Lawrence G. Sager

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Lawrence Gene Sager (born 1941) is a former dean of the The University of Texas School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Alice Jane Drysdale Sheffield Regents Chair and is one of the nation's preeminent constitutional theorists and scholar. Sager, who joined the Law School faculty in 2002, is the 13th dean in the Law School's 123-year history. He is best known for his theory of underenforcement.[1]

A graduate of Columbia Law School and Pomona College, Sager taught for more than 25 years at New York University School of Law, where he was instrumental in transforming the NYU faculty into one of the best in the nation. At Texas, he has also been deeply involved with the Law School's successful faculty recruitment efforts, which include luring corporate law expert Bernard Black from Stanford Law School in 2004 and health law scholar William Sage from Columbia Law School this year. He served as chair of the Law School's Appointments Committee during the 2005–06 academic year. Sager has also taught as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Princeton University, Boston University School of Law, UCLA School of Law, and University of Michigan Law School.[2]

Sager is the author or co-author of dozens of articles as well as two books: Justice in Plainclothes: A Theory of American Constitutional Practice (Yale University Press, 2004) and, with Christopher Eisgruber, Religious Freedom and the Constitution, (Harvard University Press, 2007).


The decision of University of Texas President William Powers, Jr. to ask Sager to step down from his post was partially influenced by a $500,000 forgivable loan that Sager secured for himself which was not transparent and created "an impression of self-dealing that cannot be condoned." The loan was secured from a law-school foundation without the knowledge of the university administration. Sager was not the only beneficiary of such forgivable loans.[3]

Practical Jokes[edit]

Sager was the subject of several well-publicized practical jokes during his time as dean, including a 2009 April Fool's Day prank in which the Student Bar Association at the University of Texas sent out an email purporting to be from Sager in which "Sager" claimed he was retiring from the law school to raise emus in the Texas hill country.[4] The Student Bar Association also opened up at Etsy shop under Sager's name. [5]


  1. ^ Lawrence Sager, Material Rights, Underenforcement, and the Adjudication Thesis
  2. ^ Tresague, Matthew. "UT dean aims to make 'good' law school 'great'". Houston Chronicle. 
  3. ^ Tom Phillips (2012-11-13). "UT Law's Forgivable Loans to Faculty "Not Appropriate"". Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  4. ^ Elie Mystal (2009-04-01). "More April Fool’s Fun: This Time From Texas". Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  5. ^ Sonia Smith (2011-12-09). "UT Law Dean Asked to Resign". Retrieved 2016-05-23. 

External links[edit]