Dean Henry N. Butler Announces Professor Todd J. Zywicki as Executive Director of the Law & Economics Center

Dean Henry N. Butler announced today that Professor Todd J. Zywicki will succeed him as executive director of the Law & Economics Center (LEC) at George Mason University School of Law.

“This is my first appointment as dean,” Butler emphasized. “The Law & Economics Center plays a pivotal role in the intellectual culture of our law school. Todd’s outstanding record of scholarship and teaching has prepared him well for this position of leadership. No member of our faculty has been more closely identified with LEC programs and its mission of placing the tools and perspectives of economic analysis and public choice scholarship at the disposal of judges, state attorneys general, and the Congress. I am delighted that he has agreed to embrace this new and very important assignment.” The appointment is effective as of today.

Professor Zywicki is George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center, and a senior fellow at the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He has been a member of the Mason law faculty since 1998, having previously served on the faculty of the Mississippi College of Law, and as a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and Boston College Law School. Zywicki clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced bankruptcy and commercial law with the Atlanta law firm of Alston & Bird. From 2003-04, he was director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.

“It is an honor to succeed Henry Butler as the executive director of the LEC,” said Zywicki. “Under his leadership, the LEC has enjoyed unprecedented success. It has grown steadily in scope and in stature, has energized the law school, and has established itself as one of the world’s foremost proponents for the application of economics to the study of law. To my good fortune the Center has a talented professional staff of scholars, planners, and organizers beginning with Associate Director Paige Butler and including many others, who will teach me the ropes and enable us to build on previous success.”

Professor Daniel Polsby, whose ten-year term as dean expired today, said this of Zywicki: “Todd is a gifted man in all of the ways that professors should be gifted – inspiring as a teacher, original as a scholar, generous as a colleague, and fun to hang out with. Henry Butler’s deanship begins with exciting news. He has placed the Center in good hands.”

Professor Zywicki earned his BA cum laude from Dartmouth College with high honors in his major (Government), his MA in economics from Clemson University, and his JD from the University of Virginia, where he was a John M. Olin Scholar in Law and Economics. He is co-author of Consumer Credit and the American Economy (2014) and Public Choice Concepts and Applications in Law (2009), co-editor of Supreme Court Economic Review and a long-standing contributor to “The Volokh Conspiracy” at The Washington Post, one of the country’s most widely followed legal affairs blogs. He has published over 70 articles in learned and professional journals. 

The Law & Economics Center was founded in 1974 and is a national leader in law and economics research and education programs for judges, attorneys general, law professors, congressional staffers, and legal experts.