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W&L Law Professors Franck, Fairfield Elected to American Law Institute

Washington and Lee School of Law professors Susan Franck and Joshua Fairfield have been elected to the American Law Institute, the most prestigious law reform body in the U.S.

The American Law Institute (ALI) is focused on producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. It has a membership of over 4o00 judges, lawyers, and teachers from all areas of the U.S. and many foreign companies. Among its projects, the ALI publishes restatements of basic legal subjects to inform the legal profession of what the law is, or should be, in a particular subject.

Susan Franck joined the W&L faculty in 2008. Her teaching and scholarship relates to international economic law and dispute resolution. She has presented her research to major government and international organizations including the U.S. Dept. of State, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the International American Development Bank (IADB), the International Centre for Settlement if Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the United Nations Commission on Trade and Investment (UNCTAD).

Most recently, she presented her work on empirical assessments of investment arbitration at the prestigious Arbitration Academy in Paris. Franck is among the youngest scholars ever to be invited to present in the history of the Academy.

Before entering the legal academy, Franck practiced in the area of international economic dispute resolution on both sides of the Atlantic. From 1999-2001, Professor Franck was an associate in Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering’s International Group in Washington, D.C. where she was involved with various proceedings, including international trade disputes, commercial litigation regarding defaulted sovereign debt and one of the first investment treaty arbitrations against the Czech Republic. From 2002-2004, Professor Franck was a senior associate in the International Arbitration Group at Allen & Overy in London, England, where she represented investors and sovereign states in arbitrations involving breaches of investment treaties and underlying commercial agreements.

Franck received her B.A., summa cum laude, in Psychology and Political Science from Macalester College in 1993 and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Professor Franck received a U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Grant to study international dispute resolution at the University of London where she received an LL.M. with merit.

Joshua Fairfield is a nationally recognized scholar on law, governance, economics, and intelligence issues related to technology. He has written on the law and regulation of e-commerce and online contracts and on the application of standard economic models to virtual environments. He has also written on the ethical and legal issues involved in the growth of human subject experimentation within virtual worlds.

Fairfield’s current research focuses on privacy models in social media networks. He was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study privacy law in the U.S. and European contexts at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, Germany.

Fairfield regularly consults with the U.S. government, including the White House Office of Technology and the Homeland Security Privacy Office, on national security, privacy, and law enforcement within virtual worlds and as well as on strategies for protecting children online. His research in this latter area was cited in a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission examining risks to children who enter virtual worlds.

Before earning his JD magna cum laude from the University of Chicago in 2001, Fairfield directed the development of the award winning Rosetta Stone Language Library, a leading language teaching software program for educational institutions. After law school, Professor Fairfield clerked for Judge Danny J. Boggs at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He then joined Jones Day in Columbus, Ohio, where he litigated cases in commercial law and software/technology law.

New ALI members are selected based on professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law. Franck and Fairfield join several other W&L Law faculty who are already members, including professors Doug Rendleman, Rick Kirgis, Margaret Howard, Tim Jost, Lyman Johnson, Brian Murchison, Erik Luna, Ben Spencer and Dean Nora Demleitner.