Two KU law professors elected to prestigious American Law Institute


LAWRENCE — Two professors from the University of Kansas Law School have been elected new Fellows of the American Law Institute.

Uma Outka and Andrew Torrance are among 60 newly elected members of the American Law Institute, an independent national organization that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law. There are now nine active KU law professors who are members of the Institute.

The institute – made up of lawyers, judges and law professors – drafts, discusses, revises and publishes restatements of law, model laws and principles of law that influence courts and legislatures, as well as legal research and education.

Outka joined the KU School of Law in 2011, served as associate dean of the faculty from 2019 to 2022, and she was named the William R. Scott Professor of Law in 2019. Outka is an affiliate faculty member of the program of KU Environmental Studies, Environmental Policy Center. and Institute for Political and Social Research.

Outka works at the intersection of energy law and environmental law. Her fellowship explores the legal context of the energy transition, with a particular interest in energy and environmental justice, renewable energy, electricity regulation and the decarbonization of the electricity grid. Outka is co-principal investigator of a multi-institutional project to give communities a voice in policies guiding the transition to renewable energy, supported by a $500,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

“I am honored by the nomination and election to join the American Law Institute and look forward to contributing to the work of ALI, especially equity-focused legal reforms,” Outka said.

Andrew Torrance, KU law professorTorrance joined the KU Law School in 2005 and was named the Paul E. Wilson Professor of Law Emeritus in 2019. Torrance is Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law. He won a 2015 Academic Excellence Award at KU, was recognized as a Docking Faculty Scholar, and is a former Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor. He received the Dean Frederick T. Moreau Teaching and Mentoring Award at KU Law in 2018.

Torrance teaches and conducts research on patent law, intellectual property, innovation, food and drug regulation, biotechnology law, biodiversity law, biological law, and empirical, experimental and big data of law. Torrance has been a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management since 2012 and a Fellow of the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research since 2010. Among his guest presentations are a guest Google Tech Talk, a Genome Canada keynote, and a TEDx Talk. He is also a co-founder of the Patent Conference and Biolawllapalooza. Torrance led the Intellectual Property Department of the Eli and Edythe Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard from August 2019 to July 2021.

“I am deeply honored to have been elected to ALI. I look forward to contributing to its mission to improve the quality of law and justice for all,” said Torrance.

New members of the American Law Institute are selected from nominations submitted by ALI members. Michael Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at KU, led the nomination effort for Outka and Torrance.

“ALI membership is the law school equivalent of National Academy designations in other academic disciplines. It is one of the highest honors a member of our faculty can receive,” said Stephen Mazza, Dean of the KU School of Law. “Compared to other law schools in our region, KU Law has a high percentage of faculty in ALI. It’s great to see our group of members grow even more.

Other KU law professors who are members of the American Law Institute:

KU Professors of Law Emeritus members of the American Law Institute:


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