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New Institute for Law and Rationality

In Fall 2006, the Law School created the Institute for Law and Rationality, one of four new institutes.  Under the direction of Claire Hill, the Institute considers how cognition, emotion, and empathy can do and inform law and policymaking.

The Institute for Law and Rationality promotes interdisciplinary collaborations between law and other disciplines in the social sciences, such as psychology, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, and neuroeconomics; its aim is to work towards the development of a model of human behavior that lawmakers can use to ground public policy. The Institute will hold seminars and conferences, and will host distinguished visitors.

The Institute for Law and Rationality hosted University of Virginia Psychology Professor Barbara Anne Spellman for a three-week visit in Fall 2006.  Professor Spellman gave two talks.  One was entitled Why Psychology and Law Doesn’t Equal Law and Psychology (and what we can do about it.)  Professor Spellman also debated Professor Fred Schauer (of the Kennedy School at Harvard University) on the subject of analogy.  Among the Institute’s forthcoming activities are: a weekly behavioral law and economics workshop for faculty and students, to be held in the Spring of 2007, and a symposium entitled Self and Other: Cognitive Perspectives on Trust, Empathy, and the Self, to be held on April 6-7, 2007 at the University of Minnesota Law School.  Symposium participants will include leading scholars from law, political science, psychology, and economics; symposium papers will be published in a special symposium issue of the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. 

For more information about the Institute for Law & Rationality click [here].


Claire A. Hill
University of Minnesota Law School

Advisory Board

Avner Ben-Ner
Carlson School of Management,
University of Minnesota

Richard Brooks  
Yale Law School 

Mary Anne Case
The Law School,
University of Chicago

Don Langevoort 
School of Law,
Georgetown University

George Loewenstein
Department of Social and Decision Sciences,
Carnegie Mellon University

Geoffrey Miller
The New York University
School of Law

Frederick Schauer
Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard Unversity

Barbara Anne Spellman
Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

 Special Assistant to the Institute

Julie Hunt
University of Minnesota Law School