Property law scholar Molly Brady joins Harvard Law faculty

Molly Brady

Maureen E. “Molly” Brady, an expert in property law, land use law, local government law, legal history and intellectual property law, joined the Harvard Law School faculty as assistant professor of law on July 1. Brady’s scholarship uses historical analyses of property institutions, doctrinal rules, land use policies and constitutional property provisions to explore broader theoretical questions. She returns to Cambridge, where she earned her A.B at Harvard College, from the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law, where she served as associate professor of law.

“We are delighted that Molly Brady is joining the HLS faculty,” said Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning ’85. “Molly has quickly established herself as an outstanding teacher and a superb scholar in property law. Her rigorous scholarship uncovers lost understandings that lead us to interesting and important new perspectives on property doctrines long taken for granted. Her exceptional creativity and collegiality will greatly enrich our intellectual community.”

“I am excited and honored to join the faculty of Harvard Law School, which is the epicenter of innovative property and private law scholarship,” said Brady. “I cannot wait to share my passion for these areas with the students and to contribute however possible to the intellectual life of this incredibly vibrant community.”

Brady has received recognition for both teaching and research. In 2019, she received the UVA Student Council Distinguished Teaching Award, in 2018 she received the Z Society Distinguished Faculty Award for “one outstanding member of the University’s faculty who has positively impacted the student body,” and in 2017 she was honored at the Seven Society 27th Annual Monticello Dinner Series for “exemplary scholarship and transformative instruction of students at the University of Virginia School of Law.” Her article, “The Forgotten History of Metes and Bounds,” won the Association of American Law Schools’ 2019 Scholarly Papers Prize for junior faculty members in their first five years of law teaching.

Brady’s scholarship also has appeared (or is forthcoming) in the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Virginia Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online and Cardozo Law Review, among other journals. At UVA, she has taught courses that include Land Use Law, State and Local Government Law, Property Law and Urban Legal History.

At Harvard College, where she received an A.B. summa cum laude in history, Brady was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics Prize for the top female scholar-athlete. She obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was the two-time recipient of the Parker Prize for legal history scholarship and was awarded the Quintin Johnstone Prize in Real Property Law, the Jewell Prize for an outstanding contribution to a Yale Law School journal, and the Cullen Prize for the best paper written by a first-year student.

During law school, Brady served as co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Law and Technology and was a Coker Teaching Fellow in contract law. After graduating, she served as a clerk to Judge Bruce M. Selya on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and practiced at Ropes and Gray in Boston as a corporate associate focusing on intellectual property transactions. Before joining the UVA law faculty, she earned a Ph.D. in law from Yale University in 2016.