Christopher Odinet

Professor of Law & Mosbacher Research Fellow


Christopher Odinet

Get to Know Christopher K. Odinet

What drew you to the law?

I was fascinated by how the law provides a set of rules that allows a society to function in an orderly manner, balancing individual rights with collective responsibilities. Property law in particular captivated me - the idea that clear, enforceable rules around ownership create stability and certainty, enabling commerce, investment, and economic development, while at the same time providing enough flexibility to adapt to changing conditions. Unpacking the theoretical underpinnings and real-world impacts of property rights sparked my passion for understanding how the law shapes human behavior and societal progress. Becoming a lawyer allowed me to engage with these concepts through representing clients in a transactional setting.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

What I enjoy most about teaching is guiding students through the process of piecing together the pieces that comprise a particular area of the law to reveal the overarching logical framework and coherent system underneath. At first, the numerous cases, statutes, and principles can seem like a scattered puzzle. But as we methodically explore each component and how they fit into the whole, you can see comprehension dawn on their faces. Seeing that "aha" moment when the parts finally coalesce into one coordinated, fascinating system is incredibly rewarding. This is particularly true in my finance-related courses - it’s so gratifying to see the light bulb go off as students start to understand why things that they’ve taken for granted around them in the economy are just so.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

What I hope students ultimately gain from my courses is an appreciation for how commercial and financial law profoundly impact social and economic justice outcomes. While these areas of law may seem technical and divorced from the public interest, they in fact regulate the flow of capital and economic power in society. For students concerned about equality, workers' rights, consumer protection, and equitable access to housing, education, and other key determinants of wellbeing, commercial and financial law should be seen as critical levers. How we structure rules around lending, bankruptcy, corporate governance, and the creation and transfer of wealth reverberates throughout the economy and social fabric. By developing a sophisticated grasp of these legal regimes, students can become effective advocates for reforms that combat exploitation, discriminatory practices, and the unfair and anti-competitive concentration of resources and influence. I aim to impart not just doctrinal knowledge, but a wider vision of how private law shapes our public life and material realities in ways both conspicuous and subtle.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I was a lawyer at the law firm of Phelps Dunbar, LLP. I practiced in the business and finance group, and helped to represent banks, financial institutions, and real estate development companies. I was a transactional lawyer, which I loved it. The structuring of deals and legal relationships across a variety of transactions was really challenging and fulfilling.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

I've come to really love the game of pickleball in recent years. I'm far from good at it…. “competently decent” is probably the best I can say, but I love it. When I'm not embarrassing myself on the pickleball courts, I also love to travel to new places and immerse myself in different cultures. Though I'll admit, my idea of "immersive travel" usually involves systematically eating my way through the local cuisine (I have a very intense sweet tooth). I try to burn off some of those calories at the gym.

What are your research interests?

My primary focus in recent years has been on the intersection of commercial/property law and digital assets. This can be best seen by my current work-in-progress book project now under contract with Oxford University Press. The book is being written with Professor Andrea Tosato and is titled Digital Commercial Law: The Importance of Private Law in a World of Tokens, Platforms, and Automation, which explores the way emerging digital technologies are transforming and challenging our existing private law institutions. These transformations and challenges arise from a diverse array of transactions and structures, including the securitization of financial assets into tokens; digital securities trading and settlement; and transactions involving cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Our analysis pinpoints two fundamental issues. First, the response to this surge of novel transactions and business models by lawmakers, regulators, lawyers, and academics has predominantly been through the lens of financial regulation, emphasizing a public law perspective. This results in an immediate focus on crafting rules and standards to dictate what parties can and cannot do, often neglecting the private law dimension with only a cursory glance and sweeping generalizations. Secondly, when those shaping the legal framework for digital commerce have considered private law, their attention has primarily centered on contractual arrangements. Property law has faded into the background, with an erroneous assumption that contracts are all-powerful in digital asset transactions. Courts frequently rely on contract terms as their guiding principle in disputes involving digital transactions, lacking independent scrutiny of contract boundaries, enforcement of mandatory property law rules, and maintenance of harmony among private law's constituent parts.
Additionally, I’m currently working on an empirical project that studies the bankruptcy filings of homeowners associations (HOAs). This study will use a dataset of HOA chapter 11 filings comprised of association financials, creditor information, and insolvency proceeding records. By peeling back the layers of financial complexity, we aim to show the root causes behind HOAs’ financial distress, be it mismanagement, insufficient reserves, external pressures, or unexpected catastrophes.


Link to my publications.


Presentations are listed on my CV.


  • Property Law
  • Commercial Finance
  • Consumer Finance Law
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Banking & Financial Regulation
  • Digital Asset/Crypto Transactions & Regulation

Academic Experience

  • Josephine R. Witte Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Iowa (2020-2024)
  • Associate Professor of Law, University of Oklahoma (2018-2020)
  • Horatio C. Thompson Assistant Professor of Law, Southern University Law Center (2013-2018)


  • JD, Louisiana State University
  • BA, Louisiana State University