2001: Ronald Dworkin
A new book, Reading Dworkin Critically, describes Ronald Dworkin as "probably the most influential figure in contemporary Anglo-American legal theory." A scholar whose work often is called "monumental" and "landmark," Dworkin is undoubtedly one of the two or three contemporary authors whom legal scholars will be reading 200 years from now. Perhaps Dworkin's best known book is Law's Empire (1986), which received the prestigious Coif Award from the American Bar Association as the best book written on law over a three year period and the Ames Prize of the Harvard Law School for the best book on law over a five year period.
Subsequent to law school, he clerked for the renowned Judge Learned Hand of the United States Court of Appeals who would later call Dworkin the finest clerk he had ever employed. After a stint at the prominent New York City law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, Dworkin became a Professor of Law at Yale University, and then holder of the Wesley N. Hohfeld Chair of Jurisprudence. Several of Mr. Dworkin's other faculty appointments include Chair of Jurisprudence at Oxford (successor to H.L.A. Hart), Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London, Bentham Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London, Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, and Professor of Philosophy at New York University.
He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Dworkin is the author of many articles in philosophical and legal journals as well as articles on legal and political topics in the New York Review of Books. He has written Taking Rights Seriously (1977), A Matter of Principle (1985), Philosophical Issues in Senile Dementia (1987), A Bill of Rights for Britain (1990), Life's Dominion (1993), and Freedom's Law (1996). Several of these books have been translated into the major European languages and Japanese and Chinese.
Mr. Dworkin received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1953, continued his studies at Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (where he received his second B.A. in 1955), received his M.A from Yale in 1956, and finally his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1957.