Notre Dame Law School awards endowed professorships to Paul Miller and Jeff Pojanowski

Author: Denise Wager

Paul Miller and Jeff Pojanowski

Notre Dame Law Professors Paul Miller and Jeffrey Pojanowski have been appointed to endowed professorships.

In making the announcement, Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law G. Marcus Cole said, "Endowed chairs symbolize a distinctive recognition and investment in our most accomplished faculty members. Paul and Jeff have earned these appointments through exceptional contributions to their respective fields and unwavering dedication to teaching and our students. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the generous benefactors, specifically the Short and Biolchini families, whose continued support has made these professorships possible."

Paul Miller
Paul Miller

Miller, who serves as the associate dean for International and Graduate Programs, will be the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law. Miller joined the law school in 2017. He teaches and researches in private law theory, concentrating on broader aspects of jurisprudence and exploring philosophical questions in equity, fiduciary law, trust law, agency, and corporate law. Since coming to Notre Dame he has been instrumental in his work developing the Law School’s Global Lawyering Initiative, making substantial contributions to both its expansion and key initiatives. Miller also serves as the director of the Notre Dame Program on Private Law.

He has authored numerous books and serves as the co-editor for the book series “Oxford Private Law Theory,” a permanent book series established by Oxford University Press, and the associated series “Oxford Studies in Private Law Theory.” He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Jurisprudence.

Miller previously taught in Montreal at McGill University and Queen’s University Faculty of Law and has held visiting appointments at Bucerius Law School, the University of Melbourne, Université Paris II – Panthéon-Assas, Peking University, and Tel Aviv University.

"Paul Miller is one of the most prolific legal scholars in the world. He has earned an international reputation as one of the world's leading scholars in the field of Private Law Theory. He is equally widely regarded as the leading scholar in the field of fiduciary law. His international training and experience in Jurisprudence has made him one of the few North American legal scholars who is held in the highest esteem in Continental Europe, as well as Africa and Latin America,” said Cole. “His level of distinction in just one area of law would warrant recognition with an endowed University chair. Paul Miller is the truly rare scholar who has earned recognition at the apex of three distinct fields of law. I am honored that I have gotten to work closely with him in building the Notre Dame Law School Global Lawyering Initiative, which bears his intellectual fingerprint."

The Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law was a gift from the late Robert E. Short and his late wife, Marion, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Short was a longtime supporter of Notre Dame and served as a member of the Law School Advisory Council from 1974 until his death in 1982. Their son Brian Short ‘72, ‘75 J.D. currently serves on the Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council. The Robert and Marion Short fund also endows the chair held by Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell.

"I am humbled and deeply grateful to the University, the Law School, Dean Cole, Provost McGreevy, and my colleagues for this recognition. I feel truly blessed to be at Notre Dame and to have the support of the Robert and Marion Short Chair for my research on private law theory and comparative private law. I would also like to thank the family of Robert and Marion Short for their steadfast support of the University of Notre Dame,” said Miller.

Jeff Pojanowski
Jeff Pojanowski

Pojanowski has been named the new Biolchini Family Professor of Law. He joined the faculty in 2010 and was promoted to full professor in 2015. He is a legal expert in the fields of administrative law, jurisprudence, legal interpretation, and torts. His current research focus is on natural law and interpretive theory. He has written extensively on tort law and the nature of the common law and has been published in several leading law journals. Pojanowski also serves as co-editor of “The American Journal of Jurisprudence.”

He was the lead organizer for the inaugural conference (with the Nanovic Institute of European Studies) of the Consortium of Catholic Law Schools last summer at John Paul II Catholic University in Poland. He was just named a McDonald Distinguished Senior Fellow at Emory's Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Pojanowski worked at Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C. He also served as a law clerk to then Judge John Roberts on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Jeff Pojanowski is one of the preeminent legal philosophers of our generation. He is widely acknowledged around the world for his penetrating intellect and his vision from within the framework of the tradition of the great Catholic legal theorists. But his work is not just “in the clouds." He is recognized as among the leading scholars in the United States with respect to both administrative law and private law. To be the leader in one field is difficult, but to be known as a leader in three distinct fields of law is what separates Jeff Pojanowski among the elite legal academics of our age,” said Cole.

Robert F. Biolchini and his wife Frances endowed the University's Biolchini Family Chair in Law in 1995. Biolchini was a 1962 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served on the Board of Trustees and the Law School Advisory Council. He passed away in 2017. In 2008 the Biolchini family underwrote the renovation of the law school’s building, which was renamed Biolchini Hall of Law. Biolchini Family Emeritus Professor of Law John Finnis was the first holder of the Biolchini chair.

"I am deeply grateful for the support the Biolchini family has given to Notre Dame Law School over the years. Their commitment to the Law School's mission of fostering distinctive, excellent Catholic legal education and scholarship is unsurpassed,” said Pojanowski. “I am also honored and, frankly, humbled to succeed Professor John M. Finnis as the holder of this chair. Professor Finnis is one of the greatest legal and moral philosophers in the past century; I cannot possibly fill his shoes. Nevertheless, I hope my work will help deepen our understanding of the relationships between natural law and human law--a tradition of inquiry that Professor Finnis has so importantly advanced."