Daniel J. Meltzer ’75, the Story professor of law at Harvard Law School, has been appointed as the next director of the American Law Institute (ALI). The ALI announced the appointment on January 18, 2013.
The ALI is a leading independent organization in the United States that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. The Institute—made up of more than 4,300 lawyers, judges and law professors of the highest qualifications—drafts, discusses, revises and publishes restatements of the law, model statutes, and principles of law that are enormously influential in U.S. courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.
Said HLS Dean Martha Minow: “Dan Meltzer’s superb judgment, analytic power and devotion to public service grace Harvard Law School, and now will also wonderfully advance the American Law Institute’s vital projects improving law and legal administration for the public good.”
ALI President Roberta Ramo said: “In our 90 years of working toward law reform, we have had only five directors, and each one was a giant in the law. In Dan Meltzer, we have found another major legal figure to carry on this essential work of clarifying, modernizing, and improving the law.”
Meltzer, who will remain on the HLS faculty after assuming his new ALI duties, will work with current ALI Director Lance Liebman ’67 until May 2014, when Liebman will complete his 15‐year directorship.
Meltzer is a leading scholar in the fields of federal court jurisdiction and criminal procedure, and recently served as principal deputy counsel in the Office of White House Counsel, where he advised President Barack Obama ’91 on a wide range of issues, including terrorism, healthcare reform, and preparation for the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. After leaving the Office of White House Counsel, he was appointed as a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and the Intelligence Oversight Board, on which he continues to serve.
Along with HLS professors Richard Fallon and David Shapiro ’75, Meltzer is a co-author of recent editions of the classic casebook, Hart & Wechsler’s “The Federal Courts and The Federal System.”
Meltzer holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Carl McGowan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. He also served as special assistant to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and spent three years in private practice at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C.
He joined the HLS faculty in 1982 as an assistant professor of law. He gained tenure in 1987, and later served as associate dean (1989-93). He was appointed to the Story chair in 1998, and became vice dean for physical planning in 2003.