Henry Smith is the Fessenden Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he directs the Project on the Foundations of Private Law. Previously, he taught at the Northwestern University School of Law and was the Fred A. Johnston Professor of Property and Environmental Law at Yale Law School. He holds an A.B. from Harvard, a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford, and a J.D. from Yale. After law school he clerked for the Hon. Ralph K. Winter, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Smith has written primarily on the law and economics of property and intellectual property, with a focus on how property-related institutions lower information costs and constrain strategic behavior. He teaches primarily in the areas of property, intellectual property, natural resources, remedies, taxation, and law and economics. His books include The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Property (2010, coauthored with Thomas W. Merrill), Property: Principles and Policies (2d ed, 2012, coauthored with Thomas W. Merrill), and Principles of Patent Law (6th ed., 2013, co-authored with F. Scott Kieff, Pauline Newman, and Herbert F. Schwartz). He is the coeditor of The Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law (2011, with Kenneth Ayotte), Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (2013, with James Penner), and Perspectives on Property Law (4th ed., in press, with Robert C. Ellickson and Carol M. Rose).

Vice Director


John Goldberg, an expert in tort law, tort theory, and political philosophy, joined the Law School faculty in 2008. From 1995 until then, he was a faculty member of Vanderbilt Law School, where he served as Associate Dean for Research (206-08). He is co-author of The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Torts (2010) and Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress (3d ed. 2012). He has also published dozens of articles and essays in scholarly journals. Goldberg has taught an unusually broad array of first-year and upper-level courses, and has received multiple teaching prizes. A member of the editorial board of Legal Theory and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Tort Law, he served in 2009 as Chair of the Torts and Compensation Systems Section of the Association of American Law Schools. After receiving his J.D. in 1991 from New York University School of Law, Goldberg clerked for Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York and for Justice Byron White. He earned his B.A. with high honors from the College of Social Studies, Wesleyan University. He also holds an M. Phil. in Politics from Oxford University and an M.A. in Politics from Princeton University. Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty, he briefly practiced law in Boston.

Affiliated Faculty

Ruth Okediji is the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. She previously taught at the University of Minnesota Law School where she held the William L. Prosser Professorship and a McKnight Endowed Presidential Professorship. Professor Okediji writes on global knowledge governance and international aspects of IP protection, with a focus on how harmonized copyright and patent law norms affect economic development in emerging economies. Her work has been influential in global debates about IP reform, and in guiding national strategies for pro-competitive and pro-development implementation of multilateral and regional IP treaties in countries throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas.  Professor Okediji served on the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era, and she has advised numerous governments, regional economic bodies, and intergovernmental organizations on various aspects of patent, copyright, and trademark law. In 2015, Okediji was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to serve on his High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, and Managing Intellectual Property named her one of the world’s most influential people in intellectual property law. She is the author of a number of books and casebooks including Copyright in a Global Information Economy (with Julie Cohen, Maureen O’Rourke and Lydia Loren, Aspen, 4th Ed. 2015), International Patent Law and Policy (with Margo A. Bagley, Aspen, 2013), Global Perspectives on Patent Law (with Margo A. Bagley), The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty (with Laurence Helfer, Molly Land and Jerome Reichman, Oxford University Press, 2017), and Copyright Law in An Age of Limitations and Exceptions (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Okediji has received numerous teaching awards and honors for her scholarly work. She was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2008, and has served as President of the Order of the Coif since 2016.

Robert H. Sitkoff is the John L. Gray Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. An expert in wills, trusts, estates, and fiduciary administration, he was the youngest professor with tenure to receive a chair in the history of the school. Sitkoff’s research focuses on economic and empirical analysis of trusts, estates, and fiduciary administration. His work has been published in leading scholarly journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, and the Journal of Law and Economics. Sitkoff is the lead coauthor of Wills, Trusts, and Estates (Aspen 10th ed. 2017), the most popular American coursebook on trusts and estates, and he is an editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law, to be published by Oxford University Press. Sitkoff is an active participant in trusts and estates law reform. He serves under Massachusetts gubernatorial appointment on the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). Within the ULC, he was Chair of the Drafting Committee for the Uniform Directed Trust Act and he is a liaison member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trusts and Estates Acts. Within the American Law Institute, Sitkoff is a member of the Council, the Institute’s Board of Directors, and he is a member of the Council’s Projects Committee. Sitkoff edits the Wills, Trusts, and Estates abstracting journal in the Social Science Research Network, is a past chair of the Section on Trusts and Estates of the Association of American Law Schools, and is an academic fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Academic Fellows

Erik Hovenkamp is a Qualcomm Postdoctoral Fellow in Harvard’s Project on the Foundations of Private Law.  His research focuses on intellectual property (mainly patents), antitrust, innovation, and the economic analysis of law.  He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University, and a J.D. from Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law.  Erik’s work has been published in a wide range of journals, and has been cited in several federal court opinions.  Erik is also a visiting fellow in Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, and in Spring 2018 he was a Visiting Lecturer at Boston University School of Law.  For more information, visit

Contact:  ehovenkamp at

David Waddilove is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Harvard’s Project on the Foundations of Private Law.  His research focuses on the intersection of property and contract in equity.  Taking an historical approach, he has written on topics such as common-law mortgages and the equity of redemption.  He is currently writing on suretyship in early-modern England.  He holds a Ph.D. in legal history from Cambridge University, where he was also an undergraduate, a J.D. from the University of Michigan, and an M.A.R. from Yale University.  He previously clerked for Judge Morris S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced commercial litigation for two years, and was the Newton Trust Research Fellow at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.


Steven Schaus is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Harvard’s Project on the Foundations of Private Law.  His research focuses on issues at the intersection of law and moral philosophy—and especially on issues in tort theory and general jurisprudence.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was Articles Co-Chair of the Harvard Law Review, and he is completing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Michigan.


Past Academic Fellows

Patrick Goold, 2016-2018
Lecturer in Law (tenure track), The City Law School, London

Lauren Henry Scholz, 2016-2017
Assistant Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law

Yonathan Arbel, 2015-2016
Assistant Professor of Law, University of Alabama School of Law

Daniel Clarry, 2015-2016
Barrister-at-Law, Gerrard Brennan Chambers, Brisbane, Queensland

Janet Freilich, 2014-2016
Associate Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Apply to be a Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Private Law – Call for Applications 2019-2020/21

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Private Law – Description

Qualcomm Postdoctoral Fellowship in Private Law & Intellectual Property – Call for Applications 2019-2020/21

Qualcomm Postdoctoral Fellowship in Private Law & Intellectual Property – Description

Student Fellows11.14.12Journals137

Samuel Beswick

Sam Hickey

N. Kaye Horstman

Jennifer Klein

Nicholas Zahorodny

Quinn Zhang


Apply to be a Student Fellow

The Project on the Foundations of Private Law is not yet accepting applications for 2019-20. Last year’s announcement is below.

Private Law Student Fellows – Call for Applications 2018-19