Professor of Law and Co-Director of Center for Professional Values and Practice, New York Law School
Elizabeth Chambliss specializes in the empirical study of the legal profession, focusing on the organization and regulation of large law firms and the effects of globalization on the U.S. legal services market. Her most recent project focuses on the future of U.S. legal education, and the emergence of new organizational models for law schools in the U.S. and abroad. Professor Chambliss was one of the principal organizers of Future Ed, a year-long contest of ideas for innovation in legal education, co-hosted by New York Law School and Harvard Law School in 2010-11. Other recent projects include an interdisciplinary, ethnographic study of large law firm culture, with researchers from law, psychology, and business management.
Elizabeth joined New York Law School after a four-year stint as the research director of the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, she designed and conducted research on the changing structure of law firms and the challenges such changes pose for professional regulation. She also conducted a comprehensive survey of the careers of black Harvard Law School alumni, which documents the struggles and achievements of over 650 of the nation’s leading black lawyers. In addition to her research activities, Elizabeth helped to develop new courses on the history and structure of the profession and the current conditions of practice in a variety of legal settings. Before working at Harvard, she taught law at the University of Texas and the University of Denver.
Elizabeth received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, where she also earned a Ph.D. in sociology. Interested in the empirical study of law from the start, she chose Wisconsin because it was a pioneer of legal realism in the 1930s and is still known for studying law within the context of a social system. While at Wisconsin, Elizabeth served as the assistant director of the Institute for Legal Studies, a research center within the law school that encourages the study of law in action.