Sean Seymore appointed to the New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law

Sep 23, 2019

Professor Sean SeymoreSean Seymore has been named to the New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law. Seymore’s appointment was announced at a ceremony honoring new chair appointees at Vanderbilt schools Sept. 16.

Seymore’s research focuses on how patent law should evolve in response to scientific advances and how the intersection of law and science should influence the formulation of public policy. His articles have been published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Washington University Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review and Vanderbilt Law Review. He is the faculty adviser to the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Seymore joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2010, having previously taught at Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he was an assistant professor of law and earned the designations of Alumni Faculty Fellow and Huss Faculty Fellow for his scholarship and teaching. He was a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law in 2007-08. Before law school, Professor Seymore held academic appointments in chemistry at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Rowan University and was a visiting scientist at Indiana University-Bloomington.

After earning his law degree, he practiced patent law with Foley Hoag in Boston. As an active member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), he served on the executive committee for the Division of Chemistry and the Law from 2009 to 2012, on the Committee on Patents and Related Matters from 2006-07 and on the Younger Chemists Committee from 2002 to 2006. In spring 2012, Professor Seymore was appointed to the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Associate Professor.

Seymore earned his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Tennessee as a Tennessee Scholar, an M.S.Chem. (with thesis) from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame with an Arthur J. Schmitt Presidential Fellowship, and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame with an Allen Endowment Fellowship. His dissertation, Polar Effects in Metal-Mediated Nitrogen and Oxygen Atom Transfer, led to four peer-reviewed publications in Inorganic Chemistry, including a cover article.

At Vanderbilt, Seymore was appointed the law school’s first Enterprise Scholar in fall 2013 and to the inaugural cohort of Chancellor Faculty Fellows. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

“As a chemist and a lawyer, Sean Seymore brings a unique perspective to patent law,” said Dean Chris Guthrie. “We are pleased to have Sean on our faculty, and we are grateful to the dedicated group of New York alumni who endowed this chair to enable us to recognize and reward outstanding faculty like Sean.”

The New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law was established in 1997 by numerous VLS alumni based in the New York area, along with a match from Vanderbilt University, to support distinguished legal scholars at the law school. More than 50 alumni contributed to this fundraising initiative, led by co-chairs Richard S. Aldrich Jr. ’75 and Robert W. Brundige Jr. ’69.The New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair was Vanderbilt University’s first Chancellor’s Chair created through an initiative spearheaded by former Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt. Under Wyatt’s leadership, the number of endowed faculty chairs at the university increased from 39 in 1982 to more than 100 when he became chancellor emeritus in 2000. This growth reflected Wyatt’s conviction that endowed professorships are essential to achieve the academic goals of individual schools, to improve the quality of teaching and research, and to propel the university to a higher level of excellence and national reputation.


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