What drew you to the law?
I can’t say it was “in my blood,” as to this day I don’t know of any other lawyers to whom I’m related. That may be why I didn’t seriously consider law school while I was an undergraduate. About a year after graduating from college, however, I looked back at the activities and courses I enjoyed, and I realized that lawyers were the people doing the work I liked the most. From there, I charged full speed ahead into law school and never looked back. That turned out to be the best career move I ever made.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Interaction with my students is what makes teaching a joy. Teaching law in particular is fantastic because our courses provide opportunities for the stimulation of classroom discussion along with a setting to get to know students one-on-one. Law school is challenging, but back when I was a student I also thought law school was interesting and even fun. I still think that today. My hope is that I can instill some of that enthusiasm in the students I teach.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
I want my students to embrace the fact that being a great lawyer requires committing yourself to lifelong learning. You’ll never know everything there is to know about the law, but you can acquire valuable skills and habits that will enable you to handle legal issues beyond your existing knowledge. That constant newness is part of what makes law an exciting career.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
I spent eight years in private practice in settings ranging from a large national firm to partnership in a specialized boutique firm. My most substantial experience was in business and commercial litigation and related transactions, including representation of financial institutions victimized by kiting and other negotiable instrument fraud schemes. My practice sometimes involved advocacy for plaintiffs and creditors in complex and multi-district litigation. My time in practice is what stimulated my ongoing interest in contract and commercial law — both in avoiding disputes and in ways of effectively handling them.
What are you passionate about outside of the law?
Definitely family, as my wife and our three children are blessings that mean the world to me. As for hobbies, people are sometimes surprised to learn that one favorite of mine is video games, and I’m a huge fan of most things Nintendo. So when I get to share Mario and Zelda experiences with my kids, recreation time is fantastic.
What are your research interests?
Technology has brought both substantial benefits and substantial disruption to much of traditional law practice, and today’s law students need to prepare to both co-opt and surpass technology in delivering value to their clients. My research currently involves the future of law practice and legal pedagogy given these changes, especially in the area of contracts and commercial law.