Institute for Law and Economics

Penn Law
Institute for Law and Economics

A Joint Research Center of the Law School, the Wharton School, and the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania

ILE Co-Directors

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Michael L. Wachter Jill E. Fisch William W. Bratton

Founded in 1980, the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania has an ambitious agenda that is more timely than ever. The study of law and economics remains the most rapidly growing movement in legal scholarship and jurisprudence.

At the heart of the Institute’s work is the Corporate Roundtable series, which brings together members of the Institute’s Associate Faculty and other academics with corporate executives, practicing attorneys, judges, public policymakers, and students. Over the years, the Institute has sponsored roundtables on a broad range of topics, including labor law and bankruptcy, as well as corporate law, governance, and finance.

In addition to the roundtable series, the Institute hosts several panel programs each year that explore important topics in the areas of law and finance. The panelists at the Insights from Practice programs provide students and other attendees with real-world examples of the complex situations they face in their professional careers. The Chancery Court Programs are a component of a Penn Law course on corporate law and finance co-taught by Leo E. Strine, Jr., Chancellor of the Delaware Chancery Court, and Michael L. Wachter, William B. Johnson Professor of Law and Economics. Two special sessions of the class are opened to the entire University community, as well as to ILE board members and invited guests, under the auspices of ILE.

The Institute for Law and Economics presents two series of public lectures: Law and Entrepreneurship and Distinguished Jurist. In sponsoring these events, the Institute aims to spotlight and honor lawyers who have led noteworthy careers and made significant contributions as corporate executives and entrepreneurs, or as members of the judiciary at the state or federal levels.

The Institute also sponsors programs aimed at the academic community. The ILE/Finance Seminar series, held jointly with The Wharton School’s Finance Department, provides an opportunity for faculty and advanced students from the Law School, the Wharton School, and the Department of Economics to come together around areas of common interest. ILE co-sponsors an annual two-day Conference on Law and Finance, in conjunction with the Wharton Financial Insitutions Center, New York University School of Law, and NYU’s Pollack Center for Law & Business. The Institute for Law and Economics also engages in curricular partnerships that serve the educational mission of Penn Law School. 

Funding for the ILE comes from a diverse group of corporations, law firms, foundations, and individuals who endorse our work each year.