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April 2, 2004

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications, (512) 471.7330
Center contact: Ronald Mann, Director, Center for Law, Business, and Economics, UT Law, 512-232-1301

UT Launches the Center for Law, Business, and Economics

Ronald J. Mann
Ronald J. Mann

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas School of Law has launched the Center for Law, Business, and Economics under the direction of Professor Ronald Mann. The center fosters research on a variety of topics at the intersections among law, business, and economics.

Among other things, the Center will hold an annual workshop series where distinguished academics will present interdisciplinary research on issues relating to business, finance or economics. Each year, the workshop will focus on a different topic. In the upcoming year, the workshop will focus on Innovation. The Center expects that the workshop will include papers by, among others, scholars from Harvard, Michigan, and Berkeley. Mann explains, "One of the main reasons for starting the center is the ability to use it to offer the workshop course for our students. I can bring to the campus some outstanding speakers from other universities, and my students can get an opportunity to interact with those speakers on a high intellectual level. I think that will be highly rewarding."

The Center also issues working papers by faculty members writing in areas relevant to the Center’s mission ( In addition, the Center will offer student fellowships on a competitive basis. The fellows are expected to take the workshop and produce a scholarly paper of publishable quality on a topic related to the Center’s activities. The School expects this program will be particularly beneficial to students hoping to pursue careers in teaching.

More broadly, the Center is designed to enrich the Law School’s curriculum in areas related to its mission. In addition to bolstering the course offerings in the traditional law and economics areas, the Center expects to design and add to the curriculum in the years to come a number of courses focused directly on the special challenges of business and transactional practice, building on the experience of a number of existing Center faculty in those areas. Similarly, the Center plans to serve as a clearinghouse to facilitate access to courses providing a background in quantitative empirical analysis and courses providing a background in economics or finance theory. Those projects reflect the view that well-educated lawyers in the decades to come need to know more about things that often are absent from a traditional law school curriculum.

Mann, the William Stamps Farish Professor in Law, has written extensively in the areas related to the Center’s mission and is a frequent presenter at the annual meeting of the American Law and Economics Association. His current research focuses on software development, credit cards, and on policies for payment systems used in electronic commerce. He has published textbooks, on Electric Commerce (with Jane Winn) and on Payment Systems. He teaches various courses related to commercial transactions, intellectual property, and electronic commerce. He is a member of the American Law Institute, recently served as the reporter for amendments to Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and is an accomplished appellate advocate. Mann received his law degree in 1985 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated first in his class and was managing editor of the Texas Law Review. After law school he clerked for Judge Joseph T. Sneed, '47, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Lewis F. Powell of the U.S. Supreme Court and was an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States.

For more information about the Center go to

Related Links:
Professor Mann’s web site biography:
UT Law Expert Offers Broad-Ranging Critique of Credit Card Policy, Nov. 19:
UT Law Launches Law & Economics Working Paper Series:
Ronald Mann Tapped for Akard Lecture:
UT Law Hires Leading Business Law Professor from Michigan: