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New Faculty Join the Law School

As the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year approaches, Cornell Law School announces five new faculty appointments. In addition to Beth Lyon, who will direct the newly founded Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic, the arriving faculty are Celia Bigoness, Zachary D. Clopton, Andrei Marmor, and Cornell University’s new president, Elizabeth Garrett.

Celia Bigoness

Celia Bigoness, assistant clinical professor

Celia Bigoness joins the Lawyering Program as an assistant clinical professor. Previously, the Yale Law School graduate spent seven years practicing corporate law at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, London, and Paris. Her experience includes project finance, leveraged finance, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she taught Introduction to Transactional Lawyering as an adjunct professor at the Law School.

“I’m excited to be joining the Lawyering Program because it offers a unique opportunity for me to contribute to Cornell Law School by bringing my recent law practice experience to the classroom,” says Bigoness. “I can remember well the challenges that I faced as a junior law firm associate, and as I became a more senior lawyer, I took particular interest in working with new law school graduates who were facing the exact same challenges.”

She adds, “In particular, young lawyers need to learn how to analyze complex legal issues on tight deadlines-and as a crucial next step, how to communicate that analysis concisely and clearly not only to other lawyers, but also to clients who may have little familiarity with (or interest in) legal complexities. The Lawyering Program does an excellent job of preparing Cornell Law School graduates to make the transition from the academic world to legal practice, and I look forward to bringing my perspective to the Lawyering classroom.”

Zachary Clopton

Zachary D. Clopton, assistant professor of law

Zachary D. Clopton joins the Law School as an assistant professor of law. Formerly, he served as a public law fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. After earning his J.D. from Harvard Law School, he clerked for the Honorable Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He also served as an assistant United States attorney in Chicago and worked in the national security group at Wilmer Hale in Washington, D.C. Clopton’s research focuses on civil procedure with an emphasis on complex litigation and conflict of laws. His teaching interests include civil procedure, federal courts, conflict of laws, international business transactions and litigation, and national security law.

Clopton says, “I am thrilled to join the extraordinary community of scholars and students at Cornell Law School. Cornell is well known for its collaborative spirit and commitment to excellence, and I look forward to being a part of the intellectual community. I think that Cornell will be a fantastic place for my scholarship to develop, and I am excited to collaborate with faculty and students across the university. I also look forward to working with students in the classroom and in their efforts to begin their legal careers.”

Elizabeth Garrett

Elizabeth Garrett, president of Cornell University and professor of law

Elizabeth Garrett became the thirteenth president of Cornell University on July 1 and holds faculty appointments in the Law School and in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences. A distinguished legal scholar with a record of public service, she comes to Cornell from the University of Southern California, where she was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. She is the first woman to serve as president of Cornell.

Andrei Marmor

Andrei Marmor, Schurman Professor of Philosophy and Law

Andrei Marmor is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Philosophy and Law. Prior to joining Cornell in 2015, he was a professor of philosophy and the Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. Having obtained his first law and philosophy degrees at the Tel Aviv University in Israel, and a D.Phil at Oxford University, he returned to Tel Aviv University, where he taught as professor of law for ten years before moving to the United States.

Eduardo M. Peñalver, who became the Law School’s Allan R. Tessler Dean last July, says, “I was delighted that my first two hires as dean were Beth Garrett and Andrei Marmor-a new University president and a top-flight legal philosopher. I am very excited for what Beth will bring to the University as a whole, but also to the Law School. She has an astute understanding of the law school world, and she has already demonstrated an eagerness to interact with the Law School faculty and students. For example, she’ll be attending our orientation welcome lunch in August. Andrei’s arrival deepens Cornell’s presence in the world of legal philosophy. His joint appointment with the Philosophy Department will help build a strong bridge between the Law School and a discipline that has historically been one of the most important to the academic study of law.”

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