed a substantial record of intellectual achievement and be one of the leaders of his or her field. Qualifying clinical faculty and professors of the practice have made outstanding contributions to clinical practice and teaching in their fields of advocacy and service.

“It gave me enormous pleasure to nominate these superb research and clinical faculty members for these Distinguished Chair awards with the wholehearted support of their faculty colleagues,” said David F. Levi, the James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law. “They are each at the forefront of their respective fields and wonderful colleagues and institutional citizens. I am also grateful to the Duke Law alumni and friends whose generosity made many of these Distinguished Chair awards possible.”

Blocher receives the Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professorship

Prof. Joseph BlocherBlocher, a scholar of federal and state constitutional law, the First and Second Amendments, legal history, and property, becomes the first Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor of Law. A prolific author, his current scholarship addresses issues of gun rights and regulation, free speech, sovereignty, and refugee law, and regularly appears in leading law journals. He is the co-author of two books: Free Speech Beyond Words (NYU Press, 2017) (with Mark Tushnet and Alan Chen), and The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018) (with Darrell Miller).

A Durham native, Blocher joined the Duke Law faculty in 2009 and received the Law School’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012. He clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also practiced in the appellate group of O’Melveny & Myers, where he assisted the merits briefing for the District of Columbia in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Blocher received his BA, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Rice University, and studied law and economic development as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana and as a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University, where he received an MPhil in Land Economy. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he served as comments editor of the Yale Law Journal, symposium editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review, and notes editor of the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, participated in or directed several clinics, and was co-chair of the Legal Services Organization.

“Joseph Blocher is a wonderful scholar of the First and Second Amendments,” said Levi. “He is a terrific colleague and mentor to his students. He is Durham born and bred, and it is particularly fitting that he should hold the Lanty Smith chair,” said Dean Levi.

Colleagues, family, and friends established the Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professorship in 2017, using matching funds from The Duke Endowment to honor Smith’s decades of devoted volunteer and philanthropic leadership at Duke Law School and Duke University. This includes his service as chair of the Law School’s Board of Visitors and subsequently as a Duke University trustee and as a member of the board of directors of the Duke Management Company (DUMAC). Smith and his wife, Margaret WC ’66, PhD ’86, have also been leading Law School benefactors, most notably establishing the ambitious Samuel Fox Mordecai Scholars Program in 1997.

“I’m thrilled and honored to receive a distinguished chair at Duke University, and deeply grateful to the friends and family of our extraordinary alumnus Lanty Smith for making it possible,” said Blocher. “Receiving this chair is particularly meaningful to me because of Lanty Smith’s longstanding commitments and contributions to Duke Law students and to my home state of North Carolina. Having a professorship in his name sets very high expectations for accomplishment, integrity, and service, and I will do all I can to live up to them.”

Brewster named the Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professor of Law

Prof. Rachel BrewsterBrewster, whose scholarly research and teaching focus on international trade and economic law, is the inaugural recipient of the Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professorship. She writes on World Trade Organization law, anti-corruption law, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the OECD Anti-Bribery Treaty, and international relations theory. She serves as co-director of Duke’s Center for International and Comparative Law and co-chair of the Law School’s JD/LLM Program. In 2017-2018, Brewster received support from the Mellon Foundation to convene a yearlong interdisciplinary seminar on the corporation in international law with Duke History Professor Phil Stern.

Brewster’s recent publications include: “Enforcing the FCPA:  Domestic Strategy and International Resonance,” 103 Virginia Law Review 1611 (2017); “The Market for Global Anticorruption Enforcement,” 80 Law & Contemporary Problems 193 (2017) (with Samuel W. Buell); and “Supplying Compliance: Why and When the United States Complies with WTO Rulings,” 39 Yale Journal of International Law (2014) (with Adam Chilton).

Brewster came to Duke Law in July 2012 from Harvard University, where she was an assistant professor of law and affiliate faculty member of The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. During a leave in 2008 she served as legal counsel in the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Brewster was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and clerked for Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She has also taught at the University of Hamburg’s Institute of Law and Economics and the University of St. Gallen.

Brewster received her BA and JD from the University of Virginia, where she was an article editor for the Virginia Law Review. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received the John Patrick Hagan Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Said Levi: “Rachel Brewster is one of the leading scholars in her fields. She writes on important topics and her work is influential and much admired. She is a terrific and collaborative colleague in the Law School and across the university. I know that Jeff Hughes was so very pleased that Rachel would hold this chair in his and Bettysue’s name.”

Jeff Hughes ’65, who died in February, and Bettysue Hughes WC ’65, established the chair that bears their name during the Duke Forward fundraising campaign with support from the Stanley A. Star Matching Gift Fund (the “Star Challenge Fund”). Jeff Hughes started his career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and went on to become a partner at Lehman Brothers, where he launched the firm’s private-financing department. He helped found The Cypress Group, a private equity firm, in 1994 and served as its vice chairman. Bettysue Hughes taught in private schools of New York City before retiring to raise two sons and continue her involvement in early childhood development through volunteer activities. The couple have a long record of philanthropy at Duke Law, where Jeff was a life member of the Board of Visitors and a past chairman of the Global Capital Markets Center and chaired the Campaign for Duke Law School in the 1990s.

“I am thrilled to be named the inaugural Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professor of Law,” said Brewster. “Duke Law School has such an impressive record of excellence in teaching and scholarship so it is real honor to receive a distinguished chair here. I am also grateful to the Hughes for endowing the chair. They have long history of philanthropy and service to Duke Law School, and I hope to follow in their legacy of leadership, professionalism, and generosity.” 

Jones awarded the Jerome M. Culp Professorship

Prof. Trina JonesJones, who focuses her scholarly research and writing on racial and socio-economic inequality, becomes the inaugural Jerome M. Culp Professor of Law, a chair named for the Law School’s first tenured African-American faculty member. She is a leading legal expert on colorism, the differential treatment of same-race individuals on the basis of skin color, and teaches Civil Procedure, Employment Discrimination, Race and the Law, and Critical Race Theory.

Among Jones’ notable works are: “Shades of Brown: The Law of Skin Color,” 49 Duke Law Journal 1487-1557 (2000), which draws upon historical and sociological materials to explain the past and continuing significance of colorism in the United States; “Single and Childfree!  Reassessing Parental and Marital Status Discrimination,” 46 Arizona State Law Journal 1253-1346 (2014), which examines the effects of family-friendly policies on unmarried and childless workers; and Law and Class in America: Trends Since the Cold War (NYU Press, 2006, with Carrington), which examines the effects on poor people of legal reforms in a variety of substantive areas. Jones’ current projects explore the use of the workplace as a site for the reproduction of “traditional” values, examine colorism from a comparative perspective, and consider the limitations of using enumerated classifications as a method for redressing inequality.

Jones joined the faculty of Duke Law School in 1995 after practicing as a general litigator at Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering (now WilmerHale) in Washington, D.C. From 2008 to 2011, she served as a founding member of the faculty at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. She recently co-chaired the Duke University Academic Council’s Task Force on Diversity. 

“Trina Jones is a leading scholar of race and the law,” said Levi. “Her work is well recognized both in this country and internationally. In addition to her excellent scholarship and teaching, she is also a dedicated university citizen and frequently serves on important university-wide committees. It is so wonderful for her and for us that she should be the first holder of a chair named for Professor Jerome Culp.”

A native of Rock Hill, S.C., Jones received her undergraduate degree in government from Cornell University and her JD, with honors, from the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as an articles editor on the Michigan Law Review and was Culp’s student.

“This award is especially meaningful to me because Professor Culp was not only the first African-American tenured professor at Duke Law, he was also my teacher and later became my colleague, mentor, and friend,” she said. “We both came from humble beginnings — he the son of a coal miner and me the daughter of a union organizer — and shared common cause in rendering visible the voices and the experiences of those whom this society tends to marginalize and to forget: people of color, LGBTQ persons, religious minorities, women, older individuals, and persons with disabilities, among others. Because of Professor Culp’s singular influence on my teaching and my scholarship, I am moved beyond words to know that my professional signature will include his name — and that my career will always intersect in this visible way with his.

“I am delighted to receive the Jerome McCristal Culp distinguished professorship and I would like to thank Dean David Levi, the university, and my colleagues at Duke Law for this honor.”

Newman awarded the Charles S. Rhyne Clinical Professorship

Prof. Theresa NewmanNewman, co-director of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, associate director of the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, and faculty adviser to the student-led Innocence Project, becomes the Charles S. Rhyne Clinical Professor of Law. Newman joined the Duke Law faculty in 1990. She was the first director of the Law School’s Legal Writing Program and served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1999 to 2008.

Newman is a member of the board and a past president of the international Innocence Network, an affiliation of more than 65 organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove their innocence and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. She has also served as president of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, a nonprofit organization she helped found, which is dedicated to assisting wrongly convicted North Carolina inmates obtain relief, and a member of the N.C. Chief Justice's Criminal Justice Study Commission (formerly the Commission on Actual Innocence), the N.C. Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and the N.C. Bar Association Administration of Justice Committee. In April, Newman received the Duke Law Alumni Association’s A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education.

“Theresa Newman is universally admired for her work on wrongful convictions,” said Levi. “She is a dedicated colleague and teacher who inspires her students with her own passion for this work.”

Newman received her JD from Duke in 1988. She clerked for Judge J. Dickson Phillips, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after graduation and then practiced in the civil litigation group of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Raleigh before returning to Duke.

“I still remember my first day as a student at Duke Law School, many years ago now, and my feelings of excitement, awe, delight, and of course some fear,” she said. “Now, being awarded the Charles S. Rhyne Clinical Professorship, I feel all but the fear once again. I love Duke Law School, and teaching our students has been the honor of my life. So, to have my role in their lives recognized this way is wonderful.” 

Wettach receives the William B. McGuire Clinical Professorship

Prof. Jane WettachWettach, who directs the Children’s Law Clinic and teaches Education Law, becomes the William B. McGuire Clinical Professor of Law. Wettach is a recognized expert on issues involving the educational rights of children, especially in the areas of school discipline and special education for children with disabilities. She was the keynote speaker at the Minnesota Human Rights Symposium in December 2017 speaking on alternatives to suspensions and expulsions. She was honored by the North Carolina Justice Center with its 2010 “Defender of Justice Award” in the area of litigation.

Wettach joined the Duke Law faculty in 1994 after practicing poverty law for 13 years with legal aid offices in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, N.C., developing particular expertise in the law of government benefits. She has argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and the North Carolina Supreme Court, as well as other appellate courts. Prior to establishing the Children’s Law Clinic in 2002, she served as supervising attorney in Duke’s AIDS Legal Project and as an instructor in the Legal Writing Program.

Wettach, who received her BA in 1976 and her JD in 1981 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of A Parents’ Guide to Special Education in North Carolina and School Vouchers in North Carolina The First Three Years; co-author of Instead of Suspension: Alternative Strategies for Effective School Discipline and Welcoming Immigrant Children to School: A Report of North Carolina School Districts, and a contributing author to Special Education Advocacy (LexisNexis, 2011) and Guide to Student Advocacy in North Carolina. Earlier publications included The Advocate’s Guide to Assistance Programs in North Carolina and A Consumer’s Guide to Health Insurance and Health Programs in North Carolina.

“Jane Wettach is a leader in the field of education law,” said Levi. “She is revered for her work in the law school clinic, and in the community more generally.”

Established in 2011, the McGuire professorship is designated for an academic who also has a distinguished career in practice. McGuire, who died in 2012 at the age of 102, was a 1933 graduate of Duke Law School and the president of Duke Power Company from 1959 to 1971. He served as a trustee of The Duke Endowment and as a director of Duke Power Company, the Charlotte Branch of the Federal Reserve Board, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Research Triangle Foundation, among other leadership positions for corporate and nonprofit institutions. A devoted Duke alumnus, he also served in multiple leadership positions at Duke Law School and Duke University. 

“I feel quite honored and humbled by receipt of this Distinguished Chair,” said Wettach. “That feeling was magnified when I read about Mr. McGuire, for whom the chair is named. Mr. McGuire is described in his obituary as being remembered for his sharp intellect, unquestionable integrity, insightful wisdom, and humble demeanor. Being associated with him through this chair gives me inspiration to reach for those qualities in myself and my work. It is a privilege to work at Duke Law School, and I am proud to have been a part of the growth of our clinical program over the last two decades.”

Baxter awarded the David T. Zhang Professorship

Prof. Lawrence BaxterBaxter, formerly the William B. McGuire Professor of the Practice of Law, is now David T. Zhang Professor of the Practice of Law. The faculty director of the Global Financial Markets Center, Baxter focuses his teaching and scholarly research on the evolving regulatory environment for financial services and beyond. He also has published extensively in the areas of U.S. federal and state administrative law, domestic and global banking and regulation, fintech, comparative law, jurisprudence, criminal law (U.S. and Australia), legal writing, constitutional law (non-U.S.), and professional training and responsibility.

A tenured faculty member of the Duke Law faculty from 1986 to 1995, Baxter rejoined the faculty in 2009 as a visiting professor of the practice of law after serving in executive positions at Wachovia Bank, first as special counsel for strategic development and later as corporate executive vice president, founding Wachovia’s Emerging Businesses and Insurance Group and eBusiness Group. He served as chief eCommerce officer for Wachovia Corporation from 2001 to 2006. Named a professor of the practice of law in 2009, Baxter teaches courses relating to domestic and international banking regulation, law, business practice, and public policy at Duke Law. He has also taught in the Duke in D.C. program. 

Baxter received his LLB and BComm, Business from the University of Natal, where he also received a PhD in Law and Government Regulation. He received his Diploma in Legal Studies and LLM at the University of Cambridge.

“Lawrence Baxter is one of our leading observers of global financial markets and institutions,” said Levi. “He unites his experience in banking with his academic scholarship to develop original insights and to inform his teaching. A thoughtful and creative colleague who excels at everything he does, Professor Baxter is the perfect faculty member to inaugurate the Zhang chair.”   

Yibing Mao ’89, P ’11 and David Zhang endowed the David T. Zhang Professorship in 2016, with matching gift support from The Duke Endowment through the Duke Law Faculty Endowment Challenge. Hong Kong residents, the couple are long-time philanthropic supporters of Duke University. Mao, a member of the Law School’s Board of Visitors and Global Leaders Scholarship Program selection committee, is the general counsel and senior vice president of asset management and owner relations for Marriott International. Zhang is the senior corporate partner in the Hong Kong office of Kirkland & Ellis. His practice focuses on securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions, mostly involving Chinese companies.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of the David T. Zhang chair,” said Baxter. “The gift by Ybing Mao and David Zhang could not be more timely. The worldwide enrollments for Duke Law’s financial law, business and regulation courses demonstrate how truly globalized financial services have now become. That our global benefactors should have provided us with such generous support for these disciplines underlines the fact that the world of finance is now seamless. We are excited to teach students and conduct research that engages U.S. and foreign students, from wherever they hail, in virtually the same way. The enterprise is mutually inspiring for domestic and global scholars and students.”

Garrett joins faculty as inaugural L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law

Prof. Brandon GarrettGarrett, currently the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs and Justice Thurgood Marshall Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, will join the faculty on July 1 as the first L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law. His research and scholarship focus broadly on criminal justice outcomes, evidence, and constitutional rights, and he is a renowned authority on criminal procedure, wrongful convictions, habeas corpus, corporate crime, scientific evidence, civil rights, civil procedure, and constitutional law. His ongoing projects, which employ multiple empirical research methodologies, focus on forensic science, eyewitness identification, corporate crime, constitutional rights and habeas corpus, and criminal justice policy.

A prolific author, Garrett’s most recent book, End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice (Harvard University Press, 2017), examines data collected on all death sentences in the U.S. from 1990 to 2016 to develop a theory for the quick decline in the imposition of capital punishment and how its demise can spur comprehensive criminal justice reform. Other publications include Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Target Corporations (Harvard University Press, 2014); Federal Habeas Corpus: Executive Detention and Post-Conviction Litigation (with Lee Kovarsky) (Foundation Press casebook, 2013); and Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong (Harvard University Press, 2011), as well as numerous articles published in leading law journals.

Garrett’s work has been widely cited by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, lower federal courts, state supreme courts, and courts in other countries, such as the Supreme Courts of Canada and Israel. He also frequently speaks about criminal justice matters before legislative and policymaking bodies, groups of practicing lawyers, law enforcement, and to local and national media. He is an Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute’s project on policing and works with innocence projects in the U.S., East Asia, and Europe to use research on wrongful convictions to inform litigation and policy.

Garrett, who joined the University of Virginia law faculty in 2005, received his JD at Columbia Law School, where he was an articles editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Kent Scholar. He clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals before joining the civil rights law firm of Neufeld, Scheck & Brustin in New York City.

“Brandon Garrett is one of the top criminal law scholars in the country,” said Levi. “His work has been notably influential with courts and legislatures. We are so delighted that he will be joining us this coming year.”

The L. Neil Williams chair honors an alumnus who left a legacy of leadership and generosity at Duke Law School and Duke University. Williams, a member of the Class of 1961 who earlier majored in history at Duke University, was a partner at Alston & Bird in Atlanta. He served as chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1988 and was a founding member of the Duke Law Board of Visitors. He was serving as chair of The Duke Endowment when he died in 2012. Duke University awarded him its Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990. He also received the Law Alumni Association's Charles S. Rhyne Award in 1996.

“I could not be more gratified to be joining the Duke faculty as the inaugural L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law,” said Garrett. “The chair honors Williams’ leadership and service to legal education and the public interest. I hope to do justice to that remarkable legacy as part of the Duke Law community.”

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