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Chris Guthrie

John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law

Chris Guthrie has served as dean of Vanderbilt Law School since 2009. Dean Guthrie is a leading expert on behavioral law and economics, dispute resolution, negotiation and judicial decision making. Over the course of his academic career, he has been recognized for his research and teaching with two CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Professional Article Prizes, the Outstanding First-Year Course Professor Award at Northwestern University Law School, and multiple teaching and research prizes at the University of Missouri, among other awards. He is one of the authors of the influential textbook Dispute Resolution and Lawyers and has published more than 50 scholarly articles and essays in leading law journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Guthrie joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2002 following six years on the faculty at the University of Missouri School of Law. He served as the law school’s associate dean for academic affairs from 2004-08 before becoming its dean in July 2009. During his academic career, Guthrie has served as a visiting professor at the Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Washington University law schools. Before entering the legal academy, he practiced law with Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, California.

Guthrie graduated with distinction and honors from Stanford University and then earned his master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a law degree from Stanford Law School. At Vanderbilt, Dean Guthrie has taught Torts, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution.

Research Interests

Behavioral law and economics, dispute resolution, negotiation, mediation, judicial decision making, legal education and scholarship


Additional Courses

Introduction to Law

Representative Publications

  • Dispute Resolution and Lawyers (West Publishing, 6th edition 2019) (with Leonard R. Riskin, Richard C. Reuben, Jennifer K. Robbennolt, Nancy A. Welsh and Art Hinshaw)
  • "The Aid Gap," 69 Journal of Legal Education 123 (2020) with Emily Lamm)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “Contrition in the Courtroom: Do Apologies Affect Adjudication?” 98 Cornell Law Review 1189 (2013) (with Jeffrey J. Rachlinski and Andrew J. Wistrich)
    Full Text | SSRN | BEPRESS | PDF
  • "Carhart, Constitutional Rights, and the Psychology of Regret," 81 Southern California Law Review 877 (2008)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN | BEPRESS
  • “Blinking on the Bench: How Judges Decide Cases,” 93 Cornell Law Review 1 (2007) (with Jeffrey J. Rachlinski & Judge Andrew J. Wistrich)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN | BEPRESS
  • "Can Judges Ignore Inadmissible Information?: The Difficulty of Deliberately Disregarding," 153 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1115 (2005) (with Jeffrey J. Rachlinski & Judge Andrew J. Wistrich)
    Full Text | SSRN | BEPRESS
  • "Panacea or Pandora's Box? The Costs of Options in Negotiation," 88 Iowa Law Review (2003)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Prospect Theory, Risk Preference & the Law," 97 Northwestern University Law Review 1115 (2003) (symposium)
    Full Text | SSRN | BEPRESS
  • "Inside the Judicial Mind," 86 Cornell Lew Review 777 (2001) (with Jeffrey J. Rachlinski and Judge Andrew J. Wistrich)
    Full Text | SSRN | BEPRESS
  • "Framing Frivolous Litigation: A Psychological Theory," 67 University of Chicago Law Review 163 (2000)
    Full Text | BEPRESS | JSTOR