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Our History: Former Faculty [Fall 2020 - this site is under construction as we update this list]: Gillette, Clayton P. (1992-2000)

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

Clayton P. Gillette, 1992-2000


A native of Connecticut, Gillette graduated from Amherst in 1972 and received a J.D. from Michigan in 1975. While in law school, Gillette was articles editor for the Michigan Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation he clerked for Judge J. Edward Lumbard of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. He then became an associate at the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. Clayton Gillette joined the faculty in 1992 after teaching for 14 years at Boston University, where he was professor of law, Harry Elwood Warren Scholar in Municipal Law, and associate dean. At UVA, he taught courses in the areas of sales, secured transactions, commercial paper, and local government law, and became the Perre Bowen Professor of Law. While a professor at Virginia, Gillette served as a reporter for the American Bar Association Intersectional Task Force on Initiatives and Referenda. He also has been a speaker for the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Previously, he served as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States on projects involving federal user fees and federal agency valuations of human life, and was involved in litigation involving veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange and the default of bonds issued by the Washington Public Power Supply System. Gillette served as Perre Bowen Professor of Law beginning in 1992. He left UVA for NYU in 2000.



Local Government Law: Cases and Materials (Little, Brown, 1994).

Payment Systems and Credit Instruments (with Alan Schwartz and Robert E. Scott) (Foundation Press, 1996).

Local Government Law: Cases and Materials (with Lynn A. Baker) (Aspen Law & Business, 2d ed. 1999).

Sales Law: Domestic and International (with Steven D. Walt) (Foundation Press, 1999).

Articles and Book Chapters

In Partial Praise of Dillon’s Rule, or, Can Public Choice Theory Justify Local Government Law?  67 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 959-1010 (1991).

Cooperation and Convention in Contractual Defaults, 3 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 167-188 (1994).

Courts, Covenants, and Communities, 61 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1375-1441 (1994).

Expropriation and Institutional Design in State and Local Government Law, 80 Va. L. Rev. 625-687 (1994).

Opting Out of Public Provision, 73 Denv. U. L. Rev. 1185-1219 (1996).

Politics and Revision: A Comment on Scott, 80 Va. L. Rev. 1853-1877 (1994).

Reconstructing Local Control of School Finance: A Cautionary Note, 25 Cap. U. L. Rev. 37-50 (1996).

Rules, Standards, and Precautions in Payment Systems, 82 Va. L. Rev. 181-251 (1996).

Business Incentives, Interstate Competition, and the Commerce Clause, 82 Minn. L. Rev. 447-502 (1997).

The Exercise of Trumps by Decentralized Governments, 83 Va. L. Rev. 1347-1417 (1997).

Rules and Reversibility, 72 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1415-1448 (1997).

Constitutional Limitations on Privatization (with Paul B. Stephan III), 46 Am. J. Comp. L. (Supp.) 481-502 (1998).

Is Direct Democracy Anti-Democratic?, 34 Willamette L. Rev. 609-637 (1998).

Lock-In Effects in Law and Norms, 78 B.U. L. Rev. 813-842 (1998).

Harmony and Stasis in Trade Usages for International Sales, 39 Va. J. Int’l L. 707-741 (1999).

The Path Dependence of the Law, in The Path of the Law and Its Influence: The Legacy of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 245-277 (Steven J. Burton ed., Cambridge University Press, 2000).


Learning the Language of the Law, Va. L. Sch. Rep., Spring 1994, at 45-50.

Public Authorities and Private Firms as Providers of Public Goods (Reason Foundation, 1994).

Remote Risks and the Tort System, in 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law 300-305 (Peter Newman ed., Macmillan, 1998).