Thomas W. Merrill

Prof. Thomas W. Merrill

Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Topics: Environmental Law & Property Rights • Federalism & Separation of Powers

Professor Merrill writes widely in the fields of property and administrative law. In property, he has authored, with Henry Smith of Harvard, a series of articles relating the structure of property rights to information costs (“Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle," Yale Law Journal 2000), as well as a leading casebook (“Property: Principles and Policies,” 2012); a series of studies, with Joseph Kearney of Marquette, on the role of public property rights in the development of the Chicago lakefront (“The Origins of the American Public Trust Doctrine: What Really Happened in Illinois Central,”U. Chicago L. Rev. 2004); and a variety of writings on constitutional property (“Property: Takings (with David Dana 2002);" “The Landscape of Constitutional Property,” Virginia L. Rev.2000); “The Economics of Public Use,” Cornell L. Rev. 1986). In administrative law, he has written a number of pieces about the history of administrative law (“Article III, Agency Adjudication, and the Origins of the Appellate Review Model of Administrative law,” Columbia L. R. 2011), and about judicial review of agency interpretations of law (“Chevron’s Domain,"Geo. L. J. (with Kristin Hickman 2001)).

Professor Merrill is a graduate of Grinnell College (1971) and Oxford University (1973), where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Chicago Law School (1977). He clerked for the Hon. David L. Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for the Hon. Harry A. Blackmun, U.S. Supreme Court. From 1987-1990 he was Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Merrill has previously taught at Northwestern Law School (1981-2003) and at Yale Law School (2008-2010). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



  • University of Chicago, J.D., 1977, cum laude
  • Oxford University, B.A., 1973, first-class honors
  • Grinnell College, B.A., 1971, with honors
2017 National Student Symposium - "The First Amendment in Contemporary Society"
2016 National Lawyers Convention

2016 National Lawyers Convention

The Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Speakers: Thomas W. MerrillRichard A. EpsteinWilliam H. PryorJohn C. HarrisonGary LawsonJoan LarsenMichael W. McConnellNelson LundDavid F. ForteAkhil Reed AmarNicholas Quinn RosenkranzMichael S. PaulsenMark PerryJennifer Walker ElrodRichard E. WileyThomas M. HardimanVincent Phillip MunozSandra Segal IkutaMichael O'SheaLisa HeinzerlingJohn A. AllisonLuther StrangeMark BrnovichWilliam KuntzDon WillettAbbe R. GluckPatrick MorriseyRon DeSantisPaul LarkinAdam KleinSusan G. BradenSeth HarrisOrin S. KerrPaul D. ClementJohn S. BakerRonald A. CassDiarmuid F. O'ScannlainFrank H. EasterbrookWilliam N. EskridgeAdam MossoffDouglas H. GinsburgRoger PilonJonathan R. TurleyJohn C. EastmanCarlos T. BeaSaikrishna B. PrakashKannon K. ShanmugamEugene ScaliaIlya SominJerry E. SmithDiane S. SykesStephen J. MarkmanMichael UhlmannRichard W. GarnettPatrick A. ParenteauR CruzWilliam P. MarshallSamuel A. AlitoClarence ThomasNadine StrossenEugene VolokhNoel J. FranciscoJames W. ElyAllison EidStephanos BibasBrian FitzpatrickEdith H. JonesDavid StrasRoderick M. HillsTodd ZywickiStephen I. VladeckArthur D. HellmanBill SamuelJeffrey S. SuttonRachel BarkowJoshua SarnoffC HemphillSteven CollotonE ElliottFloyd AbramsVictoria NoursePhil GrammRaymond KethledgeBradford R. ClarkDeepak GuptaDeborah A. GarzaAdam LaxaltBen SasseKimberley A. StrasselLeonard N. ChaninElizabeth GoiteinHenry GoldbergDavid J. KapposToni MassaroLawrence SolumMark FloydRandel K. JohnsonNikki HaleyDeborah L. RhodeAllan Rostron
Topics: Federalism & Separation of Powers
Sponsors: DC Young Lawyers ChapterWashington DC Lawyers ChapterAdministrative Law & Regulation Practice GroupCivil Rights Practice GroupCorporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice GroupCriminal Law & Procedure Practice GroupEnvironmental Law & Property Rights Practice GroupFederalism & Separation of Powers Practice GroupFinancial Services & E-Commerce Practice GroupFree Speech & Election Law Practice GroupIntellectual Property Practice GroupInternational & National Security Law Practice GroupLabor & Employment Law Practice GroupLitigation Practice GroupProfessional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice GroupReligious Liberties Practice GroupTelecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group
2014 National Lawyers Convention

2014 National Lawyers Convention

The Renaissance Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Speakers: Bert ElyThomas W. MerrillJohn O. McGinnisRichard A. EpsteinWilliam H. PryorGregory E. MaggsMark F. SchultzCharles MurrayNeal K. KatyalLee Liberman OtisJohn G. MalcolmStephen F. WilliamsMichael BaroneNicholas Quinn RosenkranzRobert T. MillerKaren HarnedJennifer Walker ElrodDavid S. OlsonRobin Fretwell WilsonWilliam T. AllenDiana Furchtgott-RothWilliam KuntzDon WillettDavid H. ThompsonNeal E. DevinsDavid WeilPaul BaileyJamie BrownRoss EisenbreyPaul H. KupiecJulie Goldsmith ReiserAdam CiongoliAntonin ScaliaMichael S. GreveJohn S. BakerThomas D. MorganRonald A. CassFrank H. EasterbrookDouglas H. GinsburgDavid M. McIntoshGail HeriotChristopher S. YooRandy E. BarnettCharles J. CooperPaul S. AtkinsJerry E. SmithJonathan H. AdlerRobert V. PercivalWilliam P. MarshallSamuel A. AlitoNadine StrossenEugene VolokhHeather DonaldPaul CamposRachel L. BrandDavid StrasOrrin HatchJack BeermannRobert A. DestroDaniel PolsbyE VeaseyAlan B. MorrisonMichael B. MukaseyChai FeldblumRichard K. VedderChristopher SchroederThomas B. GriffithRobert SussmanMaureen K. OhlhausenGreg LukianoffJodi S. BalsamLanny J. DavisJohn Bellinger,IChristopher C. DeMuthRobert R. GasawayDaniel EpsteinKim ColbyAaron H. CaplanSeth GalanterMichael O'RiellyKatherine A. OyamaSteven A. RosenblumDavid A. WeisbachTodd P. GravesPatrick OotVictoria A. RedgravePatrick WyrickEdward J. DeMarcoUsman AhmedDanielle M. AguirreElizabeth KregorKarlyn Bowman
Topics: Federalism & Separation of Powers
Sponsors: DC Young Lawyers ChapterCapitol Hill ChapterWashington DC Lawyers ChapterAdministrative Law & Regulation Practice GroupCivil Rights Practice GroupCorporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice GroupCriminal Law & Procedure Practice GroupEnvironmental Law & Property Rights Practice GroupFederalism & Separation of Powers Practice GroupFinancial Services & E-Commerce Practice GroupFree Speech & Election Law Practice GroupIntellectual Property Practice GroupInternational & National Security Law Practice GroupLabor & Employment Law Practice GroupLitigation Practice GroupProfessional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice GroupReligious Liberties Practice GroupTelecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group
16th Annual Faculty Conference
2013 National Lawyers Convention

2013 National Lawyers Convention

The Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Speakers: Stephen F. WilliamsJeremy A. RabkinScott WalkerMartin Neil BailyScott W. JohnsonAbbe R. GluckPatrick MorriseyEdith Brown ClementJennifer Walker ElrodThomas M. HardimanWilliam H. PryorAshley KellerErin RyanMichael S. LeeJ. Harvie WilkinsonThomas O. BarnettPaul J. BeardDavid D. ColeJohn F. DuffyRichard A. EpsteinMiguel EstradaJörg FedtkeRichard W. FieldsPhilip A. HamburgerJohn O. McGinnisKenneth L. MarcusThomas W. MerrillJide Okechuku NzelibeNicholas Quinn RosenkranzPaul RosenzweigKyle DuncanWilliam KuntzR CruzStewart E. SterkNadine StrossenDiane S. SykesEugene VolokhJoshua D. WrightJohn C. YooLeonard A. LeoThomas B. GriffithDavid M. McIntoshEugene B. MeyerA. Raymond RandolphJerry E. SmithDavid StrasTimothy M. TymkovichMargaret (Peggy) LittleAlan B. MorrisonThomas D. MorganRobert E. LitanEric M. FreedmanWilliam A. GalstonJonathan T. MolotRachel BarkowF. Scott KieffRobert MikosMichael B. MukaseyRichard PrimusJonathan R. TurleyWilliam R. YeomansBrett M. KavanaughPaul S. AtkinsCarlos T. BeaEdith H. JonesRaymond KethledgeDiarmuid F. O'ScannlainVincent VitkowskySteven G. BradburyTimothy P. CarneyJohn ElwoodBurt NeuborneJohn N. RaudabaughElizabeth WydraClarence ThomasNeil GorsuchJ WilkinsonIJonathan H. AdlerMarvin AmmoriJohn S. BakerDavid BaltoRandy E. BarnettDavid BarronJohn BeisnerMitchell N. BermanLillian R. BeVierStephanos BibasJoel F. BrennerRoger B. CleggFrank H. EasterbrookJohn C. EastmanWilliam N. EskridgeNoel J. FranciscoRobert P. GeorgeDouglas H. GinsburgRandall GuynnKristin HickmanJames L. HuffmanAndrew KoppelmanMartin S. LedermanAdam LiptakJane MagoVictoria NourseEileen J. O'ConnorMaureen K. OhlhausenWalter K. OlsonAjit V. PaiMichelle RichardsonJ RoschJoshua SarnoffDavid S. SchoenbrodReva SiegelPaul D. ClementGeorge J. TerwilligerSeth P. WaxmanJohn Fund
Topics: Civil Rights • Free Speech & Election Law • Criminal Law & Procedure • Corporations, Securities & Antitrust • Labor & Employment Law • Religious Liberties • Intellectual Property • Administrative Law & Regulation • Federalism & Separation of Powers • Environmental Law & Property Rights • International & National Security Law • Telecommunications & Electronic Media • Litigation • Professional Responsibility & Legal Education
Sponsors: DC Young Lawyers ChapterWashington DC Lawyers ChapterCapitol Hill ChapterEnvironmental Law & Property Rights Practice GroupHampton Roads Lawyers ChapterAdministrative Law & Regulation Practice GroupCivil Rights Practice GroupCorporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice GroupCriminal Law & Procedure Practice GroupFederalism & Separation of Powers Practice GroupFinancial Services & E-Commerce Practice GroupFree Speech & Election Law Practice GroupIntellectual Property Practice GroupInternational & National Security Law Practice GroupLabor & Employment Law Practice GroupLitigation Practice GroupProfessional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice GroupReligious Liberties Practice GroupTelecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group