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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

William S. Dodge Becomes First Honorable Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law

The newly created endowed chair at UC Hastings commemorates the legacy of one of the nation’s most prominent jurists.
Professor Bill Dodge

Professor Bill Dodge

Associate Academic Dean for Research William S. Dodge was appointed The Honorable Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law, beginning in 2014.

Selected from the faculty, the appointment was made by Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu in consultation with Provost and Academic Dean Elizabeth L. Hillman. As part of his appointment, Professor Dodge will give an inaugural lecture in the fall.

The family of Chief Justice Traynor created the Traynor Professorship in honor of the late jurist, who taught at UC Hastings for more than a dozen years after he retired from the California Supreme Court. The Traynor family, and especially his widow Madeleine, has been very generous to UC Hastings. Between 1979 and 1990, Madeleine Traynor established five funds at UC Hastings in honor of her husband. Those funds were recently consolidated into a single fund, the Honorable Roger J. Traynor Fund, which allowed for the creation of the newly endowed chair.

“My mother wanted to recognize the affection my father had for UC Hastings,” said Michael Traynor, the couple’s eldest son. “It was her idea to house his papers and effects at the law school, and our family is delighted with the way things have worked out.”

“Bill Dodge is the epitome of an engaged scholar,” said Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu. “He has demonstrated substantial commitment to the ideals of engaged scholarship through his work as a Reporter for the American Law Institute and his stellar achievements as Research Dean at UC Hastings. He is also a beloved and highly regarded classroom teacher. He was my first choice for this new endowed chair.”

"I feel very honored by this appointment,” said Professor Dodge. “Chief Justice Traynor was one of the greatest jurists this country has ever produced, and I am humbled to hold a chair that bears his name.”

About William S. Dodge


Professor Dodge specializes in international law, international transactions, and international dispute resolution. He currently serves as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law: Jurisdiction and as a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law. From 2011 to 2012, he was the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State.

Professor Dodge is a coauthor of the casebook Transnational Business Problems (4th ed. Foundation Press 2008) and a coeditor of International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change (Cambridge University Press 2011), which won the American Society of International Law’s 2012 certificate of merit. He has more than 40 other publications in books and law reviews. His articles have been cited twenty times in court opinions, including three times by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Dodge received his BA in History, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1986. After three semesters teaching English in Tianjin, China, he attended Yale Law School, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal, served as Director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project, and earned his JD in 1991. Following graduation, Professor Dodge clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1993 to 1995, he was an attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. He joined the UC Hastings faculty in 1995.

About Roger J. Traynor


The 23rd Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Roger J. Traynor is widely considered one of the greatest legal minds of his generation. He served on the California Supreme Court for 30 years, from 1940 until his retirement from the bench in 1970; one year later he joined the faculty of UC Hastings College of the Law. He taught at the law school until 1983, the year he passed away at the age of 83. UC Hastings is privileged to house many of his papers and personal effects in the Roger J. Traynor Memorial Room of the library. The Traynor Family has been generous in establishing funds at UC Hastings with the aim of “providing the college with optimal flexibility in using the funds as needed,” according to Michael Traynor, the eldest son of the late jurist.

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