What excites you most about joining the UCI Law faculty?
I think UCI Law is a really amazing confluence of an extraordinary vision, an outstanding faculty, and a wonderful student body. You often hear that lawyers and law students are risk averse, but the professors, students and staff here clearly don’t fit that mold. These are some of the best and brightest in our country, who all share the goal of creating a world-class legal education institute that is service minded. I can’t wait to start interacting with the incredible students and scholars here on a daily basis.
Why did you go into law teaching? What is your teaching style?
I recently came over from the public policy world, and truly loved many of the aspects of the work I was doing there. I had the chance to research and write, and the work I did had a direct impact on the public policy debate. In these positions, I also frequently collaborated with legal academics, and as I worked more and more with law professors, I began to realize that I wanted to be one.
Law teaching contains all of the elements that I enjoyed in my previous work—being intellectually engaged, researching and writing about interesting and relevant issues, communicating complex ideas, and shaping public policy. It also contains a number of elements that I enjoy that were not part of my previous life—most importantly, teaching (and learning from) students who are eager to learn and not yet fixed in their viewpoints. My goal is to make the world a better place, both by helping to equip the next generation with knowledge and the appropriate intellectual tools through my teaching, and by better informing the public debate over important issues through my scholarship.
Describe your scholarship.
My research focuses on the regulation of financial markets, including the laws and rules in place for banking, securities, and housing finance. Obviously, the 2008 financial crisis illustrated some severe flaws with our current regulatory system. But when we look historically at financial markets, we see that this type of extreme volatility is actually the norm, and the long period of financial stability we enjoyed during most of the 20th century is the exception. To what extent were the laws and regulations we had in place factors in the extraordinary stability we enjoyed from the New Deal up until recently? And how might we recreate these in the 21st century? These are some of the key questions my research hopes to tackle, through a combination of economic, historical, and comparative analyses.