Daniel B. Kelly

Daniel B. Kelly

Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate
Director, Law and Economics Program

Office: 3106 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-7690
Fax: 574-631-0653
Email: daniel.kelly@nd.edu
Staff Assistant: Beth Smith
CV: View
SSRN: View

Professor Dan Kelly teaches and writes in the areas of property law, real estate, remedies, and wills, trusts, and estates. Kelly has taught as a professor at Notre Dame since 2009, and he has been a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and the Louis D. Brandeis Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  He currently serves as the director of the University of Notre Dame's Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate and director of the Law School's Program on Law & Economics.  

Kelly’s research focuses on the economic analysis of property rights, including the acquisition and assembly of land for development, the division and use of property through contracts, leases, and trusts, and the transfer of property at death. His research on eminent domain and land assembly has appeared in the Cornell Law Review, Harvard Law Review Forum, Supreme Court Economic Review, and Research Handbook on the Economic Analysis of Property Law.  He has presented two articles at the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum: “Strategic Spillovers,” published in the Columbia Law Review, and “The Right to Include,” published in the Emory Law Journal. His recent publications include “Fiduciary Principles in Fact-Based Fiduciary Relationships” in the Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law (2019) and “Law and Economics” in the Oxford Handbook of The New Private Law (2020), a volume he co-edited with Andrew Gold, John Goldberg, Emily Sherwin, and Henry Smith.

Kelly serves the Director of the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, an interdisciplinary, University-wide initiative involving faculty, students, and alumni from Arts & Letters, Architecture, Business, Engineering, and Law. The Fitzgerald Institute fosters research on real estate investment, development, and law, housing and urban economics, real estate technology and construction, and Church properties.  The Institute also supports academic and industry programs, including a minor in Real Estate for undergraduate students, courses for graduate and professional students, and conferences, events, and networking opportunities for faculty, students, and industry partners. 

A member of the American Law Institute, Kelly is an Associate Reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of Property.  He is a frequent lecturer on property law at the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Law Institute.  At the Law School, Kelly also serves as the faculty advisor for the Program of Study in Real Estate Law and the Real Estate Law Society.   

Before joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Kelly was a judicial clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City, and a research fellow at Yale and Harvard. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Notre Dame.

Courses Taught

LAW60906, Property

LAW70203, Remedies

LAW70507, Trusts and Estates

LAW73145, Law and Economics Seminar

LAW73524, Property Theory Seminar


Law and Economics, in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Trust Laws (Mark Bennett, Lusina Ho, Adam Hofri, & Richard Nolan eds., Oxford University Press 2024)

On Disgorgement and Punitive Damages in Trust Law, 107 Iowa Law Review 2079-2133 (2022).

Law and Economics, in Oxford Handbook of The New Private Law (Andrew S. Gold, John C.P. Goldberg, Daniel B. Kelly, Emily L. Sherwin, & Henry E. Smith eds., Oxford University Press 2020).

Fiduciary Principles in Fact-Based Fiduciary Relationships, in Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law 3-22 (Evan J. Criddle, Paul B. Miller, & Robert H. Sitkoff eds., Oxford University Press 2019).

Dividing Possessory Rights, in Law and Economics of Possession 175-206 (Yun-Chien Chang ed., Cambridge University Press 2015).

The Right to Include, 63 Emory Law Journal 857-924 (2014).

Restricting Testamentary Freedom: Ex Ante Versus Ex Post Justifications, 82 Fordham Law Review 1125-1185 (2013).

Strategic Spillovers, 111 Columbia Law Review 1641-1721 (2011).

Acquiring Land Through Eminent Domain: Justifications, Limitations, and Alternatives, in Research Handbook on the Economic Analysis of Property Law 344-371 (Kenneth Ayotte & Henry E. Smith eds., Edward Elgar 2011).

Pretextual Takings: Of Private Developers, Local Governments, and Impermissible Favoritism, 17 Supreme Court Economic Review 173-235 (2009).

The Limitations of Majoritarian Land Assembly, 122 Harvard Law Review Forum 7-17 (2009).

The “Public Use” Requirement in Eminent Domain Law: A Rationale Based on Secret Purchases and Private Influence, 92 Cornell Law Review 1-65 (2006).

Areas of Expertise

  • Law & Economics
  • Property Law
  • Real Estate Law / Development
  • Trusts & Estates