Michael Heise's research focuses on bridging empirical methodologies and legal theory. He earned an A.B. from Stanford University, a J.D. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1987.
Professor Heise served as Senior Legal Counsel to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education and later as Deputy Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education. He entered academia in 1994 as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Indiana University School of Law, becoming Assistant Professor in 1995, and Associate Professor in 1999 before moving to Case Western Reserve University as Professor of Law. He joined the Cornell Law School faculty as Professor of Law in 2003.
His research and teaching areas include torts, law and education policy, insurance, constitutional law, and empirical methods. Professor Heise has co-edited the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies since 2005 and is a Founding Director of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies.