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Henry E. Smith

Fessenden Professor of Law

Director, Project on the Foundations of Private Law

Henry E. Smith
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Henry E. 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, intellectual property, and remedies, 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, equity, restitution, and remedies. His books include The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Property (2010, coauthored with Thomas W. Merrill), Property: Principles and Policies (3th ed., 2022, coauthored with Thomas W. Merrill & Maureen E. Brady), and Principles of Patent Law (7th ed., 2018, co-authored with John M. Golden, F. Scott Kieff, and Pauline Newman). He is the co-editor of The Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law (2011, with Kenneth Ayotte), Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (2013, with James Penner), Perspectives on Property Law (4th ed., 2014, with Robert C. Ellickson and Carol M. Rose), Equity and Law: Fusion and Fission (2019, with John C.P. Goldberg & P.G. Turner), Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Equity (2020, with Dennis Klimcuk & Irit Samet), and The Oxford Handbook of the New Private Law (2020, with Andrew S. Gold, John C.P. Goldberg, Daniel B. Kelly & Emily Sherwin). In 2015-2016, Smith served as the President of the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, and in 2014, the American Law Institute named him Reporter for a Fourth Restatement of Property.