Thomas W. Merrill

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Thomas W. Merrill
Alma mater University of Chicago Law School
University of Oxford
Grinnell College
Scientific career
Fields Constitutional law
Property law
Institutions Columbia Law School
Yale Law School

Thomas W. Merrill, a legal scholar, is the Charles Evans Hughes professor at Columbia Law School. He has also taught at Yale Law School and Northwestern University School of Law.


He is a leader in three fields: property, administrative, and environmental law. He received a B.A. from Grinnell College in 1971 and a B.A. with first-class honors in philosophy, politics and economics in 1973 from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He received his JD from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977 and went on to clerk for Judge David L. Bazelon of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and then United States Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Before moving to Yale, he was the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia from 2003 to 2008 and the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University from 1993 to 2003. He also served as a Deputy Solicitor General from 1987 to 1990. Merrill returned to Columbia in 2010.

Merrill has published dozens of articles in the country's most prestigious law reviews, including the Columbia Law Review , Harvard Law Review , and Yale Law Journal . He has co-authored multiple textbooks, generally dealing with the laws of property. In 2013, Merrill was awarded the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize by the College of William and Mary School of Law for his extensive body of work concerning property rights. [1]

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The Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Conference was organized in 2003 at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, with the first conference held in October of 2004. The Conference and Prize were proposed in 2003 by Joseph T. Waldo, a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law with the support of the then Dean of the Law School, W. Taylor Reveley, III, who would later become President of the College. The Conference and Prize were inaugurated in 2004. Each Fall the Brigham–Kanner Property Rights Conference awards the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize to an individual whose work has advanced the cause of property rights and has contributed to the overall awareness of the important role property rights occupy in the broader scheme of individual liberty. The Conference seeks to bring together at the College legal practitioners in the field of property law from across the nation along with judges and legal scholars to discuss developments in property rights.

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  1. "Recipients of the Brigham-Kanner Prize". William and Mary Law School. Archived from the original on February 9, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2013.