Scholar, Former Law and Society President to Head UB Law School's Interdisciplinary Baldy Center

Release Date: December 6, 2002 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A distinguished Dartmouth College scholar and former president of the Law and Society Association has been named director of the University at Buffalo's Baldy Center, an internationally recognized center for interdisciplinary study of law and legal institutions.

Lynn Mather, Ph.D., previously Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth and acting director of the college's Rockefeller Center, joined the UB Law School in July, and formally assumed her duties as director of the Baldy Center in November.

A member of the Dartmouth faculty for more than 30 years, she will have a joint appointment in the Law School and the Department of Political Science in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Mather's research focuses on decision-making by lawyers, legal professionalism, the nature and impact of litigation against tobacco, trial courts and policymaking, women in the legal profession, divorce mediation, plea bargaining and the transformation of disputes.

"The law faculty and I feel extremely fortunate to have attracted a scholar and teacher of Lynn's caliber," said Nils Olsen, dean of the UB Law School. "The Baldy Center -- which already is respected nationally as a center of excellence at the university -- will not only be maintained, but enhanced, under her leadership."

Mather is immediate past president of the Law and Society Association, a group of scholars from many fields and countries interested in the place of law in social, political, economic and cultural life. Members bring training in law, sociology, political science, psychology, anthropology, economics and history, as well as in other related areas, to the study of socio-legal phenomena.

A member of the association since 1970, Mather served on the board of trustees in 1978-81; as treasurer from 1983-87; as faculty for two graduate student workshops, and as a member of the Law & Society Review Editorial Board. She chaired or was a member of various association committees.

In addition, she chaired the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association in 1993-94, served on the editorial board of the Law and Courts Newsletter, and was a member of the National Science Foundation panel for Law and Social Science.

Widely published in the field of law and social policy, Mather is co-author of "Divorce Lawyers at Work: Varieties of Professionalism in Practice," which won the American Political Science Association's C. Herman Pritchett Award for the best book published in the law and courts field in 2001.

She co-edited a special issue of Law and Social Inquiry and "Empirical Theories about Courts" and wrote "Plea Bargaining or Trial? The Process of Criminal Case Disposition." Mather's research examining anti-tobacco litigation has been published in a Law & Social Inquiry article, "Theorizing About Trial Courts: Lawyers, Policymaking, and Tobacco Litigation."

She also has published articles in the Law & Society Review, Legal Ethics, International Journal of Law & the Family and Law & Social Inquiry, as well as in law reviews and edited collections.

In 1995, Mather received Dartmouth's distinguished teaching award for excellence in teaching. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the London School of Economics, and the Brookings Institution, and has taught at the University of California, Irvine and Grinnel College.

She holds a doctorate in political science, with a concentration in law and society, from the University of California, Irvine. Mather received her bachelor's degree in political science and mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has done graduate study in law and social sciences at the University of Wisconsin and in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Baldy Center provides a forum for more than 100 affiliated UB faculty members and interested students to discuss and collaborate on research dUealing with legal and social issues here and abroad. Interests and expertise intersect through more than a dozen disciplines in the Law School, School of Social Work, School of Management, College of Arts and Sciences and the Libraries.

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