Elizabeth Mertz

Visiting Research Scholar
LAPA/Crane Fellow

Home Institution, University of Wisconsin Law School

LAPA Fellow, 2010-2011

LAPA Fellow

 410 Robertson Hall

 Curriculum Vitae



Elizabeth Mertz is a member of the senior research faculty at the American Bar Foundation and John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Duke University and a J.D. from Northwestern University. She is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and language, analyzed from an anthropological perspective. Mertz recently published a study of first-year law school education, The Language of Law School: Learning to “Think Like a Lawyer” (Oxford University Press, 2007), which was co winner of the Law & Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Book Prize. She currently serves as editor of the Political and Legal Anthropology Review, following many years as editor of Law & Social Inquiry. She also held leadership positions in the Law and Society Association. In addition to law and language, her interests include legal translation, family law, law and social science, the legal profession, and legal education. Together with other scholars, she is active in the New Legal Realism Project ( With Stewart Macaulay and Lawrence Friedman, she is co-editor of Law in Action: A Socio-Legal Reader (Foundation Press, 2007); she also edited The Role of Social Science in Law (Ashgate, 2008). Her current empirical research focuses on post-tenure law professors in the United States.