Skip to main content
David Hoffman

Contact Information


David Hoffman

William A. Schnader Professor of Law; Deputy Dean

Professor Dave Hoffman is a widely-cited scholar who focuses his research and teaching on contract law.  His work is typically interdisciplinary, built through collaboration with co-authors from a variety of fields.

One recent set of papers examined the technical and legal aspects of transactions occurring on and through blockchains.  Other work, using qualitative and experimental methods, focuses on how individuals experience contracting online, and what extra-legal goals firms might seek to accomplish using the “terms and conditions.” He has also engaged in the national conversation sparked by the #metoo movement, publishing a paper with a Penn Law student that argues that nondisclosure clauses in employment contracts violate public policy – a contractual doctrine his work continues to explore.  His current projects include the building and analysis of a dataset consisting of hundreds of thousands of Philadelphia residential leases and evictions.

Before joining the legal academy, Hoffman was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City and a law clerk for Judge Norma L. Shapiro of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He earned his JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in archeology and history from Yale University. He joined the Penn Law faculty in 2017 after spending the first 12 years of his career at Temple Law School.  At Penn, Hoffman was honored with the Harvey Levin teaching award in 2018, and he previously won Temple’s George P. Williams Memorial Award for the Outstanding Professor of the Year (2013).

Hoffman was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, where he currently lives with his wife and two children. He is a frequently sought after commentator on issues involving contract law, and an active user of Twitter. In 2020, he was appointed a Special Master in MDL-2323: In Re: National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation (EDPa).  Some of his recent work in that case can be found here.