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May 22, 2007

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or

Texas-Harvard Joint Conference on Commercial Realities Develops Young Scholars

AUSTIN, Texas—The third annual Joint Conference on Commercial Realities, sponsored by The University of Texas School of Law and Harvard Law School, was held this spring in Austin to train young scholars in empirical and comparative commercial law.

The closed conference, held at the UT Law School in mid-April, included 20 participants from universities and colleges across the United States from Columbia to UCLA and Michigan to Texas. UT Law participants included Professors A. Mechele Dickerson, Ronald J. Mann and Jay L. Westbrook.

For years, very few people in the legal academy engaged in empirical scholarship, gathering and studying data about the actual functioning of the law. In recent years the empirical approach has emerged as a major force in the nation’s law schools, challenging the traditional preoccupation with abstract legal theory.

The Joint Conference on Commercial Realities provides an opportunity for commercial-law scholars who have been in teaching less than 10 years to gather and offer papers in a small-group setting, with the help of senior scholars. The emphasis is on constructive criticism and technical help.

The UT Law School expresses its special appreciation to Evelyn Biery, a nationally recognized bankruptcy expert at Fulbright and Jaworski, and to the following firms for their sponsorship of the joint conference: AlixPartners LLP, Alvarez & Marsal, Cox Smith Matthews Inc., Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Grant Thornton LLP, Greenberg Traurig LLP and Greenberg Traurig PA, Haynes and Boone LLP, Jones Day, Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr PC, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and Winstead PC.

For more information about the joint conference go to: