New Notre Dame research effort boosts private law program

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Notre Dame Law School students interested in the area of private law now have a chance to further their studies with assistance from a research program introduced last week.

The Notre Dame Program on Private Law is designed to support and enhance private law-related scholarship conducted by Notre Dame Law faculty, according to program director professor Paul B. Miller, associate dean for international and graduate programs.

Miller said the program aims to help faculty produce scholarship of the highest quality, support faculty collaboration with peer institutions nationwide and internationally, and to encourage student involvement in private law research projects.

Introduced last week, the program currently supports faculty research conducted with collaborators at peer institutions such as Harvard University, Hong Kong University, the University of Melbourne and King's College London.

“The program supports student involvement in faculty research projects, and faculty have introduced a variety of new courses on topics ranging from remedies and restitution, to private law theory and international commercial arbitration,” Miller told Indiana Lawyer.

“We think that the enrichment of the private law curriculum holds inherent intellectual interest for our students, but it is also of considerable practical importance, bearing in mind the significant proportion of our students who will go on to practice law in one or more fields of private law.”

Key areas of private law will be incorporated in the program, including contract law, tort law, property law, fiduciary law, trust law, corporate law, remedies and the law of equity.

Additionally, Miller said several recent hires will bolster the program, making it one of the strongest private law programs in the country. Those hires include previous University of California, Los Angeles professor of law Sam Bray and prior Yale Law School private law fellow Sadie Blanchard.

“Whether measured in terms of the number of faculty, the range of our research interests, or the quality and impact of our private law scholarship, the cohort of private law scholars at Notre Dame is truly first rate,” Miller said.

Launched in October 2018 with the support of Dean Nell Jessup Newton, the program will also aim to help consolidate and extend the law school’s private law leadership.

"The Program on Private Law draws on the considerable strengths of the growing number of our faculty whose scholarship focuses on private law. Under Paul Miller's direction, I am confident the program will become one of our premier programs in the years to come," Newton said.

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