Dr Robert E. Scott ’62


2007 Dr Robert E. Scott ’62


Robert Scott is a nationally renowned teacher and scholar in the fields of contracts, commercial law, and bankruptcy. He has co-authored five books on contracts and commercial transactions, is the author of more than three dozen scholarly articles, and is widely recognised for setting the standard for the economic analysis of the law of contracts.

Robert earned his Bachelor’s degree cum laude from Oberlin College and in 1968 graduated from the William & Mary School of Law, where he had the highest academic average in his class. He earned an SJD from the University of Michigan in 1973, after which he joined the law faculty at William & Mary. In 1974 he joined the Virginia School of Law faculty, where he taught from 1974 to 2006, serving as Dean from 1991 to 2001. Under his leadership, the school completed a $203-million capital campaign in 2000. He also spearheaded the most ambitious building project in the school’s history, a $30-million renovation of the David A. Harrison III Law Grounds, completed in 1997, followed by a $7-million law student-faculty meeting and dining centre, completed in 2002 and named Scott Commons. Robert also instituted the Mary Morton Parsons Seminars in Ethical Values, a programme that provides insights into the moral and ethical responsibilities of the lawyer.


In April 2000, the University of Virginia established the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professorship in Law, made possible by support from more than 250 of his colleagues on the faculty, alumni and friends of the school, who committed $1.9 million for the professorship. In 2004 Robert was awarded the University of Virginia’s highest honour, the Thomas Jefferson Award, for his ‘integrity and honor, bold and skillful leadership, unfailing civility, and uncompromising excellence, qualities that have distinguished Mr Scott’s tenure as dean and his thirty-five years of teaching and scholarship’.


Robert joined the Columbia Law School faculty in July 2006, having been a frequent visiting professor there, most recently as Justin W. D’Atri Visiting Professor of Law, Business and Society from 2001 to 2006.


Robert served a number of times as Chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ sections on Contract Law, Law and Economics, and Commercial and Consumer Law. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and has been a fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 1993.