A graduate of Yale Law School, Kraus joined the faculty in 1990. He had previously earned a B.A. from Ohio State University and an M.A. and Ph. D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona. At Virginia he was the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law (2006-2011) and the Albert Clark Tate, Jr. Research Professor of Law (2007-2011). In 1997 he also became a member of the faculty of the University of Virginia Department of Philosophy.
In 1993 and 1995, Kraus was the recipient of the First-Year Teaching Award. Known for his rigorous cold calls and probing lectures, he taught contracts, commercial law, political theory and jurisprudence. Much of his scholarly career has been spent exploring the field of contracts, focusing on moral and economic theories of contract law. Kraus has published widely, including a leading casebook, Contract Law and Theory (with Robert E. Scott), and numerous articles in law reviews and peer-reviewed journals.
The Limits of Hobbesian Contractarianism, 334 pp, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
The Jurisprudential Foundations of Corporate and Commercial Law (editor with Steven D. Walt) (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Contract Law and Theory (with Robert E. Scott) (LexisNexis, 3d ed. 2002; rev. 3d ed. 2003; 4th ed. 2007).
Contract Law and Theory: Selected Provisions: Restatement of Contracts and Uniform Commercial Code (with Robert E. Scott) (LexisNexis, 3d ed. 2002; rev. 3d ed. 2003; 4th ed. 2007).
Morality and the Theory of Rational Choice (with Jules L. Coleman), in Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gautier’s Morals by Agreement 254-290 (Peter Vallentyne ed., Cambridge University Press, 1991); reprinted from 97 Ethics 715-749 (1987).
Decoupling Sales Law from the Acceptance-Rejection Fulcrum, 104 Yale L.J. 129-205 (1994).
Telephone Conversations with Health Care Providers and Others, in Ethics in Emergency Medicine 366-371 (Kenneth V. Iserson et al. eds., Galen Press, 2d ed. 1995).
Legal Design and the Evolution of Commercial Norms, 26 J. Legal Stud. 377-411 (1997).
A Non-Solution to a Non-Problem: A Comment on Alan Strudler’s “Mass Torts and Moral Principles,” 16 Law & Phil. 91-100 (1997).
Hobbes and Contractarianism, in 2 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law 229-236 (Peter Newman ed., Macmillan, 1998).
Political Liberalism and Truth, 5 Legal Theory 45-73 (1999).
Comment on Brian Leiter’s “Holmes, Economics, and Classical Realism,” in The Path of the Law and its Influence: The Legacy of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 326-332 (Steven J. Burton ed., Cambridge University Press, 2000).
In Defense of the Incorporation Strategy (with Steven D. Walt), in The Jurisprudential Foundations of Corporate and Commercial Law 193-237 (Jody S. Kraus & Steven D. Walt eds., Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Reconciling Autonomy and Efficiency in Contract Law: The Vertical Integration Strategy, 11 Phil. Issues 420-441 (2001).
Legal Theory and Contract Law: Groundwork for the Reconciliation of Autonomy and Efficiency in Contract Theory, in Legal and Political Philosophy 385-445 (Enrique Vallanueva ed., Rodopi, 2002).
Philosophy of Contract Law, in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law 687-751 (Jules Coleman & Scott Shapiro eds., Oxford University Press, 2002).
Replies to Gargarella and Morris, in Legal and Political Philosophy 467-479 (Enrique Vallanueva ed., Rodopi, 2002).
Anticipatory Repudiation Reconsidered (with George G. Triantis), 6 Va. J. 54-71 (2003).
A Critique of the Efficient Performance Hypothesis, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 423-437 (2007).
Legal Determinacy and Moral Justification, 48 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1773-1787 (2007).
Transparency and Determinacy in Common Law Adjudication: A Philosophical Defense of Explanatory Economic Analysis, 93 Va. L. Rev. 287-359 (2007).
From Langdell to Law and Economics: Two Conceptions of Stare Decisis in Contract Law and Theory, 94 Va. L. Rev. 157-195 (2008).
Contract Design and the Structure of Contractual Intent (with Robert E. Scott), 84 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1023-1104 (2009).
The Correspondence of Contract and Promise, 109 Colum. L. Rev. 1603-1649 (2009).
Personal Sovereignty and Normative Power Skepticism, 109 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 126-134 (2009).