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Faculty Profile

Jeffrey Evans Stake

Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law
Contact Information
stake[at] indiana[dot]edu
(812) 855-4444
Baier Hall 338
B.A. at University of Illinois, 1975
J.D. at Georgetown University, 1981
Property (B521)
Land Use Controls (B615)
Wills and Trusts (B645)
In the News


  • Recipient, Indiana University Trustees' Teaching Award, 2012
  • Editor, Georgetown Law Journal at Georgetown University Law Center
  • Clerk, Hon. Oscar H. Davis, U.S. Court of Claims (now the Federal Circuit), 1981-1982
  • Associate, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., 1982-85

Professor Jeffrey Stake is the past president and founding vice president of SEAL, the Society for Evolutionary Analysis in Law (, a co-founder of the Midwest Law and Economics Association (MLEA), and a member of the Indiana University Cognitive Science Program and the Advisory Council for the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

Stake's interdisciplinary research focuses primarily on property law, but has been extended to topics ranging from the First Amendment and divorce law to law school grading and rankings. One recent article applies evolutionary analysis in search of the roots of property law, arguing that some rules of property reflect basic human instincts. It was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the oldest continuously publishing scientific journal in the world. Another article, with Owen Jones and Erin O'Connor, compares the use of biology and economics in analysis of the law.

Stake teaches property, wills and trusts, and land-use controls. His engaging and popular style has led to visiting appointments at Illinois, Colorado, Georgetown, Paris II (Panthéon-Assas), the Max Planck Institute, and Peking University School of Transnational Law. At Indiana Law, he has received the Leon Wallace Teaching Award and the Trustees Teaching Award.

In 2012, Indiana Law students selected Stake to deliver the traditional "last lecture" at the end of the term. Click here to watch the lecture.

Jeffrey Evans Stake
Selected Works

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