Chris Guthrie, a seven-year veteran of Vanderbilt Law School and former associate dean for academic affairs, was named dean of the law school effective July 1. An expert on dispute resolution, negotiation, judicial decision making, and behavioral law and economics, Guthrie has agreed to a five-year appointment, subject to approval by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust.
He replaces Edward L. Rubin, who will continue as a faculty member at the law school.
“We have an outstanding faculty, a gifted student body, a superb staff, an accomplished alumni base and supportive university leadership,” says Guthrie. “With all these pieces in place, I am confident that the law school’s best days are ahead.”
Guthrie, 42, graduated with distinction and honors in 1989 from Stanford University before earning his master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then a law degree from Stanford Law School. He practiced with Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, Calif., before joining the University of Missouri Law School faculty in 1996. Guthrie also has taught as a visiting professor at Northwestern University Law School and the Washington University School of Law.
“We were fortunate to have already on our faculty a candidate who could be dean at any leading law school,” says Lisa Bressman, professor of law, FedEx Research Professor, and chair of the search committee. “Chris Guthrie is extraordinary.”
He is one of the authors of the influential textbook Dispute Resolution & Lawyers and has published more than 40 scholarly articles in leading law journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. He has received multiple prizes for his scholarly research.
Guthrie also is an award-winning teacher who has taught Torts, Negotiation, Dispute Resolution and Family Law. “He will build upon the school’s successes while preserving those qualities of the law school that are distinctly Vanderbilt,” says Genet Berhane, a law student, editor-in-chief of the Transnational Law Journal, and member of the search committee.