Campus News

Schlegel appointed UB Distinguished Professor


Published July 9, 2015

John Henry Schlegel.

John Henry Schlegel

John Henry Schlegel, a longtime faculty member in the UB Law School, has been named a UB Distinguished Professor. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.

The UB Distinguished Professor designation was created by the Office of the Provost to recognize full professors who have achieved true distinction and are leaders in their fields. It is a separate designation from that of SUNY Distinguished Professor, a rank above full professor that is awarded by the SUNY trustees.

It is open to faculty members who have been a full professor for at least five years and who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their field through significant contributions to the research/scholarly literature or through artistic performance or achievement in the fine arts.

A member of the UB Law faculty since 1973, Schlegel also is one of the law school’s Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholars. He twice has served as associate dean — from 1982-87 and 1990-91 — and as acting dean — for the fall 1983 semester, and in 1985-86.

His most influential work has chronicled two movements in 20th-century legal thought: Legal Realism and Critical Legal Studies. His book “American Legal Realism and Empirical Social Science” (University of North Carolina Press, 1995) has been described by colleagues as “pioneering” and “the definitive work in its field.”

Moreover, an article Schlegel published on Critical Legal Studies in the Stanford Law Review in 1984 has been called “incisive” and “the single best history of CLS that has yet appeared.”

More recently, he has focused his teaching and research on corporate finance and the economic redevelopment of Rust Belt cities. He is part of the UB Law faculty group that offers the school’s financial transactions concentration, teaching both acquisition transactions and in the concentration’s program in finance in New York City. He also teaches a two-semester seminar on regional economic development.

He currently is at work on a book, “While Waiting for Rain: Community, Economy and Law in a Time of Change,” on the role of law in the development of the mid-20th-century American economy.

Schlegel received a BA from Northwestern University and a JD from the University of Chicago.


Prof. Schlegel taught me the most important lesson I learned in law school at UB: The only way to enforce a contract is with a gun.


Most people do not recognize how salient the police power is in our society.


Rick Geiger