James Hackney was appointed as dean of the law school on July 1, 2018. Dean Hackney joined the faculty of the School of Law in 1992. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the law school’s associate dean for entrepreneurial programs and research support. In that role, he launched the law school’s first online programs for non-lawyers, which focus on the increasing importance of law and regulations in such fields as health, human resources, intellectual property and compliance. After Northeastern President Aoun tapped him to become his chief of staff in 2016, Dean Hackney managed the president’s staff and worked closely with his top leadership team to devise university strategy. He was deeply involved in developing Northeastern 2025, the university’s new academic plan. He also co-chaired the Presidential Council on Diversity and Inclusion. 

Dean Hackney teaches in the areas of torts, corporate finance, corporations, critical race theory, and law and economics. His research focuses on intellectual history, torts, the mutual fund industry, law and economics, and critical race theory. He is the author of two acclaimed books: Under Cover of Science: American Legal-Economic Theory and the Quest for Objectivity (Duke University Press, 2007) and Legal Intellectuals in Conversation: Reflections on the Construction of Contemporary American Legal Theory (New York University Press, 2012).

Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, Dean Hackney was an associate with the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella. He was book review and comment editor of the Yale Law Journal during law school. 

Fields of Expertise

  • Corporate Law
  • Economics and the Law
  • Intellectual History
  • Race and Racism and the Law
  • Torts

Selected Works

Selected Articles

Selected Chapters

  • “Oliver Wendell Holmes”, “Charles Sanders Peirce,” in Industrialization and Imperialism: 1800-1914, A Bibliographical Dictionary, ed. J. Bell (Greenwood Press, 2002).
  • “Banking”, “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation”, “Glass-Steagall Act,” in The Encyclopedia of the Great Depression and New Deal Vol. 1, ed. J. Ciment (M.E. Sharpe, 2001).
  • “Duties of Fund Directors Under State Law,” in Fund Governance: Legal Duties of Investment Company Directors, ed. R. Robertson (Law Journal Press, 2005).