Emily Kadens Elected to the American Law Institute


Scholarship Faculty

Emily Kadens, Professor of Law, has been elected as a new member of the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent U.S. organization producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. The elected membership of ALI consists of distinguished judges, lawyers and law professors from the U.S. and abroad.

“ALI’s membership is known for its judgment, collective experience, and analytic ability,” said ALI President David F. Levi, in a statement welcoming the Institute’s 31 new members.

“Emily Kadens is a leading scholar of the history of commercial law, and her influential and impressive work on custom and the nature of fraud and reputation is rooted in dedicated and painstaking archival research,” said Dean Kimberly A. Yuracko. “Her work reflects the American Law Institute’s mission to elucidate and improve the law.  Northwestern is fortunate to have her in our midst, and we are proud to share her with the ALI.”  

Kadens, who specializes in pre-modern Eurpean legal history, joined the Northwestern faculty in 2013. Her current research focuses on the historical problem of how custom functioned as law, the history of bankruptcy, and early modern commercial law. Her article on the history of judicial education in England won the 2010 Sutherland Prize from the American Society of Legal Historians for the best paper in English legal history, and her article on an early eighteenth-century bankruptcy scam won the 2011 Editors’ Prize from the American Bankruptcy Law Journal. In 2012, Kadens was a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress doing research on medieval theories of custom and for the Spring Semester of 2013 she received the Richard & Diane Cummins Legal History Research Grant at George Washington University Law School.  She teaches contracts, sales, Roman law, and legal history. 

“I am delighted and honored to join this important institution,” Kadens said. “I am especially excited about getting involved with the current development of the Restatement of Consumer Contracts.”

Kadens’s election makes her the ninth current Northwestern Law faculty member to join ALI. Other members are Ronald J. Allen, Bruce A. Markell, James E. Pfander, Martin H. Redish, Daniel B. Rodriguez, Deborah Tuerkheimer and Kimberly A. Yuracko.