Robert S. Summers

Robert S. Summers

Robert S. Summers

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Robert Samuel Summers is the current William G. McRoberts Research Professor in the Administration of the Law at the Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY.


Robert Summers was born in Halfway, Oregon in 1933. Summers attended, and graduated from, the University of Oregon and Harvard Law School.

Summers has won international acclaim for his work in contracts, commercial law, jurisprudence, and legal theory. Since he came to Cornell Law School from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1969, Summers has authored and co-authored multiple works on various legal topics with a focus on contracts and commercial law. His treatise on the Uniform Commercial Code, co-authored with Professor James J. White, is the most widely cited on the subject. His other influential works include texts on legal realism, form and substance in the law, and on statutory interpretation. Summers has served as official advisor both to the Drafting Commission for the Russian Civil Code and to the Drafting Commission for the Egyptian Civil Code. Professor Summers was recently named principal co-drafter of a new code of contract law for the African nation of Rwanda. Summers lectures annually on jurisprudence and legal theory in Britain, Scandinavia, and Europe.

Summers currently teaches contracts and American legal theory with his class mascot, "the particularistic contract snail," and has recently completed a book on the varieties of legal form and their importance in law, which is...
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