Ward Farnsworth

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Ward Farnsworth
Ward Farnsworth.jpg
Dean Ward Farnsworth outside of The University of Texas School of Law
Born1967 (age 53–54)
Alma materWesleyan University
University of Chicago Law School
EmployerUniversity of Texas School of Law

Ward Farnsworth (born 1967)[1] is the dean of the University of Texas School of Law and holds the John Jeffers Research Chair in Law. He is the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm, and the author of books on law, rhetoric, philosophy, and chess.

Education and clerkships[edit]

Farnsworth graduated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut in 1989 (B.A.) and with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1994 (J.D.).

Immediately after law school, Farnsworth served as a law clerk for Judge Richard A. Posner on the Seventh Circuit and then clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. He then worked as a Legal Adviser to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague.

Academic career[edit]

Prior to beginning his tenure as dean at Texas, Farnsworth taught for 15 years at Boston University School of Law,[2] and served several years as associate dean for academic affairs. At BU, he taught civil procedure, torts, contracts, and rhetoric. At Texas, he teaches analytical methods, a course that offers a survey of tools that are useful for analyzing and arguing about multiple areas of law, organized around ideas from economics, cognitive psychology, jurisprudence, and rhetoric.[3] He was appointed Dean of the University of Texas School of Law in May 2012. He has received many teaching awards over the years, including the United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2009 from Boston University.


Farnsworth has written on a wide range of subjects. His legal writing includes articles on economic analysis of law, constitutional law, statutory interpretation, and legal applications of cognitive psychology. He is author of Restitution: Civil Liability for Unjust Enrichment (Chicago 2014), and The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking About the Law (Chicago 2007), an acclaimed guide to interdisciplinary approaches to legal thought. He is Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. He also is the co-author, with Mark F. Grady, of a casebook on the law of torts.

Farnsworth is also the author of Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric (Godine 2010) and Farnsworth’s Classical English Metaphor (Godine 2016), both of which received critical acclaim. He has written a two-volume treatise on chess, Predator at the Chessboard, and is the author of a book on philosophy, The Practicing Stoic (Godine 2018). His newest book, Farnsworth's Classical English Style, was released on April 7, 2020.


  1. ^ The AALS Directory of Law Teachers (West Pub. Co., 2005), p. 459.
  2. ^ Farnsworth New Dean of University of Texas School of Law Leslie Friday, BU Today
  3. ^ University of Texas Law - Course Taught (Farnsworth)

External links[edit]

  • "Author site".
  • "Ward Farnsworth: Articles available for download".
  • "The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law".
  • "Ward Farnsworth: Chess Tactics".
  • "Classical English Rhetoric and Classical English Metaphor -- Reviewed by Richard A. Lanham".
  • "Classical English Rhetoric -- Reviewed by Michael Dirda".
  • Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric – Reviewed by Geoffrey K. Pullum
  • "Classical English Rhetoric -- Reviewed by Carlin Romano".
  • "Classical English Metaphor -- Reviewed by John McIntyre".