Columbia’s Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets Anticipates Hiring a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School’s Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets is seeking a full-time Capital Markets Research Fellow. The appointment is anticipated to run from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2022.

This position is for a person who expects to begin a law school teaching career at the start of the 2022-23 academic year and who desires an interim position that would help the person prepare for such a career by offering the time and facilities needed to do serious research and to develop further expertise.  A candidate should have an exceptional academic record from a major law school and have at least three years of legal practice (including any clerkship time) or advanced training in economics or finance.  Approximately half of the Fellow’s time would be devoted to research and administrative activities in support of the Program, as discussed in more detail below. These responsibilities will allow the Fellow to work closely with experienced professors of law and economics.  The Fellow would be free to use the remaining time for his or her own research.  The position involves no significant teaching obligations and would permit the Fellow to participate in a range of Columbia Law School and Business School faculty workshops and other activities.  The Program anticipates that the Fellow would be appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar or Associate Research Scholar at a salary of $70,000 per year plus benefits, which is highly competitive for positions of this kind.

The Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets

The Program has four principal missions.  First, Professors Merritt B. Fox from the Columbia Law School and Lawrence R. Glosten from the Columbia Business School, Co- Directors of the Program, offer a course, jointly listed for Law School and Business School students, devoted to the important legal and economic issues associated with capital markets.  When first taught, this was the only such course offered at any major law or business school, and today it serves as a model for courses offered elsewhere.

Second, the Program has a set of Program Fellows who meet at regular Workshops.  The Program Fellows are a group of influential persons with expertise in capital markets and their regulation who come from the academy, government and law and financial practice. Each Workshop is devoted to a particular topic and led by an expert on the topic.

Third, faculty and others associated with the Program engage in capital markets research.  An example of this research is The New Stock Market: Law, Economics, and Policy (2019) published by Columbia University Press.

Finally, the Program is spearheading the effort to undertake a New Special Study of the Securities Market.   The New Special Study is an ongoing multiyear project that brings together academics, practitioners, policy makers, and regulators to comprehensively evaluate the securities markets for the purpose of significantly informing and enhancing the quality of regulatory reform going forward.  It is being conducted in the spirit of the original 1963 Special Study of the Securities Markets, the ideas from which were the basis of most of the important securities regulatory initiatives over the next several decades.

For further information concerning the Program, see

The Research Fellow Position

The Research Fellow’s primary responsibilities would be working closely with Professors Fox and Glosten to advance the New Special Study Project, keeping the supplementary materials for the course at Columbia and elsewhere up to date, and more generally engaging in ongoing law and economics of capital markets research.   The precise dimensions of the Research Fellow’s role would depend on the particular set of skills that the appointee brings to the job.  The research undertaken by the Research Fellow would involve reference to existing statutory and regulatory materials, review of commentary in the legal literature, and the development of an understanding of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature in microstructure economics and of the capacity to apply this understanding to the regulatory issues at hand.  The research would also involve determining actual institutional practices, based on a mix of descriptions in scholarly and trade literature, interviews and possibly simple surveys.  The Research Fellow would also participate actively in the New Special Study survey, subsequent New Special Study events and publications,  Fellows Workshops with the Program Fellows and assist in archiving and making publicly available the results of these events on the Program website.  The Research Fellow would not be expected to spend more than an average of 25 hours per week on these Program-directed research, writing and administrative activities.

This position will provide an excellent opportunity for a transition into law teaching.  By working closely with experts in the field, the appointee will acquire an in depth knowledge of an important area of law and the relevant associated economics and finance literature.  The appointee will have significant time to do research and writing of his or her own without the open-ended demands that teaching obligations often entail.  This research and writing will occur within a highly supportive intellectual environment that includes several other aspiring law teachers who are fellows in other programs at the Law School and who, among their many kinds of interactions, have their own workshop focused on “job talk” papers.  This environment also includes the presence of the larger Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School faculties and access to many of their workshops and other activities.  Previous appointees to this Research Fellow position have placed well in tenure-track legal teaching positions.

Interested persons should submit a full curriculum vitae, cover letter, a list of recommenders, a writing sample, a research agenda, and copies of his or her law school and, if applicable, graduate school transcripts to  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.