Thomas Merrill is the Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law at Columbia Law School where he focuses on property and administrative law. He serves as an Associate Reporter on ALI’s Restatement of Property project.
He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun and for Judge David L. Bazelon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then served as Deputy Solicitor General from 1987-1990. He previously taught at Northwestern Law School (1981-2003) and Yale Law School (2008-2010).
In the property law area, he has authored, with Henry Smith of Harvard, a series of articles relating the structure of property rights to information costs (“Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle," Yale Law Journal 2000), as well as a leading casebook (“Property: Principles and Policies,” 2012).
He also wrote a series of studies, with Joseph Kearney of Marquette, on the role of public property rights in the development of the Chicago lakefront and a variety of writings on constitutional property. He has also written a number of pieces about the history of administrative law.
EDUCATION: Grinnell College, B.A.; Oxford University, B.A.; University of Chicago Law School, J.D.