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Edited by Ross B. Emmett
Chapter 11: Richard A. Posner
Steven G. Medema* Richard A. Posner (1939–) was born on January 11, 1939 in New York City. He received his BA from Yale College (1959) and his LLD from Harvard Law School (1962), where he served as President of the Law Review. The period following his graduation was spent in Washington, DC, first clerking for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. and then working in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Posner was appointed Associate Professor of Law at Stanford in 1968 and it was there that he came into contact with Aaron Director, who exposed him to the economic approach to analyzing legal rules. Posner moved on to the University of Chicago law school in 1969. Since 1981, he has served as a Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, including as Chief Judge from 1993 until 2000. During his tenure on the Court, Posner has continued both to teach regularly at Chicago and to publish at a prolific rate. It would surely not be an overstatement to rank Posner among the foremost legal scholars of the second half of the twentieth century. For if, as both its advocates and critics acknowledge, the law and economics movement ranks as the most significant development in jurisprudential analysis during this period, Posner, as the leading presence in this movement in scholarship and on the bench, deserves much of the credit. His Economic Analysis of Law, now in its seventh edition, served both to develop the subject well...
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