Yale Law Professor Henry E. Smith, an expert in property, intellectual property, natural resources, and taxation, will join the Harvard Law School faculty in January 2009, Dean Elena Kagan ’86 announced today.

“Henry Smith is one of the nation’s leading lights in the crucial fields of property and intellectual property,” said Kagan. “His scholarship is as original as it is rigorous, as brilliantly interdisciplinary as it is deeply rooted in law. He is also a very fine teacher, as our students well know. I am thrilled he is joining our faculty.”

Smith currently holds a joint appointment as the Fred A. Johnston Professor of Property and Environmental Law and as professor of cognitive science. He has authored numerous articles, primarily about the law and economics of property and intellectual property, which have been published in leading law journals. He serves on the board of advisors for the Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy. Smith is also the co-author with Thomas W. Merrill of “Property: Principles and Policies,” a casebook on property law.

“Joining the Harvard faculty is a tremendous honor to me,” said Smith. “Harvard outstandingly combines interdisciplinary analysis and seriousness about law, and I look forward to drawing on the strengths of this amazing university. It is both humbling to think of the many giants of the past who have made Harvard Law School a legend and inspiring to be in their footsteps as the school moves in exciting new directions.”

Prior to joining the Yale Law School faculty in 2002, Smith taught at the Northwestern University School of Law. He was awarded the Dean’s Teaching Award for excellence in teaching for the 1997-98 academic year. Smith has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and has visited HLS twice: once as the William K. Jacobs, Jr. Visiting Professor of Law at HLS in the spring of 2006, and once as the Austin Wakeman Scott Visiting Professor of Law in the spring of 2008.
Smith has won several prizes and fellowships for his scholarship. In 2003, he was awarded a Berlin Prize Fellowship by the American Academy in Berlin. Smith was also the recipient of a John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Oslo in Norway.

Smith earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1996, winning the Benjamin Scharps Prize for best third-year paper. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In addition to his legal scholarship, he also holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford University. Prior to attending law school, he taught linguistics at the University of Chicago and at Indiana University in Bloomington. Smith holds an A.B. from Harvard University.