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Our History: Former Faculty: Walker, W. Laurens (1978-2011)

Tenured faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law through its history.

W. Laurens Walker, 1978-2011

John Lomax

W. Laurens Walker joined the faculty in 1978 from UNC Chapel Hill. He received his A.B. from Davidson College, his J.D. from Duke, and his S.J.D. from Harvard. After graduation from Duke Law Scholl, he practiced with the Atlanta firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. Later, he was counsel to the Atlanta firm of Long and Aldridge and to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1984 until the end of his tenure, he was the T. Munford Boyd Professor of Law. He held the Class of 1963 Professorship as well as the Hunton & Williams and the John V. Ray Research Professorships. Professor Walker taught in the civil litigation field, often pointing out the need to employ social research to improve the quality of civil justice. Students appreciated his practical experience, which he combined with his career-long fascination with process structure and theory. Walker’s view of the central importance of procedure in the resolution of disputes was reflected in his scholarship. His empirical research, with colleague John Thibaut, led to the publication of their influential book “Procedural Justice.” At Virginia, Walker formed a research partnership with John Monahan and began to explore the increasing use of social science by the courts. Together they set out to define a comprehensive set of principles to manage courts’ use of this research and published leading articles on this subject, as well as their widely used text and casebook, “Social Science in Law.” Both of Walker’s projects with Thibaut and Monahan received significant national and international attention.



Social Science in Law: Cases and Materials (with John Monahan) (Foundation Press, 1985; 2d ed. 1990; 3d ed. 1994; 4th ed. 1998; 5th ed. 2002; 6th ed. 2006; 7th ed. 2010); 6th ed. published in Chinese as Fa lü zhong de she hui ke xue (Fa lü chu ban she, 2007).

An Introduction to Social Science in Law (with John Monahan) (Foundation Press, 2006).

Articles and Book Chapters

Preference for Modes of Dispute Resolution as a Function of Process and Decision Control (with others), 14 J. Experimental Soc. Psychol. 13-30 (1978).

A Theory of Procedure (with John Thibaut), 66 Cal. L. Rev. 541-566 (1978); excerpt reprinted as The Achievement of Distributive Justice, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Summer 1979, at 19-21; excerpts reprinted in Foundations of Administrative Law 115-119 (Peter H. Schuck ed.), Oxford University Press, 1994.

Efficient Procedure (with Michael Lea), 57 N.C. L. Rev. 361-78 (1979).

The Relation Between Procedural and Distributive Justice (with E. Allan Lind and John Thibaut), 65 Va. L. Rev. 1401-1420 (1979).

Theory Testing, Theory Development, and Laboratory Research on Legal Issues (with E. Allan Lind and John Thibaut), 3 Law & Hum. Behav. 5-19 (1979).

Procedure and Outcome Effects on Reactions to Adjudicated Resolution of Conflicts of Interest (with others), 39 J. Personality & Soc. Psychol. 643-653 (1980).

Procedural Theory and Empirical Research (with E. Allan Lind), Rechtssoziologie und Prozessrecht 245-270 (Gunter H. Roth ed., Orac, 1983).

Psychological Studies of Procedural Models (with E. Allan Lind), 2 Progress Applied Soc. Psychol. 293-313 (1984).

Teaching Social Science in Law: An Alternative to "Law and Society" (with John Monahan), 35 J. Legal Educ. 478-482 (1985).

Social Authority: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Establishing Social Science in Law (with John Monahan), 134 U. Pa. L. Rev. 477-517 (1986).

Social Frameworks: A New Use of Social Science in Law (with John Monahan), 73 Va. L. Rev. 559-598 (1987).

Social Facts: Scientific Methodology as Legal Precedent (with John Monahan), 76 Cal. L. Rev. 877-896 (1988).

Social Science Research in Law: A New Paradigm (with John Monahan), 43 Am. Psychol. 465-472 (1988).

Perfecting Federal Civil Rules: A Proposal for Restricted Field Experiments, Law & Contemp. Probs., Summer 1988, at 67-85.

Empirical Questions Without Empirical Answers (with John Monahan), 1991 Wis. L. Rev. 569-594.

Judicial Use of Social Science Research (with John Monahan), 15 Law & Hum. Behav. 571-584 (1991); revised version published as Judicial Use of Social Science Research after Daubert, 2 Shepard's Expert & Sci. Evid. Q. 327-342 (1994).

A Comprehensive Reform for Federal Civil Rulemaking, 61 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 455-489 (1993).

Avoiding Surprise from Federal Civil Rule Making: The Role of Economic Analysis, 23 J. Legal Stud. 569-593 (1994).

Writings on the Margin of American Law: Committee Notes, Comments, and Commentary, 29 Ga. L. Rev. 993-1033 (1995).

Daubert and the Reference Manual: An Essay on the Future of Science in Law (with John Monahan), 82 Va. L. Rev. 837-857 (1996).

The End of the New Deal and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 82 Iowa L. Rev. 1269-1291 (1997).

Sampling Damages (with John Monahan), 83 Iowa L. Rev. 545-568 (1998).

Sampling Liability (with John Monahan), 85 Va. L. Rev. 329-351 (1999).

Environmental Citizen Suits: Standing and Mootness after Laidlaw, 19 Va. Envtl. L.J. 393-405 (2000).

Scientific Authority: The Breast Implant Litigation and Beyond (with John Monahan), 86 Va. L. Rev. 801-833 (2000).

A Model Plan to Resolve Federal Class Action Cases by Jury Trial, 88 Va. L. Rev. 405-445 (2002); excerpt reprinted in 7 Va. J. 39-42 (2004).

The Stay Seen Around the World: The Order That Stopped the Vote Recounting in Bush v. Gore, 18 J.L. & Pol. 823-849 (2002).

The Other Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 25 Rev. Litig. 79-114 (2006).

The Consumer Class Action Bill of Rights: A Policy and Political Mistake, 58 Hastings L.J. 849-868 (2007).

Sampling Evidence at the Crossroads (with John Monahan), 80 S. Cal. L. Rev. 969-995 (2007).

Contextual Evidence of Gender Discrimination: The Ascendance of "Social Frameworks" (with John Monahan and Gregory Mitchell), 94 Va. L. Rev. 1715-1749 (2008).

A Judges' Guide to Using Social Science (with John Monahan), 43 Ct. Rev. 156-163 (2007).

The Limits of Social Framework Evidence (with John Monahan and Gregory Mitchell), 8 Law, Probability & Risk 307-321 (2009).

The ASA’s Missed Opportunity to Promote Sound Science in Court (with Gregory Mitchell and John Monahan), 40 Soc. Methods & Res. 605-620 (2011).

Beyond Context: Social Facts as Case-Specific Evidence (with Gregory Mitchell and John Monahan), 60 Emory L.J. 1109-1155 (2011).

Case-Specific Sociological Inference: Metanorms for Expert Opinions (with Gregory Mitchell and John Monahan), 40 Soc. Methods & Res. 668-680 (2011).

Twenty-Five Years of Social Science in Law (with John Monahan), 35 Law & Hum. Behav. 72-82 (2011).


Contemporary Civil Procedure (reviewing Carrington & Babcock, Civil Procedure), 30 Stan. L. Rev. 271-279 (1977).

Statement, in Court-Ordered School Busing 357-360, 397-403 (Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearings, May 22-Oct. 16, 1981).

A Useful Assessment (reviewing Lieberman ed., The Role of Courts in American Society), 69 Judicature 55 (1985).

Foreword, in Language in the Judicial Process vii-xiv (Judith N. Levi & Anne Graffam Walker eds., Plenum Press, 1990).