Dean David F. Levi announced three new faculty hires shortly before this issue of Duke Law Magazine went to press. Michael D. Frakes, a law and economics scholar and legal empiricist who focuses on health law and patent law, joins the governing faculty in July as a professor of law. Ofer Eldar, an emerging empirical scholar of corporate law and corporate governance, financial regulation, and law and economics, will also join the governing faculty as a professor of law. Anne Gordon will join the clinical faculty in the fall semester as a senior lecturing fellow and director of externships, a new position.
Frakes comes to Duke Law from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, where he is an associate professor and faculty fellow of the Northwestern Institute for Policy Research. He is also a faculty research fellow in the Health Care Group of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Frakes conducts empirical research in the areas of health law and innovation policy. His research in health is largely focused on understanding how certain legal and financial incentives affect the decisions of physicians and other health care providers, and, specifically, whether medical liability influences physician behavior. His research in innovation policy centers on the relationship between the financing of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and key aspects of its decision making.
Frakes received his BS in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, his JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2005, and a PhD in economics from MIT in 2009. He was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Wilmington, Del., from 2005 to 2007. From 2009 to 2011, he was an academic fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the Northwestern Law faculty in 2014, Frakes was an assistant professor at Cornell Law School, where he directed the Law and Economics Program.
“Michael Frakes is a highly skilled empiricist and insightful and rigorous scholar whose work is enormously respected among others in his field,” said Levi. “His work on medical liability and on the operation of the USPTO has enormous current policy relevance and fits nicely with our current strengths in health law, patent law, and empirical scholarship. He is a wonderful addition to the faculty.”
Ofer Eldar is joining the faculty in June as a professor of law after receiving a PhD in financial economics from the Yale School of Management. With research interests that include corporate governance, corporate finance, financial regulation, and banking, his recent work applies the econometric skills he acquired through training in financial economics to assess different corporate governance regimes. A second strand of his research focuses on social enterprise and benefit corporations.
Eldar earned a BA in law from Queen’s College, Cambridge University in 2001 and an LLM in corporate law in 2004 from New York University School of Law, where he served as graduate editor of the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. In 2012, he earned an MA in economics from Yale University, and in 2014 he earned a JSD from Yale Law School upon completing a thesis entitled “The Law & Economics of Social Enterprises and Hybrid Organizations.” His PhD thesis is titled “Essays in Corporate Governance.”
Eldar also has practiced corporate law as an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London from 2005 to 2007, and at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York from 2007 to 2009. At Weil Gotshal he worked on several restructuring projects related to the financial crisis, advised on securitizations, collateralized debt obligations, derivatives, and other structured products, and worked on a pro bono corporate governance project that led to the promulgation of Key Agreed Principles to Strengthen Corporate Governance for U.S. Publicly Traded Companies, which was published by the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Business Roundtable. He is a member of the New York Bar and the Law Society of England & Wales.
“Another strong empiricist, Ofer Eldar has already built a reputation as a perceptive scholar who examines important problems,” said Levi. “At quite an early stage of his academic career, his research holds significant implications on matters of corporate organization and governance.”
Beginning in the fall semester, Anne Gordon will work with students interested in individual externships working locally as well as integrated externships — faculty-taught courses that incorporate a shared-theme externship experience with a complementing seminar, such as the Duke in D.C. program and the Federal Public Defender’s Office externship. The Law School’s externship program enables students to receive academic credit while working under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a governmental or non-profit setting and completing bi-weekly reflection papers.
Since November, Gordon has been a distinguished visiting professor at Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey in Puebla, Mexico, teaching professional skills and comparative law. She previously worked at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she led the Appellate Advocacy Program, coordinating internal and external advocacy skills competitions and coaching the moot court team. She also served as a senior research fellow at the California Constitution Center and taught classes in advocacy. She earlier held attorney positions with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Fifth and Sixth District Appellate Projects, and the Habeas Corpus Resource Center. She graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and clerked for Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
“Anne Gordon will help us improve the way we integrate professional skills into the Duke Law curriculum and advance our students’ engagement with public interest law while at Duke and throughout their careers,” said Levi. “This is one of the highest callings in law.”