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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Law Professor Wins MacArthur Grant

Congratulations to Thomas Wilson Mitchell, a professor at Texas A&M University School of Law and co-director of its program in real estate and community development law, who this week was named a 2020 fellow of the MacArthur Foundation. The foundation describes his work as "reforming laws and developing policy solutions addressing mechanisms by which Black and other disadvantaged American families have been deprived of their land, homes, and real estate wealth."

I am not acquainted with his work, no doubt to my loss, as it's outside my usual field. And I must confess that I'm not a huge fan of the MacArthur Foundation and its annual grants. But I am a fan of fair play and reasonable distribution of plaudits within our economy of prestige, and specifically within law, our ostensibly, generally absurdly credentialist sector of  the already absurdly credentialist academy. Not having learned the news until this moment, and having heard much more, and much more quickly, about previous grants to law professors, I wondered whether it was a function of my own increasing effort both to stay away from most social media and to approach more warily and less frequently the usual mainstream media outlets, which are suffering from an evident drop in quality, reliability, and professionalism--or whether there was a genuine relative lack of coverage. A quick and dirty search suggests to me that it's not just my reading habits; it looks as if Professor Mitchell has not (at least not yet) received the same amount of coverage and law-blog love as at least some other previous lawprof recipients of the fellowship. I'm sure all private law scholars and at least a few public law scholars join me in thinking there is no reason in the world for property, and private law generally, to get less than its due share of attention in an often overly public-law-oriented legal academy. (And I say that as a public law scholar.) So I am happy to note the news and to congratulate Professor Mitchell--and Texas A & M Law, which I'm sure is justly thrilled and proud.  

Posted by Paul Horwitz on October 7, 2020 at 03:56 PM | Permalink

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