Harvard Law Professors David Wilkins ‘80 and Adrian Vermeule ’93 have been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wilkins, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, is director of the Program on the Legal Profession and vice dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession. Vermeule is a leading scholar of administrative law and constitutional law and theory.

Two hundred and twenty new members were selected as the 2012 class of new fellows and foreign honorary members, whose ranks are chosen from a wide range of scholars, scientists, writers, artists, politicians, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders. Wilkins and Vermeule will be inducted along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, American film icons Clint Eastwood and Mel Brooks, Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos and Melinda F. Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to name just a few.

“How splendid to see Adrian Vermeule and David Wilkins each receive this extraordinary recognition by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for their extraordinary scholarship,” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. “David Wilkins’ powerful empirical and normative studies of the quickly changing legal profession have been prescient and hard-hitting as he examines global markets shaping and shaped by law and the legal profession—and the interplay of identity, culture, and ethics organizations. Adrian Vermeule’s searching and inventive work brings fresh analysis and rigor to institutional design, legislative interpretation, and national security within constitutional democracies; it is no wonder that scholars across many disciplines find his work of great significance. These selections could not be more deserved, and we are proud to see these two wonderful scholars and teachers honored in this way.”

Wilkins, who joined the HLS faculty in 1986, has written extensively on the legal profession in leading scholarly journals and the popular press. He is co-author of “Problems in Professional Responsibility for a Changing Profession” (with Andrew Kaufman, Carolina Academic Press 2009), one of the leading casebooks on professional ethics. He is a senior research fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Faculty Associate of the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Wilkins has received numerous honors and awards, including the Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Association. He was selected as the 2009 Commencement Speaker at the University of Iowa College of Law and the 2008 Distinguished Scholar by the Order of the Coif.

Vermeule joined Harvard Law School in 2005 and is currently the John H. Watson Professor of Law. In addition to “The System of the Constitution” (Oxford University Press), which was published this year, his recent work includes “The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic” (with Eric Posner, Oxford University Press, 2011) and “Law and the Limits of Reason” (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Vermeule clerked for Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Prior to joining the faculty at HLS, he taught at the University of Chicago Law School and was twice awarded the Graduating Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence.

Several HLS alumni were also named 2012 fellows: Rita Hauser ’58, president of the Hauser Foundation; Kenneth Frazier ’78, president and CEO of Merck & Co.; and David Weisbach ’89, the Walter J. Blum Professor of Law at the University of Chicago.

A full list of the new members is available and a list of the entire membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences can be found here.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, based in Cambridge, Mass., is one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

Other members of the HLS faculty who have been selected as fellows in previous years include Lucian Bebchuk LL.M. ’80 S.J.D. ’84, Victor Brudney, Robert Clark ’72, Richard Fallon, Roger Fisher LL.B. ’48, Charles Fried, Mary Ann Glendon, Jack Goldsmith, Annette Gordon-Reed ’84, Charles Haar LL.B. ’48, Morton Horwitz LL.B. ’67, Elena Kagan ’86, Benjamin Kaplan, Louis Kaplow ’81, Duncan Kennedy, Randall Kennedy, Michael Klarman, Daniel Meltzer ’75, Frank Michelman LL.B. ’60, Martha Minow, Robert Mnookin LL.B. ’68, Gerald L. Neuman ’80, Mark Roe ’75, Steven Shavell, William Stuntz , Cass Sunstein ’78 , Laurence Tribe ’66, Mark Tushnet, Roberto Mangabeira Unger LL.M. ’70 S.J.D. ’76, and Elizabeth Warren.