John M. Conley joined the University of North Carolina law faculty in 1983 and is William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Law. His teaching and research interests include civil procedure, intellectual property, biotechnology and the law, social science and the law, and professional responsibility. He has written numerous books, articles, and chapters on law and language, professional and institutional culture, corporate behavior, the law of intellectual property as applied to emerging technologies, and scientific evidence. His current research involves an ethnographic and interview-based study of the emerging governance of gene editing. Since 1990, he has co-edited the Law and Society Book Series for the University of Chicago Press, which has also published several of his books. Most recently (2019), Chicago published the third edition of his law and language book Just Words: Law, Language, and Power. His articles have appeared in numerous law reviews as well as Science, Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Harvard Business Review, and a variety of other legal, scientific, and interdisciplinary journals.
Professor Conley attended Duke Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Law Journal and a member of the Order of the Coif. He also received a Ph.D. in anthropology from Duke. Before joining the law faculty, he practiced civil litigation for six years at Gaston Snow & Ely Bartlett in Boston and Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson of Charlotte and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. he has been of counsel to Robinson, Bradshaw sincxe 1983., where his proactice focuses on intellectual property and privacy law.