The Yale Law School Center for Private Law promotes teaching and research in contracts (including commercial law, corporate finance, bankruptcy, and arbitration), property (including intellectual property), and torts at Yale Law School and in the broader legal community. The Center supports scholars, students, and practicing lawyers in all these areas and seeks, especially, to sponsor serious and sustained intellectual engagements among groups who share interests but do not often interact.

The Center is directed by Daniel Markovits, Guido Calabresi Professor of Law, together with Jeff Gordon, Yale’s Fellow in Private Law.

The Seminar in Private Law, which meets each spring term, brings speakers from academia and practice to the Law School to present papers organized around a common theme that crosses disciplinary and doctrinal boundaries.

Programs for students emphasize the practical and intellectual depth of private law and the many perspectives that might help to understand it. The Center, together with the Law School’s Career Development Office, sponsors speakers and mentors-in-residence to provide students with examples of career paths in private law. A series of informal student lunches provides students with further information and advice on how best to prepare for careers in private law. The Center also publicizes the Law School’s private law offerings, helping to arrange them into organized courses of study to better prepare YLS students for practice.

The Center convenes additional events—lectures, roundtables, panels, and symposia—to provide further opportunities for addressing prominent and pressing issues that concern private law, as these arise.


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For questions about the Center, write to us at