T. Munford Boyd Professor of Law Emeritus
S.J.D., Harvard Law School, 1970
J.D., Duke University School of Law, 1963
A.B., Davidson College, 1959
Laurens Walker joined the Virginia faculty in 1978 and retired in 2011. He taught civil procedure, complex civil litigation and a seminar on using expert information within the legal system. Walker’s early empirical research on procedural justice (with John Thibaut) has been studied and replicated by scholars in law and psychology in the United States and abroad. Walker’s casebook (with John Monahan) “Social Science in Law,” now in its seventh edition, is used in this country and abroad both as a textbook and reference concerning judicial use of social research.
In 1984, Walker was appointed T. Munford Boyd Professor of Law. Walker also held the Class of 1963 Research Professorship from 1990-92. From 1995-98 Walker was Hunton & Williams Research Professor and from 2000-03 was John V. Ray Research Professor. His latest research (with John Monahan) has focused on the use of social research techniques, chiefly “sampling” to bring complex civil cases to trial and judgment, and he proposed a model plan for jury trial in federal class action cases. In 1988 he was given the Biennial Distinguished Contributions Award from the American Psychology-Law Society for his social scientific studies of the legal process.
Following law school, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, and service in the U.S. Army, Walker practiced with the Atlanta firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. Later he was counsel to the Atlanta firm of Long, Aldridge & Norman and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He came to Virginia from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he had been Paul B. Eaton Professor.
Scholarship Profile: Improving Legal Procedures Through Social Science (Virginia Journal 2004)
Walker Retires After Making Mark in Procedural Justice, Courtroom Use of Social Science