Seminar in Private Law Focuses on Private Law and Inequality

This spring, the Seminar in Private Law will devote itself the question of private law and inequality. The Seminar, a flagship project of the Yale Law School Center for Private Law, is led by Guido Calabresi Professor of Law Daniel Markovits ’00 and the Law School’s Fellow in Private Law, currently Przemyslaw Palka.

Seminar in Private Law
This spring’s Seminar will explore how the private law’s foundational promise of formal equality fares against the structural inequalities present in society; how the existing institutions of property, tort and contract contribute to rising inequality; and how private law institutions might be used to remedy inequality. The Seminar’s ambition is to study the subject from both theoretical and empirical perspectives and to engage champions of private law, as well as its critics. The Seminar will bring together lawyers with scholars from economics, history, anthropology, and philosophy.

Sessions are open to the public and take place on Tuesdays from 12:10–1:30 p.m. in SLB 122. Lunch is served at noon. The Seminar is a read-ahead event, RSVP to to receive the readings.


January 28, 2020: Arthur Ripstein (Toronto Law), “A Wrong Personal to You”

February 11, 2020: John Witt (Yale Law), “Tort as Private Administration”

February 18, 2020: Josh Macey (Cornell Law), “The Regulatory Compact”

March 3, 2020: Liz Sepper (Texas Law), “Converting Corporate Social Responsibility”

March 17, 2020: Gerald Torres (Cornell Law), TBD

March 24, 2020: Khiara Bridges (Berkeley Law), “Family Law of the Poor”

March 31, 2020: Daniel Sharfstein (Vanderbilt Law), “Second Skins: Arbitration in New York’s Fur Business and the Americanization of an Immigrant Industry, 1912-1938”

April 7, 2020: Daria Rothmayr (USC Gould Law), “Racism Pays”

April 14, 2020: Amy Dru Stanley (Chicago History), “Private Wrongs, Human Rights, and the Power of Commerce: A Problem of Sex”