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About the Author

Richard A. Posner

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Photo - Richard A.  Posner

A.B., 1959, Yale University
L.L.B., 1962, Harvard University

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Judge Posner clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr. From 1963 to 1965, he was assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman of the Federal Trade Commission. For the next two years he was assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. Prior to going to Stanford Law School in 1968 as Associate Professor, Judge Posner served as general counsel of the President's Task Force on Communications Policy. He first came to the Law School in 1969, and was Lee and Brena Freeman Professor of Law prior to his appointment in 1981 as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, where he currently presides. He was the chief judge of the court from 1993 to 2000. 

Judge Posner has written a number of books, including Economic Analysis of Law (7th ed., 2007), The Economics of Justice (1981), Law and Literature (3rd ed. 2009), The Problems of Jurisprudence (1990), Cardozo: A Study in Reputation (1990), The Essential Holmes (1992), Sex and Reason (1992), Overcoming Law (1995), The Federal Courts: Challenge and Reform (1996), Law and Legal Theory in England and America (1996), The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory (1999), Antitrust Law (2d ed. 2001), Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy (2003), Catastrophe: Risk and Response (2004), Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11 (2005), How Judges Think (2008), and A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression (2009), as well as books on the Clinton impeachment and Bush v. Gore, and many articles in legal and economic journals and book reviews in the popular press. He has taught administrative law, antitrust, economic analysis of law, history of legal thought, conflict of laws, regulated industries, law and literature, the legislative process, family law, primitive law, torts, civil procedure, evidence, health law and economics, law and science, and jurisprudence. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Legal Studies and (with Orley Ashenfelter) the American Law and Economics Review. He is an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and he was the President of the American Law and Economics Association from 1995 to 1996 and the honorary President of the Bentham Club of University College, London, for 1998. He has received a number of awards, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Award in Law from the University of Virginia in 1994, the Marshall-Wythe Medallion from the College of William and Mary in 1998, the 2003 Research Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, also in 2003 the John Sherman Award from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Learned Hand Medal for Exellence in Federal Jurisprudence from the Federal bar Council in 2005, and, also in 2005, the Thomas C. Schelling Award from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


  • Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights from Marriage to Terrorism. University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.
  • A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression. Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • Law and Literature. 3rd ed. Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • How Judges Think. Harvard University Press, 2008.
  • The Little Book of Plagiarism. Pantheon Books, 2007.
  • Not a Suicide Pact: the Constitution in a Time of National Emergency, Inalienable rights series;. Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Uncertain Shield : The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform, Hoover studies in politics, economics, and society;. Toronto, 2006.
  • Calabresi's 'The costs of accidents' : a generation of impact on law and scholarship. University of Maryland School of Law, 2005.
  • Catastrophe : Risk and Response. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Economic analysis of law. 6th ed. Aspen Publishers, 2003.
  • The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law. Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • Law, pragmatism, and democracy. Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • Law, economics and democracy : three lectures in Greece. Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, 2002.
  • The problematics of moral and legal theory. London, 2002.
  • Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, and the Courts. Princeton University Press, 2001.
  • Frontiers of Legal Theory. Harvard Unversity Press, 2001.
  • Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline. Harvard University Press, 2001.
  • An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton. Harvard University Press, 1999.
  • Natural Monopoly and Its Regulation. 30th Anniversary ed. Cato Institute, 1999.
  • The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory. Harvard University Press, 1999.
  • Economic Analysis of Law. 5th ed. Aspen Law & Business, 1998.
  • A Guide to America's Sex Laws. University of Chicago Press, 1996 (with Katharine Silbaugh).
  • Law and Legal Theory in England and America. Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Aging and Old Age. The University of Chicago Press, 1995.
  • Overcoming Law. Harvard University Press, 1995.
  • Economics, Time and Age: Twenty-fifth Geary Lecture. Economic and Social Research Institute, 1994.
  • Private Choices and Public Health: The AIDS Epidemic in an Economic Perspective. Harvard University Press, 1993 (with Thomas J. Philipson).
  • Economic Analysis of Law. 4th ed. Little, Brown and Company, 1992.
  • The Essential Holmes: Selections from the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. University of Chicago Press, 1992.
  • Sex and Reason. Harvard University Press, 1992.
  • Cardozo: A Study in Reputation. University of Chicago Press, 1990.
  • The Problems of Jurisprudence. Harvard University Press, 1990.