Legal Evolution

Publication Date


Streaming Media


One of “Chicago’s best ideas” was Richard Posner’s theory (with some observations) that the Common Law evolves towards efficient results. But might this also be true for Civil Law and Legislation and Law more generally? How does legal evolution work or not work – and what does the empirical evidence show? If law evolves, it is probably a pretty optimistic view about legal change. In this CBI, Professor Levmore will introduce some ideas about legal evolution in contract law and tort law, and even such mundane things as the evolution of traffic lights. The evolution story tells us something about comparative law, law-and-economics and its critics, and about how law is taught (rather uniquely) at the University of Chicago.

Lecture Date

January 1, 2021