Alexandra D. Lahav
Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law
JD, Harvard Law School
BA, Brown University
Procedure, Complex Litigation, Remedies, Mass Torts, Law & Inequality
Alexandra D. Lahav is a nationally recognized expert on the civil justice system and tort law. She takes an institutional approach to the study of these subjects, using methods and perspectives drawn from legal analysis, history, political theory, and economics. She teaches civil procedure, torts, complex litigation, professional responsibility, and related subjects.
Her book, In Praise of Litigation (Oxford 2017), won the Pound Civil Justice Scholarship Award and received an Honorable Mention in the ABA Silver Gavel Award. It makes the case that litigation is a social good that promotes democratic values. In other recent work on the civil justice system she has studied the changing win rate patterns in the federal courts, the effects of incentives on judicial decision-making, and the optimal design of procedural systems. She has also written on the role of litigation tactics in changing the law in the antebellum period of American history. Lahav is also co-author of the fifth edition of the popular civil procedure casebook Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice, and Context.
In her work on torts, Lahav has explored the use of statistical sampling to resolve mass tort cases, the role of the jury, and how insights from epidemiology can inform the resolution of mass and toxic torts. Her articles in this area include Mass Tort Class Actions – Past, Present, and Future, 92 NYU L. Rev. 998 (2017) and The Case for “Trial by Formula,” 90 Texas L. Rev. 571 (2012). She is currently working on a project on how epidemiology can inform the future direction of tort doctrine.
Lahav received her BA in history from Brown University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, clerked for Justice Alan Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and practiced with a boutique civil rights firm in New York City. She was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School before joining the UConn faculty in 2004 and has also taught as a visiting professor at Columbia, Harvard and Yale Law Schools. She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2019-2020.