David M. Becker

Joseph H. Zumbalen Professor of the Law of Property Emeritus


A.B., 1957, Harvard University
J.D., 1960, University of Chicago

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-6492
E-mail: becker@wulaw.wustl.edu 


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 542


Bev Owens - (314) 935-6482

Courses Taught

Future Interests
Landlord-Tenant Seminar


Professor Becker has taught at the School of Law for well over forty years. A well-loved teacher, he was a recipient of the University's Founders Day Award and the first recipient of the Law Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award.  And in November, 2002, the School of Law announced creation of the David M. Becker Public Service Fund, which will be used to support Summer Public Interest Stipends and general scholarships for students. 

He is the author of several books and many articles. Much of his work concerns the Rule Against Perpetuities. This includes a book: "Perpetuities and Estate Planning: Potential Problems and Effective Solutions," Little, Brown (1993). It also includes several articles: "If You Think You No Longer Need to Know Anything About the Rule Against Perpetuities, Then Read This!" 74 Washington University Law Quarterly 713 (1996); "Tailoring Perpetuities Provisions to Avoid Problems,"9 Probate & Property 10 (1995); "A Methodology for Solving Perpetuities Problems Under the Common Law Rule: A Step by Step Process that Carefully Identifies All Testing Lives in Being," 67 Washington University Law Quarterly 949 (1989); "Estate Planning and the Reality of Perpetuities Problems Today: Reliance Upon Statutory Reform and Saving Clauses Is Not Enough," 64 Washington University Law Quarterly 287 (1986); and "Understanding the Rule Against Perpetuities in Relation to the Lawyer's Role -- To Construe or Construct," 20 San Diego Law Review 733 (1983). 

His recent articles are "A Critical Look at Class Gifts and the Rule of Convenience," 42 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 491 (2007), "Eroding the Common Law Paradigm for Creation of Property Interest and the Hidden Costs of Law Reform, 83 Washington University Law Quarterly 773 (2005), "Uniform Probate Code Section 2-707 and the Experienced Estate Planner: Unexpected Disasters and How to Avoid Them," 47 U.C.L.A. Law Review 339 (1999), "My Two Cents on Changing Times," 76 Washington University Law Quarterly 45 (1998), "Debunking the Sanctity of Precedent," 76 Washington University Law Quarterly 853 (1998) and "Some Concerns About the Future of Legal Education," 51 Journal of Legal Education 469 (2001). 

Before becoming a law professor, Professor Becker practiced law in Chicago.