Robert C. Ellickson

Walter E. Meyer Professor Emeritus of Property and Urban Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law

Robert C. Ellickson Walter E. Meyer Professor Emeritus of Property and Urban Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law. His major research interests are property, land use, housing, local government, urban history, and social norms.


Contact Information

Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae

LL.B., Yale Law School, 1966

A.B., Oberlin College, 1963

Courses Taught

  • Land Use
  • Local Government
  • Property
  • Urban Legal History

Robert C. Ellickson has been Walter E. Meyer Professor of Property and Urban Law at Yale Law School since 1988. He formerly was a member of the law faculties at USC and Stanford. His major research interests, as the title of his chair suggests, are property, land use, housing, urban history, and social norms. He also is a veteran teacher of torts. He has been a visiting professor at the Harvard and University of Chicago Law Schools. Professor Ellickson’s books include The Household: Informal Order Around the Hearth (2008), Order Without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes (1991) (awarded the Order of the Coif Triennial Book Award in 1996), Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials (3rd edition 2005, with Vicki L. Been), and Perspectives on Property Law (3rd edition 2002, with Carol M. Rose and Bruce A. Ackerman). He has published numerous articles in legal and public policy journals on topics such as land use and housing policy, land tenure systems, homelessness, and the organization of households, community associations, and cities. On account of his interest in the history of the development of property institutions, he has written about ancient systems of land tenure and also periodically teaches a seminar on the history of development of the City of New Haven. Robert Ellickson was a founding member and later a director of the American Law and Economics Association, and served as its President in 2000–01. In 1986–98 he was an adviser to the American Law Institute during its preparation of the Restatement, Third, Property—Servitudes. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At the Yale Law School he has served as Deputy Dean (1991–92) and, during the reconstruction of the Sterling Law buildings, as chairman of the Building Committee. Prior to entering teaching in 1970, he worked for a Presidential commission on housing policy and then for Levitt & Sons, the homebuilding firm. Professor Ellickson is married to Lynn Hammer and has two children. For several decades he has competed in Scrabble tournaments and, during intervals when fortune has smiled, has been ranked as one of the top 20 players in the United States.