Erin O'Hara O'Connor

Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law
Director of Graduate Studies, Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics

Erin O’Hara O’Connor is a leading scholar in the field of conflict of laws. Her recent work includes four books and a series of significant articles on choice of law, as well as articles that explore contractual dispute resolution, including arbitration. Professor O'Connor was Vanderbilt Law School's associate dean for academic affairs from 2008 to 2010. She was named director of graduate studies for the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics in 2011. She is currently chair-elect of Vanderbilt’s Faculty Senate. Professor O’Connor has visited and/or taught at several other law schools, including George Mason University School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Northwestern Law School and Florida State University. She has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Conflict of Laws and as director of Vanderbilt’s Law and Human Behavior Program. She has been appointed adviser to the ALI’s Project for the Restatement (Third) of Conflict of Laws. Professor O'Connor is a research associate at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research and was a visiting fellow at Ludwig Maximilians Universitat Munchen, Center for Advanced Studies, and distinguished visiting scholar at ZenTra, Center for Transnational Studies, University of Bremen.

Research Interests

Choice of law; conflict of laws; dispute resolution; international contracts; jurisdictional competition

Representative Publications

  • "Preemption and Choice-of-Law Coordination," 111 Michigan Law Review 647 (2012) (with Larry Ribstein)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Customizing Employment Arbitration," 98 Iowa Law Review 133 (2012-13) (with Randall Thomas and Ken Martin)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • Conflict of Laws: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2011) (with R. Lea Brilmayer and Jack Goldsmith)
  • "Arbitration Clauses in CEO Employment Contracts: An Empirical and Theoretical Analysis," 63 Vanderbilt Law Review 959 (2010) (with Randall S. Thomas and Kenneth J. Martin)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Group Conflict Resolution: Sources of Resistance to Reconciliation," 72 Law & Contemporary Problems i (2009) (special editor for volume)
  • The Law Market, Oxford Publishing (2009) (with Larry Ribstein)
  • The Economics of Conflict of Laws, 2 volumes, Elgar Publishing (2007)
  • "A Cognitive Theory of Trust," 84 Washington University Law Quarterly 1717 (2007) (with Claire A. Hill)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Choice of Law for Internet Transactions: The Uneasy Case for Online Consumer Protection," 153 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1883 (2005)
  • "Economics, Public Choice, and the Perennial Conflict of Laws," 90 Georgetown Law Journal 941 (2002)
    Full Text | SSRN

Download HighRes Photo

Contact Information

(615) 322-3025 (voice)
(615) 322-6631 (fax)
Room 244 (office)

Curriculum Vitae



J.D. Georgetown University
B.A. University of Rochester