About Kent Greenfield
Kent Greenfield is Professor of Law and Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, where he teaches and writes in the areas of business law, constitutional law, decision making theory, legal theory, and economic analysis of law. He is the past Chair of the Section on Business Associations of the American Association of Law Schools. In addition, he is the author of the book The Myth of Choice, published in 2011 from Yale University Press, Prunsoop Publishing (in Korean), and BiteBack Publishing (UK). Kirkus Reviews stated in its review: “The author deftly debunks prevailing dogma about the infallibility of free markets, especially important during a time when, as he reports, one in seven Americans are poor." He is also the author of the book “The Failure of Corporate Law” published by University of Chicago Press. The book has been called “simply the best and most well-reasoned progressive critique of corporate law yet written,” and the Law and Politics Book Review said that “it merits a place alongside Berle and Means, [and] Easterbrook and Fischel.”
Greenfield also has had journal articles published in the Yale Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the George Washington Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary, among others. His articles are widely cited, and he has been called “the leading figure” and “the most creative thinker” in the progressive, stakeholder school of corporate law scholarship.
Greenfield has lectured in 36 states, 9 countries, and at over 100 institutions (including Harvard, Yale, Brown, Stanford, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the London School of Economics). His opinion essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Atlantic, the Washington Monthly, the American Prospect, Salon, and the Nation.
Greenfield consults with litigators on issues of corporate accountability. He was instrumental in developing the theory of the cases brought against Unocal Corporation for alleged human rights violations committed by the company in Burma and against Hershey Corporation for the alleged use of child labor in West Africa.
Greenfield has received teaching awards from the law school's Black Law Student Society, the Lambda Law Students’ Association, and the Business Law Society. He was also named B.C. Law Teacher of the Year for 2003-04, a recognition bestowed by the Law Students Association on vote of the entire student body. He was also awarded the Emil Slizewski Award for outstanding teaching, given by the graduating class of 2004. He also received the Kevin Larkin Memorial Award for Public Service from the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association in 2005.
Greenfield has been a Law Fund Research Scholar, a recognition of his scholarly contributions, since 2003. He has taught at the University of Sydney, the University of Connecticut School of Law, and the University of Hawaii School of Law, and at Brown University in the political science department.
He was the founder and president of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), an association of three dozen law schools and other academic institutions organized to fight for academic freedom and against discrimination. in 2003, FAIR brought suit against Donald Rumsfeld and others to contest the Solomon Amendment, which forced universities to assist military recruiters. The Supreme Court decided the case against FAIR on March 6, 2006. Greenfield’s work with FAIR was featured in numerous newspapers and media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.
Greenfield is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with honors and was awarded membership into the honorary society Order of the Coif. He also served as Topics and Comments Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. He received an A.B., with highest honors, from Brown University, where he studied economics and history. Before law school, he traveled extensively in South America and Africa.
- Fall 2016: Constitutional Law II, Journal of Law and Social Justice, Supreme Court Experience
- Spring 2017: Journal of Law and Social Justice
Professor of Law and
Law Fund Research Scholar
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton Center, MA 02459
Law School M539
Corporate Law (42)
A Skeptic's View of Benefit Corporations Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review (2015)
Over the last few years there has been a shift in the core ideas of business with respect to corporate responsibility. A new type of business classification called benefit corporations is gaining popularity in the ...
Sticking the Landing: Making the Most of the “Stakeholder Moment” European Business Law Review (2014)
This paper illustrates that the shareholder primacy model is still the prevailing model especially as the proponents of the stakeholder model have not come up with a theoretically sound alternative. It is argued that all ...
Are Shareholders Owners? Absolutely. And Absolutely Not Journal of Governance Directions (2014)
Shareholder ownership is in reality ‘shareholder primacy,’ or ‘shareholder supremacy.’ An excessive focus on shareholder interests encourages managerial decisions that are overly risky from society’s perspective. Including broader stakeholder concerns at the senior level of ...
Amended Brief of Professor Nancy Gertner and Professor Kent Greenfield as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiff, Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System v. The Hershey Company, C.A. No. 7996-ML (2014)
Amicus brief filed by Nancy Gertner and Kent Greenfield in the case of Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System v. The Hershey Company, C.A. No. 7996-ML.
Law, Politics, and the Erosion of Legitimacy in the Delaware Courts New York Law School Law Review (2011)
One of the putative benefits of incorporation in Delaware is the expertise and knowledge of the Delaware courts. Professor Jonathan Macey says that Delaware “offers current and prospective charterers . . . a judiciary with ...
Unconscionability and Consent in Corporate Law (A Comment on Cunningham) Iowa Law Review Bulletin (2011)
Lawrence Cunningham has written an insightful and persuasive article calling on courts to apply the contract-law doctrine of unconscionability in evaluating executive compensation. According to Cunningham, this additional doctrinal tool will allow courts to engage ...
The Origins and Costs of Short-Term Management Paper Series on Restoring the Primacy of the Real Economy, Allen White, editor (2009)
Why is a fixation on the short term a problem for American businesses? One might hasten to answer that management is compensated for short-term successes. Another answer might be that some investors—particularly professional investors—value only ...
Corporate Law and the Rhetoric of Choice Law & Economics: Toward Social Justice (Research in Law and Economics, Volume 24). (2009)
Rhetorically, the notion of choice has always been a powerful one in politics and law. This essay is intended to offer a note of caution about its use. Despite its progressive hue of individual freedom, ...
The Impact of "Going Private" on Corporate Stakeholders Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law (2008)
As capital markets in the United States increasingly "go private," it is unclear how the privatization of corporate finance will affect non-shareholder stakeholders of firms, most centrally employees, communities, and the environment. Some scholars and ...
Reclaiming Corporate Law in a New Gilded Age Harvard Law & Policy Review (2008)
Corporate law matters. Traditionally seen as the narrow study of the relationship between managers and shareholders, corporate law has frequently been relegated to the margins of legal discussion and political debate. The marginalization of corporate ...
Defending Stakeholder Governance Case Western Reserve Law Review (2008)
Corporations are collective enterprises, drawing on investments from various stakeholders who contribute to the firm's success. For a business to succeed over time, it must induce people and institutions to invest money, whether in the ...
Should Corporations Have First Amendment Rights? Seattle University Law Review (2007)
As Professor Winkler correctly stated, current doctrine emphasizes the rights of listeners rather than the identity of corporate speakers. My argument is, in effect, that this emphasis misses the key point. But I will not ...