Fellows

C-LEAF invites the affiliation of Fellows from all fields of study relevant to the Center’s mission. Fellows will be invited to attend all C-LEAF events, as well as to post their work as part of our Working Paper Series. Fellows will also be invited to participate in conferences and to speak at other C-LEAF sponsored events.


Lawrence E. Mitchell is the Founding Executive Director Emeritus of C-LEAF and is the Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler - Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is the author of The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry (2007) (awarded ForeWord Magazine’s 2007 Gold Medal for the Best Book in Business and Economic and the 2009 “IPPY” Silver Medal for Finance/Investment/Economics), and Corporate Irresponsibility: America’s Newest Export (2001), among other books and publications. Before joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve, he was the Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law at The George Washington University Law School, where he taught for 20 years and, was founding Chair and Executive Director of the Center for Law, Economics & Finance at GW. Professor Mitchell has written extensively on matters of corporate governance, law, finance, financial history, and ethics. A graduate of Williams College and Columbia University Law School, Professor Mitchell practiced corporate law in New York from 1981 to 1987.


Mehrsa Baradaran is an Associate Professor at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School. She teaches courses in banking regulation, administrative law, and property law, and joined BYU after an academic fellowship at NYU Law School. Professor Baradaran attended BYU on a university trustee scholarship and graduated cum laude in 2002. In 2005, she also graduated cum laude from New York University Law School. At NYU, she was a Deans Merit Scholar, a member of the New York University Law Review, president of the Middle Eastern Law Student Association, and she participated in an immigration rights clinic. Following her graduation from law school, Professor Baradaran worked as a corporate law associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City for three years.


Peter Conti-Brown is a 2010-2011 residential fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance, jointly hosted by the Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the class of 2010 at Stanford Law School, and received an M.S. from the City College of New York, and an A.B. from Harvard College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Following his fellowship, Mr. Conti-Brown will clerk consecutively for the Hon. Gerard Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Hon. Stephen Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Mr. Conti-Brown has written on law, economics, international finance, financial markets, and regulatory reform. His articles include an analysis of law and oil exploration in emerging markets; a study of university endowments in financial crisis; a proposal on how the law can contribute to reforming financial risk measurement; and an article, co-written with Professor Ronald Gilson, on the legal structure of independence in administrative agencies, corporate boards, and central banks (in progress). His research interests are in the financial regulatory state, with particular emphasis on banking, bankruptcy, and administrative law.


James D. Cox is Brainerd Currie Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law. Professor Cox earned his B.S. from Arizona State University, his J.D. at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School. In 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Mercature from the University of South Denmark. In addition to his texts Financial Information, Accounting and the Law, Corporations (with Hazen & O’Neal) and Securities Regulations: Cases and Materials (with Hillman & Langevoort), Professor Cox has published extensively in the areas of market regulation and corporate governance, as well as having testified before the U.S. House and Senate on insider trading, class actions, and market reform issues. He served as a member of the corporate law drafting committees in California (1977 to 1980) and North Carolina (1984 to1993). He is currently a member of the ABA Committee on Corporate Laws. He also has served as a consultant to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and more recently, conducted training programs for securities regulators in Bosnia, China and Thailand.


Aaron Dhir is an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. He has served as a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government and at the University of Oxford's Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. Mr. Dhir's research interests include corporate law, governance and theory and the intersections of transnational business activity with international human rights norms. He has published widely and participated as an invited expert in significant policy reform initiatives in the field of corporate social responsibility. Most recently, Mr. Dhir co-convened a multi-stakeholder expert consultation on "Corporate Law and Human Rights" in support of the mandate of the U.N. Special Representative on Business and Human Rights.


Anna Gelpern is an associate professor of law at American University Washington College of Law. She has published many articles on financial integration, debt contracts, and development. She has contributed to international initiatives on financial reform and sovereign borrowing, most recently as part of the Second Warwick Commission and as an expert for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Professor Gelpern is a visiting fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics and, before joining the WCL faculty, was an associate professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark and Rutgers University Division of Global Affairs. She was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2002-2003. Between 1996 and 2002, she served in legal and policy positions at the U.S. Treasury Department; her portfolio included international debt, development, international financial institutions, and financial crisis response. Earlier she practiced with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York and London. Professor Gelpern has taught International Finance, Contracts, Commercial Law, Financial Institutions and International Law. She earned an A.B. from Princeton University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Michelle M. Harner is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Business Law Program at the University of Maryland School of Law. She teaches courses in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, business associations, business planning, corporate finance, and the legal profession. Professor Harner publishes and lectures frequently on various topics involving corporate governance, financially distressed entities, and related legal issues. Her scholarly writing has been published in numerous law journals. Professor Harner’s current research interests include shareholder and creditor activism and its impact on corporate value; legislative responses to serial business failures and related implications for discrete industries; and the ethical implications of insolvency for directors, officers, and other fiduciaries. Professor Harner previously was in private practice in business restructuring, insolvency, bankruptcy, and related transactional fields, most recently as a partner at the Chicago office of the international law firm Jones Day.


Julie A. Hill is an Assistant professor at the University of Houston Law Center. Her scholarship focuses on banking regulation. Prior to joining the University of Houston’s faculty, Professor Hill was an associate at the Washington, DC, office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP. As a member of the litigation group, she represented financial institutions and other companies involved in government investigations. Before practicing law, Professor Hill worked at community banks. She received a J.D. from Brigham Young University and served as a law clerk for Judge Wade Brorby of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.


Heather Hughes is an Associate Professor at American University Washington College of Law. She teaches secured transactions, first-year property, sales, and a seminar on debt finance law at American University Washington College of Law. Prior to teaching, she practiced in the business department at Morrison & Foerster, LLP in San Francisco and in the commercial transactions group at a small, private firm in Denver. Her recent scholarship explores the intersection of commercial finance law and environmental harm. For example, in the article “Enabling Investment in Environmental Sustainability,” (85 Indiana Law Journal 597, 2010), Professor Hughes proposes enacting an “environmental practices money security interest” in UCC Article 9 to create priority for financers of investments in improving environmental impact. The Environmental Law and Policy Institute in Washington, DC, and Vanderbilt University Law School selected this article as one of the four best in environmental law in the past year and will republish it in the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review. The article she will present at C-LEAF’s workshop questions the scope of private law rules governing commercial finance and their relationship to collective, environmental problems.


Darian Ibrahim is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He specializes in corporate and securities law and its application to entrepreneurial activity. He is particularly interested in the legal and economic issues involved in financing rapid-growth start-up companies, which he examines in recent work on angel investors, venture debt, and the geography of entrepreneurship. His current research explores secondary markets as a new exit option in venture capital and empirically examines the incorporation choices of start-ups that have received venture capital. Before joining the Wisconsin faculty, Professor Ibrahim was on the law faculty at the University of Arizona, where he was voted Teacher of the Year. At both Wisconsin and Arizona, he helped create law & entrepreneurship clinics that allow law students to gain experience counseling start-up clients. As a former practicing lawyer in Atlanta, he represented clients in mergers & acquisitions and the private placement of securities. Professor Ibrahim earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University with high honors and a J.D. from Cornell Law School with high honors. In 2009-2010, he served as a Searle-Kauffman Fellow on Law, Innovation, and Growth.


Robert J. Jackson is an Associate Professor at Columbia Law School. His research projects emphasize the empirical study of corporate governance. He previously served as an advisor on executive compensation and corporate governance to senior officials at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as deputy special master for TARP Executive Compensation. Prior to joining Treasury, he practiced in the executive compensation department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Professor Jackson’s work has been the subject of rulemaking commentary before several federal agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His most recent project, which he developed during his tenure as Terence M. Considine Research Fellow in Law and Economics and a fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance, provides the first comprehensive study of executive compensation in firms owned by private equity investors. He previously worked in investment banking and as a consultant to financial institutions. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and as articles co-chair of the Harvard Law Review.


Young-Cheol (David) Jeong is a Professor of Law at Yonsei Law School, Seoul, Korea. He teaches corporate, corporate finance, capital market regulations and mergers and acquisitions courses. His articles focus on corporate law changes in Korea and international economic laws involving financial market. He recently published a book on global mergers and acquisitions. Prior to academic researches and teaching, Mr. Jeong practiced law at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, and at two Korean law firms in Seoul. He serves as a member of the Advisory Board to the Financial Supervisory Commission, and holds a J.D. and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School, and an LL. M. and LL. B. from Seoul National University College of Law.


Jodie Adams Kirshner is a University Lecturer in Corporate Law at Cambridge University; a fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge; and the Assistant Director of the Cambridge Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law. She has completed research fellowships at the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and the Cambridge Centre for Business Research as a Fulbright Scholar, the London Business School Centre for Corporate Governance, and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and graduate degrees from Columbia University. As a practicing lawyer, she served as a federal judicial clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and worked as a litigator at Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP and Cravath Swaine & Moore, LLP in New York. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Marhorie Fine Knowles is a Professor of Law at the College of Law, Georgia State University in Atlanta Georgia, where she served as Dean of the College from 1986-1911. Previously, Professor Knowles clerked for a United States District Judge, served as an Assistant United States Attorney, and as an Assistant District Attorney. She has also held the roles of Executive Director of Joint Foundation Support, Associate Dean of the School of Law at the University of Alabama, and as Inspector General of the Department of Labor. Professor Knowles received her LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School, and her A.B. degree from Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa membership. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), a Trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund (CREF), and as a member of the Court-Appointed Task Force to Monitor Implementation of the Settlement Agreement in the Coca-Cola Race Discrimination Law Suit. Professor Knowles teachers courses in Corporations, Corporate Governance and Global Issues in Corporate Law, and is the author of scholarly works including a comparison of the ALI Principles of Corporate Governance with Georgia Law, a description of the Share-Owner Affairs Program at the Coca-Cola Company, and a report on diversity in higher education.


Adam J. Levitin specializes in bankruptcy and commercial law. He also serves as Special Counsel to the Congressional Oversight Panel. In the fall of 2009, Professor Levitin was the Robert Zinman Scholar in Residence at the American Bankruptcy Institute. Before joining the Georgetown faculty, Professor Levitin practiced in the Business Finance & Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York and served as law clerk to the Honorable Jane Richards Roth on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Professor Levitin's research focuses on the role of financial institutions in consumer and business transactions, including credit card and mortgage lending and bankruptcy reorganizations. Professor Levitin holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.Phil and an A.M. from Columbia University, and an A.B. from Harvard College, all with honors.


Patricia A. McCoy specializes in financial services law and market conduct regulation at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she is the director of the Insurance Law Center and the Connecticut Mutual Professor of Law. Before entering academe, Professor McCoy was a partner at the law firm of Mayer, Brown in Washington, D.C., specializing in complex financial services and commercial litigation. From 2002 to 2004, she served on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board. She spent the 2002-2003 school year as a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Economics Department. Professor McCoy testified repeatedly on the 2008 financial crisis before the House and the Senate and has been widely quoted in the press, including in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Washington Post. She has three books to her credit, including The Subprime Virus with her longtime coauthor Kathleen C. Engel (Oxford University Press 2010).


Saule Omarova is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. She received a diploma (a B.A. equivalent) from the department of philosophy of Moscow State University, a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. Prior to joining the UNC Law School in 2007, Professor Omarova practiced law in the financial institutions group of Davis, Polk, & Wardwell, a premier New York law firm, where she specialized in a wide variety of corporate transactions and advisory work in the area of financial regulation. From 2006 to 2007, she served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a special advisor for regulatory policy to the under secretary for domestic finance.


Caroline D. Pham is a Visiting Fellow at C-LEAF for the 2013 calendar year. She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School (JD '11) and a past recipient of the Manatt-Phelps Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding student in the field of banking law. While a student, Ms. Pham was a member of the Moot Court Board and interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and for a commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she worked on Dodd-Frank Act implementation. She also was a judicial extern at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and received a clerkship offer. Ms. Pham has written papers on derivatives and clearinghouse risk, federal common law and bank director fiduciary duty, and consumer rights of action under state UDAP laws and the Dodd-Frank Act. Ms. Pham co-authored "Meltdown Pushes More Fiduciary Duties on Brokers," which was published in the October 2010 issue of Mortgage Banking magazine. Ms. Pham is active in the American Bar Association Business Law Section, serving on the Section's Publications Board, as Content Director for the Banking Law Committee, and as Co-Vice Chair of Membership for the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee. She received her bachelor's degree from UCLA.


Brian JM Quinn is an Assistant Professor at Boston College Law School. He teaches corporations, mergers and acquisitions, and deals. Professor Quinn’s research focuses on corporate law, the structuring of transactions, and private ordering. He came to Boston College from Stanford Law School, where he was the teaching fellow for corporate governance and practice. Prior to his position at Stanford, Professor Quinn was in private practice with Cooley Godward in Palo Alto, CA, where he represented public and private technology clients in merger and acquisitions transactions.


Professor Thomas Schoenbaum is Research Professor of Law at GW Law. Prior to joining the Law School, he taught at the law schools of the University of North Carolina, Tulane University, and the University of Georgia. At Tulane he served as associate dean and at Georgia he was executive director of the Dean Rusk Center of International and Comparative Law. He is also a Fellow at GW’s Center for Law, Economics & Finance (C-LEAF). He has practiced law extensively as special counsel for several law firms and has litigated corporate, environmental, and admiralty cases in the federal courts. Professor Schoenbaum has received six Fulbright awards and has held teaching posts in many countries, including Germany, Belgium, the UK, South Africa, Austria, Russia, and Japan. He has served as visiting fellow at St. John’s College, Oxford and as principal fellow of the Lauterpacht Research Centre of International Law at Cambridge. Professor Schoenbaum specializes in international commercial and environmental law. He is the author of many articles and books, including The World Trade Organization: Law, Policy and Practice (2003), Admiralty and Maritime Law (3d ed. 2001), and Environmental Policy Law (2002). He is currently working on new books in the areas of international environmental law and international business transactions.

Heidi Mandanis Schooner is a professor of law at the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America. Professor Schooner is a recognized expert in financial services regulation. She has authored numerous articles addressing both the domestic and international challenges in regulating the banking and securities industries. She recently co-authored a textbook on international bank regulation: Global Bank Regulation: Principles and Policies (with Michael W. Taylor). Professor Schooner serves regularly as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and to various federal and state agencies. She teaches courses in banking law, corporations, contracts, and commercial law. Professor Schooner joined the law faculty at the Columbus School of Law in 1993. She has been a visiting professor at Suffolk University Law School and at George Washington University Law School. As a practicing lawyer, Professor Schooner was acting general counsel of First American Metro Corp., a bank holding company. She also practiced in the General Counsel's Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission and as an associate with a private law firm. Professor Schooner received her bachelor's degree from Duke University with honors and juris doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.


Bernard S. Sharfman is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at GW Law and an adjunct professor of business law at both The George Washington University School of Business and the George Mason School of Management. Mr. Sharfman was formerly of counsel with Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld &Toll PLLC. His research focuses on corporate law and governance, and his most recent article, "Why Proxy Access is Harmful to Corporate Governance", will soon be published in the Journal of Corporation Law. Some of his other articles include: "Using the Law to Reduce Systemic Risk", Journal of Corporation Law, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 607-634 (2011); "How the Strong Negotiating Position of Wall Street Employees Impacts the Corporate Governance of Financial Firms", Virginia Law & Business Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 349-375 (2011); and "Enhancing the Efficiency of Board Decision Making: Lessons Learned from the Financial Crisis of 2008", Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 813-851 (2009). Mr. Sharfman is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 2000) where he was an Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics and the recipient of the journal’s Saint Thomas More Award.


Nicola Faith Sharpe is an Assistant Professor and Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Scholar at the University of Illinois College of Law. She teaches business law courses, including business associations, antitrust, and corporate governance. Her scholarship relies on management theories, such as organizational behavior and organizational strategy, to analyze how efforts to regulate modern business practices are limited by an incomplete conception of the firm, particularly an incomplete conception of how corporate boards and executive management interact. Select publications include “The Unfulfilled Promise of the Independent Corporate Board of Directors: An Inadequate and Incomplete Solution,” which is a forthcoming symposium essay in the Seattle University Law Review; “Rethinking Board Function in the Wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis” in the Maryland Journal of Business and Technology Law; and “Corporate Cooperation through Cost-Sharing” in the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review. Prior to joining the University of Illinois, Professor Sharpe served as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law.


Stuart Shroff is a Master of Laws student at The George Washington University Law School and will be graduating in 2010. He received his J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and served on the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law as an Executive Articles Editor. Prior to attending GW Law, Mr. Shroff practiced as an attorney in both commercial real estate and litigation in New York. Mr. Shroff has written papers on financial regulatory reform, served as a panelist on financial instruments, and is active in several bar associations including the American Bar Association, New York County Lawyers’ Association, and the District of Columbia Bar Association. He is presently serving as a Staff Attorney to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.


Michael Simkovic is at Associate Professor at Seton Hall Law School. Before joining the Seton Hall faculty, he was an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York concentrating in bankruptcy litigation and was a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company specializing in legal, regulatory, and business issues affecting financial services companies. Professor Simkovic’s research focuses on the regulation of credit markets through the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the regulation of financial markets in general through mandatory disclosure requirements. His research was cited in the U.S. Congress’s Joint Economic Committee report on credit card reform, which was enacted in 2009. His research also has been cited by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and in popular publications such as the New York Times and USA Today.


Alan M. White is a Professor at Valaparaiso University School of Law. He teaches consumer law, commercial law, comparative law, and contracts. His expertise is in credit regulation and the mortgage market. Professor White is a past member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council and recently was elected as a member of the American Law Institute. He has published a number of research papers and articles on housing, credit, and consumer law issues, and he has testified before Congress and at federal agency hearings on the foreclosure crisis, bankruptcy reform, and predatory mortgage lending. He was previously a supervising attorney at the North Philadelphia office of Community Legal Services, Inc.; a fellow with the National Consumer Law Center in Boston; and an adjunct professor at Temple University and Drake University law schools. Professor White received a B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.


David Zaring is Assistant Professor of Law at the Wharton School of Business. His research is focused on international economic regulation and domestic financial regulation. He has published articles in the NYU, Michigan, Virginia, and UCLA law reviews, and in peer-reviewed journals, including the Annual Review of Law & Social Science, the Journal of Tort Law and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. He clerked on the D.C. Circuit, worked at the Department of Justice, and was educated at Harvard Law School and Swarthmore College.


Luize Zubrow is Professor Emeritus of Law at The George Washington University Law School. She joined the Law School faculty in 1981. Her teaching, research, and consulting interests focus on issues of bankruptcy and secured transactions. She has twice received the Law School's Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Before joining the faculty, Professor Zubrow practiced law with Covington & Burling and clerked for Judge James E. Doyle of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin and for Judge Thomas E. Fairchild of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.


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