Allensworth teaches Contracts and Antitrust law and studies the public policy and regulatory infrastructure of professional licensing. Her work explores how courts and lawmakers should balance the need for expertise in regulating the professions with the problems that can arise from self-regulation. Her work on professional licensing has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and has received the 13th annual Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award for groundbreaking antitrust scholarship.
The Tarkington Chair of Teaching Excellence was endowed in 2004 by the late Carlton Tarkington ’63 (BA’59), who founded a boutique investment firm, Edinburgh Investments, in Nashville after retiring from a successful sales career with West Publishing, a leading legal publisher. The three-year chair rotates among deserving faculty.
“I’m grateful to Carlton Tarkington for enabling us to recognize faculty for their contributions in the classroom,” said Chris Guthrie, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law. “The Tarkington Chair is a fitting legacy memorializing Carlton’s career, and Rebecca Allensworth is a worthy recipient. She’s extremely effective at employing the Socratic Method in the classroom, and she’s been frequently recognized by students for teaching.”
Allensworth earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University and an M.Phil. from Cambridge University before earning her J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she served as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review. She was law clerk to Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law School before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty. In addition to Contracts and Antitrust Law, she teaches a seminar on the jurisprudence and scholarship of Richard Posner. She is a four-time winner of the Hall Hartman Outstanding Professor Award for excellence in teaching and was also selected by the class of 2019 to be their Commencement speaker.
Allensworth’s three-year appointment to the Tarkington Chair began July 1.