James Y. Stern of William & Mary Law School Elected Member of American Law Institute

  • James Stern
    James Stern  is a Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School. His areas of specialization include: Property, Intellectual Property, Patent, Copyright, Trademark, Trade Secrecy, Privacy, Private Law Theory, Conflict of Laws, Torts, Remedies.  
Photo - of -

Professor of Law James Y. Stern of William & Mary Law School has been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law.

The ALI drafts, discusses, revises and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes and Principles of Law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education. 

“Professor Stern will be an excellent addition to the American Law Institute,” said A. Benjamin Spencer, Dean of William & Mary Law School and Trustee Professor, and member of the ALI. “His work on the faculty and in public policy demonstrates his tremendous dedication across the legal spectrum, which is to the great benefit of the ALI.”

Stern joined the William & Mary law faculty in 2013. His scholarship centers on property and private law theory and on intellectual property, privacy, and related issues. His articles have been published in leading legal journals including the California Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, and the Michigan Law Review, and have been cited by various courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

At William & Mary, Stern has taught Intellectual Property, Property, and Torts, as well as advanced seminars and reading groups on topics such as cryptocurrency law and policy and music licensing. He is a recipient of the Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship from the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property and the Temple Bar Scholarship from the American Inns of Court Foundation, as well as the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Rockefeller Award for the Advancement of Scholarship and the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence at William & Mary.

Stern currently serves as Reporter of Civil Decisions for the Court of Appeals of Virginia. He previously served as Deputy General Counsel at the United States Department of the Treasury. In that capacity, he oversaw major Treasury Department litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts, worked on national security issues including international sanctions programs and review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), helped spearhead the development of cryptocurrency regulations and related measures involving oversight of financial institutions, and was involved in a wide range of domestic and international tax policy matters.

In addition, Stern played a major role in the establishment of various Treasury Department programs implemented in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, totaling more than one trillion dollars. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded the Treasury Department’s Distinguished Service Award by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Stern received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was elected to the order of the Coif and was awarded the Traynor Prize for the best paper by a graduating student. He subsequently clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stern joins 59 other new members of the ALI, including William & Mary Law’s Lynda L. Butler.  

“This impressive group of newly elected members will add to the breadth of expertise in The American Law Institute’s membership,” said ALI President David F. Levi. “Our return to an in-person Annual Meeting this year affirmed the strength of the ALI’s spirit of collaboration and connection. I am excited to welcome this group’s participation in our ongoing projects and look forward to celebrating the ALI’s 100th anniversary with them at next year’s Annual Meeting.”

Other William & Mary Law faculty elected to the ALI include: Peter A. Alces, Jayne W. Barnard, Jeffrey Bellin, Aaron-Andrew Paul Bruhl, Vivian Hamilton, Linda A. Malone, Paul Marcus, Nathan B. Oman, Larry I. Palmer and A. Benjamin Spencer.

About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s first law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.