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Jens Frankenreiter

Associate Professor of Law

Jens Frankenreiter‘s research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of business law, contract law, and comparative law. His work draws on methods from economics, statistics, and data science to improve our understanding of contracting, private and public lawmaking, and legal institutions. A particular focus of his work is on the use of large amounts of texts and other forms of big data. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in leading academic journals, among them the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Professor Frankenreiter holds a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Before coming to WashU, he was a Senior Research Fellow at Max Planck Bonn, a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership.

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  • Education
    • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, Ph.D., 2016
    • Harvard Law School, LL.M., 2015
    • University of Bonn and LMU Munich, 2010
  • Publications
    • Cleaning Corporate Governance, 170 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW (forthcoming 2021) (with Cathy Hwang, Yaron Nili and Eric Talley), Featured on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, March 17, 2021
    • Computational Methods in Legal Analysis, 16 ANNUAL REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE 39 (2020) (with Michael A. Livermore)
    • Forum Selling Abroad, 92 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 487 (2019) (with Stefan Bechtold and Dan Klerman), Featured on the Oxford Business Law Blog, November 26, 2018
    • Are Advocates General Political? An Empirical Analysis of the Voting Behavior of the Advocates General at the European Court of Justice, 14 REVIEW OF LAW & ECONOMICS 20160037 (2018)
    • The Politics of Citations at the ECJ: Policy Preferences of EU Member State Governments and the Citation Behavior of Members of the European Court of Justice, 14 JOURNAL OF EMPIRICAL LEGAL STUDIES 813 (2017)


    • The Missing “California Effect” in Data Privacy Law
    • Empirical Corporate Governance in the Land of Unicorns (with Eric Talley)
    • Hunting for Contracts on the Blockchain (with Julian Nyarko)
    • Are Lawyers’ Case Selection Decisions Biased? A Field Experiment on Access to Justice (with Michael A. Livermore)


    • The Deep Structure of Deliberate Ignorance – Mapping the Terrain, DELIBERATE IGNORANCE – CHOOSING NOT TO KNOW 65 (Ralph Hertwig & Christoph Engel eds., 2021) (with Barry Schwartz et al.)
    • The Limits of Smart Contracts, 175 JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL AND THEORETICAL ECONOMICS (JITE) 149 (2019) (conference issue)
    • Writing Style and Legal Traditions, LAW AS DATA: COMPUTATION, TEXT, AND THE FUTURE OF LEGAL ANALYSIS 153 (Michael A. Livermore & Daniel Rockmore eds., 2019)
    • Text as Observational Data, LAW AS DATA: COMPUTATION, TEXT, AND THE FUTURE OF LEGAL ANALYSIS 59 (Michael A. Livermore & Daniel Rockmore eds., 2019) (with Marion Dumas)
    • Network Analysis and the Use of Precedent in the Case Law of the CJEU – A Reply to Derlén and Lindholm, 18 GERMAN LAW JOURNAL 687 (2017)
  • Honors and Awards
    • Distinguished Referee 2018–2020, Journal of Legal Studies
    • ETH Medal (2017)
    • Harvard Law School Landon H. Gammon Fellowship for top LL.M. Candidates (2014)
    • ERP scholarship by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology, 2014
    • LL.M. Scholarship by the German National Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2014
    • NYU School of Law Arthur T. Vanderbilt Scholarship (declined), 2014
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