Professor Lee Fennell to Receive Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize

Lee Anne Fennell, Max Pam Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, has been named the recipient of the 2024 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize. Fennell will be honored during William & Mary Law School’s 21st annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, which will be held on September 12-13, 2024 in Williamsburg.Lee Anne Fennell

“Lee Fennell is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking scholars writing about property law in the United States today,” said James Y. Stern, Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School and Director of William & Mary’s Property Rights Project. “Her work examining property’s conceptual and social boundaries has almost literally helped to reshape thinking about property law, and the Brigham-Kanner Prize is a fitting tribute to her many contributions.”

The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize is named in honor of the lifetime contributions to property rights of the late Toby Prince Brigham, founding partner of Brigham Moore, LLP, and Gideon Kanner, Professor of Law Emeritus at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. The prize is presented annually to a scholar, practitioner, or jurist whose work affirms the fundamental importance of property rights.

Fennell joined the University of Chicago Law School faculty in 2007, having previously served as a Bigelow Fellow from 1999 to 2001. In the intervening years, she taught at the University of Texas School of Law from 2001 to 2004 and at the University of Illinois College of Law from 2004 to 2007. She has also held visiting positions at Yale Law School, NYU School of Law, and the University of Virginia School of Law. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990. Before teaching law, she practiced at Pettit & Martin, the State and Local Legal Center, and the Virginia School Boards Association.

Professor Fennell’s teaching and research interests include property, torts, land use, housing, social welfare law, state and local government law, and public finance. She is the author of “The Unbounded Home: Property Values Beyond Property Lines” (Yale University Press 2009) and “Slices and Lumps: Division and Aggregation in Law and Life” (University of Chicago Press, 2019), as well as many articles and essays.

“As a legal practitioner, I’ve appreciated how Professor Fennell has advanced a practical understanding of the nature of property through her scholarship and continued to underscore the value and meaning of property ownership particularly when it concerns the home,” said Andrew Prince Brigham of the Brigham Property Rights Law Firm. “In my own experience, her working premise on property division and aggregation, enhancing real property’s usefulness in terms of a slice or lump, provides a helpful picture when explaining the connection between a property’s utility and value to lay jurors in property valuation cases. I am delighted to see Professor Lee Anne Fennell awarded the 2024 Brigham-Kanner Prize.”

Fennell joins an esteemed list of Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize winners. Previous recipients include Frank I. Michelman (2004), Richard Epstein (2005), James W. Ely, Jr. (2006), Margaret Jane Radin (2007), Robert C. Ellickson (2008), Richard E. Pipes (2009), Carol M. Rose (2010), Sandra Day O’Connor (2011), James E. Krier (2012), Thomas W. Merrill (2013), Michael M. Berger (2014), Joseph William Singer (2015), Hernando de Soto (2016), David L. Callies (2017), Stewart E. Sterk (2018), Steven J. Eagle (2019), Henry Smith (2020), Vicki Been (2021), James S. Burling (2022), and Gregory S. Alexander (2023).

About the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference
The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference is renowned for its outstanding panel discussions and for bringing together members of the bench, bar, and academia. Founded by William & Mary Law School alumnus Joseph T. Waldo ’78 in 2004, the conference is notable for its encouragement of active participation from the audience through its question-and-answer segments with each of the panels. Waldo served as conference co-chair from 2004-17, and in 2018, the Joseph T. Waldo Visiting Chair in Property Rights Law was named in his honor.

Sponsored by William & Mary Law School since its inception, the conference has taken on a larger international perspective as more and more countries deal with property rights issues. In 2011, the conference was held at Tsinghua Law School in Beijing, China, and in 2016 at the Grotius Center of International Legal Studies at the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands. Future international events are being planned.

SAVE THE DATE for September 12-13 for the fall conference. To learn more about the William & Mary Law School’s Property Rights Project and the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, please visit our web page.