J. H. Verkerke

  • T. Munford Boyd Professor of Law
  • Director, Program for Employment and Labor Law Studies

J.H. (Rip) Verkerke is a professor of law and director of the Program for Employment and Labor Law Studies at the University of Virginia School of Law. He earned an M.Phil. in economics and a J.D. from Yale University. He joined the UVA Law School faculty in 1991 after clerking for Judge Ralph K. Winter, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Verkerke teaches contracts, several employment law courses and a seminar on behavioral economic analysis of law.

A pioneer in the use of technology to support legal education, Verkerke was selected as an inaugural member of the University Academy of Teaching and won an All-University Teaching Award in 2007. In 2012, he received a Hybrid Challenge Grant for Technology-Enhanced Teaching to transform his first-year contracts class using the flipped classroom model of instruction. He currently chairs the University Committee on Information Technology.

Verkerke’s published research focuses on employment discrimination law, employment contracts, vicarious liability, the economics of discrimination, and contract theory. He has recently begun an empirical study of law school teaching practices and how those methods affect student experiences and outcomes. Verkerke is also the author of an open-source contract law casebook published by the CALI eLangdell Press.


  • J.D.
    Yale Law School
  • M.Phil.
    Yale University
  • B.A.
    Loyola College


Collaborative Teaching Materials for Contracts (3 vols., CALI eLangdell Press, 2012).

Book Chapters/Excerpts:

“What We Know (and Don’t Know) About How Employment Protection Law Affects Employment,” in Zenichi Shishido, ed., Enterprise Law: Contracts, Markets, and Laws in the US and Japan 53 (Edward Elgar, 2014).

“Discharge,” in Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt et al., eds., Labor and Employment Law and Economics 447 (Edward Elgar, 2009).

"The Story of Woolley v. Hoffman-La Roche: Finding a Way to Enforce Employee Handbook Promises, in Samuel Estreicher & Gillian Lester eds., Employment Law Stories 23 (Foundation Press, 2007).

"Towards an Economic Theory of Disability Discrimination Law," in Michael Yelnosky, ed., New York University Working Papers on Labor and Employment Law: 1998-1999 (2001).

"The Triumph of Formalism in the Supreme Court's Recent Employer Liability Decisions," in Samuel Estreicher, ed., Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Proceedings of New York University 51st Annual Conference on Labor (1999).

"Employment Contract Law," in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law (1998).


"Employment Regulation and Youth Employment: A Critical Perspective," Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y, (2015).

"Legal Ignorance & Information-Forcing Rules" 56 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 899 (2015).

“Is the ADA Efficient?,” 50 UCLA L. Rev. 903 (2003).
SSRN Abstract | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Disaggregating Antidiscrimination and accommodation," 44 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1385 (2003).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Legal Regulation of Employment Reference Practices," 65 Chi. L. Rev. 115 (1998).
SSRN Abstract | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Un Approccio di Law and Economics alla Questione della Libertá di Licenziamento Negli Stati Uniti," 17 Revista Italiana di Diritto del Lavoro 293 (1998) (Italian translation of "Employment Contract Law" essay).

"An Empirical Perspective on Indefinite Term Employment Contracts: Resolving the Just Cause Debate," Wis. L. Rev. 837 (1995).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Notice Liability in Employment Discrimination Law," 81 Va. L. Rev. 273 (1995).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Racial Disparity and Employment Discrimination Law: An Economic Perspective" (with James Heckman), 8 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 276 (1990).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Compensating Victims of Preferential Employment Discrimination Remedies," 98 Yale L.J. 1479 (1989).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Open Questions in Defense Economics and Economic Warfare" (with Martin Shubik), 33 J. Conflict Resolution 480 (1989).

Book Review

"Free to Search" (reviewing Epstein, Forbidden Grounds), 105 Harv. L. Rev. 2080 (1992). 

Current Courses

All Courses

Employment Law: Contracts, Torts & Statutes
Employment Law: Health & Safety
Employment Discrimination Law
Behavioral Law and Economics (seminar)
Employment & Labor Law: A Global Perspective (seminar)
Workplace Norms and the Law (seminar)
Seminar in Ethical Values


Vicarious Liability for Employee Torts with Professor J.H. Verkerke

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