Law Review
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Northwestern University Law Review : Symposia


Join us May 22 & 23, 2014

Symposium on Institutional Design and General Welfare

The focus of the symposium will be on the relationship between institutional design and the general welfare. Can constitutional and other political institutions be used to further welfare goals like economic growth? Or is providing a framework for resolving social conflict the most we can accomplish through institutional design? The symposium will attempt to bring together insights on these questions from economists, legal scholars, and political scientists.

Thursday, May 22 - Friday, May 23, 2014
McCormick Hall #381 (Cutting Hall)
350 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL

This symposium is supported by the Gordon Symposia Fund, established in 1996 by the Gordon family, Northwestern alumni, and friends to honor the memory of Irving Gordon, a graduate of the class of 1947, and a beloved faculty member of the Law School from 1966 until his death in 1994.

Thursday, May 22

3:00 - 3:15 Northwestern Law Review Introduction
3:15 - 4:15 Session One
The Role of Constitutional Text in Creating Self-stabilizing Constitutions: A Tour of the Takings Clause
  • Barry Weingast, Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Stanford University, Department of Political Science
  • Tonja Jacobi, Professor of Law, Affiliated Faculty, Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Sonia Mittal
4:30 - 5:30 Session Two
The Relationship between De Jure and De Facto Property Rights
Mila Versteeg, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

Friday, May 23

8:30 - 9:30 Session Three
Optimal Abuse of Power
Adrian Vermeule, John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
9:45 - 10:45 Session Four
Norms and the Enforcement of Laws
Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics
11:00 - 12:00 Session Five
In Defense of Faction
Jide Nzelibe, Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Affiliated Faculty, Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, Northwestern University School of Law
1:00 - 2:00 Session Six
Does Institutional Design Make a Difference?
Steven G. Calabresi, Clayton J. and Henry R. Barber Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
2:00 Adjourn

Sponsored by

Past Symposia

2013: "100 Years Under the Income Tax"

On April 5, 2013, the Tax Program at Northwestern and Northwestern University Law Review held a symposium on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the income tax.


Expectations: The motivation and rhetoric behind the federal income tax

  • Professor Robin Einhorn
  • Professor Erik Jensen
  • Professor Marjorie E. Kornhauser
  • Moderator: Dr. Joe Thorndike

Realities: How has the structure of the income tax evolved?

  • Professor Anuj C. Desai
  • Professor Henry Ordower
  • Professor Tracey M. Roberts
  • Moderator: Professor Robert Peroni

Complications in implementation and some unintended consequences

  • Professor Stephanie McMahon
  • Professor Brian Galle
  • Moderator: Professor David Cameron

The Past and the Future: A focus on corporate taxation

  • Professor Adam Rosenzweig
  • Professor Stephanie Hoffer
  • Professor Dale Oesterle
  • Moderator: Jeffrey Sheffield, Lecturer, NULS Tax Program and Kirkland & Ellis

2012: "Festschrift in Honor of Professor Martin H. Redish"

On March 30, 2012, Northwestern University and the Northwestern University Law Review held a symposium celebrating the career of Professor Martin H. Redish.


The conference featured three academic panels: Federal Jurisdiction, Civil Procedure, and Constitutional Law.

The participants included:

Civil Procedure Panel:

  • Professor Richard D. Freer
  • Professor Richard Marcus
  • Professor Linda S. Mullenix
  • Professor Jay Tidmarsh
  • Moderator: Professor James Pfander

Constitutional Law Panel:

  • Professor Lawrence C. Alexander
  • Professor Corey Brettschneider
  • Professor Andrew M. Koppelman
  • Professor Eugene Volokh
  • Moderator: Professor Stephen B. Presser

Federal Jurisdiction Panel:

  • Professor Erwin Chemerinsky
  • Professor Richard H. Fallon
  • The Honorable Alex Kozinski
  • Professor William P. Marshall
  • Moderator: Steven Calabresi

Tribute Panel:

  • Mr. Matthew Arnould
  • Professor Andrew I. Gavil
  • Professor Andrea M. Matwyshyn
  • Ms. Abby M. Mollen
  • Professor Howard M. Wasserman
  • Professor Christopher S. Yoo

2011: "The Legacy of Justice Stevens"

Forthcoming Pieces Include:

  • Diane Marie Amann's symposium article, Justice Stevens, Originalist
  • Bill Barnhart's symposium article, Justice Stevens and the News Media: An Exercise in Exposition
  • Alan E. Brownstein's symposium article, Continuing the Constitutional Dialogue: A Discussion of Justice Stevens' Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Jurisprudence
  • Steven G. Calabresi's symposium article, The Rise and Fall of the Separation of Powers
  • Erwin Chemerinsky's symposium article, A Fixture on a Changing Court: Justice Stevens and the Establishment Clause
  • Co-authors Lee Epstein, William M. Landes, and Judge Richard A. Posner's symposium article, Unanimous Decisions in the Supreme Court
  • Aziz Huq's symposium article, The Institution Matching Canon
  • Dawn Johnsen's symposium article on Justice Stevens' on the terrorism cases
  • Andrew M. Koppelman's symposium article, Justice Stevens, Religious Enthusiast
  • Simon Lazarus's symposium article, Stripping the Gears of National Government: Justice Stevens' Stand Against Judicial Subversion of Progressive Laws and Lawmaking
  • Stefanie A. Lindquist's symposium article, Supreme Court Prequel: Justice Stevens on the Seventh Circuit
  • Thomas W. Merrill's symposium article, Justice Stevens and the Chevron Puzzle

To view videos from the symposium or for more information please see "The Legacy of Justice Stevens."

2010:  "Political Science and the Law"

2009:  "Maturing Internet Studies"

2008:  "Original Ideas on Originalism"

2007:  "Ordering State-Federal Relations Through Federal Preemption Doctrine"

2006:  "Censorship and Institutional Review Boards"

2005:  "The First Century: Celebrating 100 Years of Legal Scholarship"