George M. Cohen

  • Brokaw Professor of Corporate Law

George Cohen joined the faculty in 1993 as an associate professor of law after a one-year visit to the Law School. He became a full professor in 1995. He teaches contracts, professional responsibility and agency and partnership. He has also taught antitrust and law and economics.

A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University, Cohen earned his J.D. in 1986 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1992 from the University of Pennsylvania. During law school, he served as articles editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Cohen was a clerk to Judge Walter K. Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Wilmington, Delaware, before joining the law faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1988.

Cohen was chair of the UVA Faculty Senate from 2012-13 and has served as an ethics consultant and expert for several law firms.


  • J.D.
    University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Ph.D.
    University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A.
    Yale University

Works in Progress

Norms, Law, and Contract (with Susan P. Koniak).
Whose Word Is Law? (with Susan P. Koniak).


Foundations of the Law and Ethics of Lawyering (edited with Susan P. Koniak), Foundation Press (2004).


The Law and Ethics of Lawyering (with Roger C. Cramton et al.), Foundation Press (6 ed. 2017).
The Law and Ethics of Lawyering (with Roger C. Cramton et al.), Foundation Press (5 ed. 2010).
The Law and Ethics of Lawyering (with Roger C. Cramton, Geoffrey C., Hazard & Susan P. Koniak), Foundation Press (4 ed. 2005).

Book Chapters

Law and Economics of Agency and Partnership, in Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, 399-422 (2017).
Interpretation and Implied Terms in Contract Law, in Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Second Edition: Contract Law and Economics, Edward Elgar, 125-151 (2011).
How Fault Shapes Contract Law, in Fault in American Contract Law, Cambridge University Press, 53-68 (2010).
Implied Terms and Interpretation in Contract Law, in Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Edward Elgar, 78-99 (2000).
In Hell There Will Be Lawyers Without Clients or Law (with Susan P. Koniak), in Ethics in Practice: Lawyers’ Roles, Responsibilities, and Regulation, Oxford University Press, 177-204 (2000).

Articles & Reviews

The Uncertainty of Sun Printing, 34 Touro Law Review 83-145 (2018).
The Laws of Agency Lawyering, 84 Fordham Law Review 1963-1999 (2016).
Liability of Insurers for Defense Counsel Malpractice, 68 Rutgers University Law Review 119-153 (2015).
The State of Lawyer Knowledge Under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 3 American University Business Law Review 115-148 (2014).
The Fault That Lies Within Our Contract Law, 107 Michigan Law Review 1445-1460 (2009).
Legal and Ethical Duties of Lawyers after Sarbanes-Oxley (with Roger C. Cramton & Susan P. Koniak), 49 Villanova Law Review 725-831 (2004).
The Multilawyered Problems of Professional Responsibility, 2003 University of Illinois Law Review 1409-1476 (2003).
Finding Fault with Wonnell’s “Two Contractual Wrongs”, 38 San Diego Law Review 137-167 (2001).
In Hell There Will Be Lawyers Without Clients or Law (with Susan P. Koniak), 30 Hofstra Law Review 129-168 (2001).
When Law and Economics Met Professional Responsibility, 67 Fordham Law Review 273-299 (1998).
Under Cloak of Settlement (with Susan P. Koniak), 82 Virginia Law Review 1051-1280 (1996).
The Fault Lines in Contract Damages, 80 Virginia Law Review 1225-1349 (1994).
The Negligence-Opportunism Tradeoff in Contract Law, 20 Hofstra Law Review 941-1016 (1992).
Replacing Striking Workers: The Law and Economics Approach (with Michael Wachter), Proceedings of the 43rd New York University Annual Conference on Labor 109 (1990).
An Internal Labor Market Approach to Labor Law: Does Labor Law Promote Efficient Contracting? (with Michael Wachter), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting - Industrial Relations Research Association 243 (1988).
Posnerian Jurisprudence and Economic Analysis of Law:  The View from the Bench, 133 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1117-1166 (1985).

Reports & Datasets

Regulation of Representatives in Agency Adjudicative Proceedings 1-58 Administrative Conference of the United States (2021).
Mortgage and Securities Stabilization, Recovery and Modification Program Act of 2009 (with John D. Geanakoplos & Susan P. Koniak), Examining the Making Home Affordable Program US Government Printing Office 74-81 (2009).
Statement, The Role of Attorneys in Corporate Governance US Government Printing Office 9-11, 15 (2004).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Regulating Representatives in Agency Adjudicative Proceedings, The Regulatory Review (May 17, 2022).
A Real Fix for Trump’s Conflicts of Interest, Wall Street Journal A15 (February 23, 2017).
How Washington Abetted the Bank Job (with David A. Dana, Susan P. Koniak & Thomas Ross), New York Times Week in Review 10 (April 4, 2010).
Have US Regulators Been Soft on Banks over Structured Products?: Yes; Four US Academics Argue That Regulators Have Let Financial Institutions Off the Hook (with David A. Dana, Susan P. Koniak & Thomas Ross), International Financial Review 13-15 (July, 2006).
Dicta: Under Cloak of Settlement, Virginia Law Weekly 1, 3 (November 10, 1995).

Current Courses

All Courses

Agency and Partnership
Law and Economics
Professional Responsibility
Seminar in Ethical Values


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