Clinton William Francis

Francis, Clinton William

Professor of Law

Phone: (312) 503-6484

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Related Links: Center for Legal Studies

Professor Clinton Francis is a tenured member of the Northwestern University School of Law faculty. He teaches and researches in the areas of Intellectual Property, E-Commerce, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy. Professor Francis has specialized in computer-assisted instruction and has developed several business simulation software. Most recently he has formed a business venture for partnering law firms with Northwestern University for the production and delivery of online legal instruction for corporations and professionals. He has published articles in the area of Intellectual Property, Commercial Law and Legal History. He has also conducted an online salon dealing with Intellectual Property, as well as distance learning, Business Simulation courses.

Professor Francis obtained his initial legal training in New Zealand, where he completed LLB and LLM degrees and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the New Zealand Supreme Court. After teaching for several years at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Professor Francis completed a doctorate in law (SJD) at the University of Virginia Law School, with scholarships from the Fulbright and Dupont Foundations. He came to Northwestern from University of California Berkeley Law School, where he taught as an associate. Since joining the Northwestern University School of Law faculty in 1978, Professor Francis has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards and has served on and chaired a variety of University and Law School committees.

Professor Francis currently serves on the Board of Advisors for two corporations: LogicJunction and Near North National Group.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Bankruptcy
  • Commercial Law
  • E-Commerce
  • Legal History
  • Intellectual Property
  • Property Law
  • Payment Systems

Selected Publications

  • Language System (LS) 3.0: An Agenda for a Model of Innovation Valuation in The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Biotechnology Innovation (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009).


  • LLB with honors, Victoria University
  • LLM with honors, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • SJD, University of Virginia

Prior Appointments

  • Harry B. Reese Teaching Professorship, 1995-1996, Law Department, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Associate Professor of Law, 1982-1985, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Assistant Professor of Law, 1978-1982, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Law Associate, 1977-1978, Boalt Hall, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
  • Junior Lecturer, 1974-1975, Law Department, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand