Professor of Law
Former Dean (2003-2020)
BA, Yale University, 1969
MUS, Yale University, 1972
JD, Yale Law School, 1972
Dean Soifer received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1972. He also holds B.A. cum laude (1969) and Masters of Urban Studies (1972) degrees from Yale.
While in law school, he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal, a director of the Law School Film Society, and a director of the Legal Services Organization. He helped to found the C.V.H. Project, representing people in Connecticut’s largest mental hospital. He clerked for then- Federal District Judge Jon O. Newman in 1972-73.
Soifer began his law teaching career at the University of Connecticut in 1973, received a Law and Humanities Fellowship at Harvard University in 1976–77, and taught at Boston University from 1979–1993. He served as Dean of Boston College Law School from 1993–1998, and continued to teach at BC until 2003, when he became Dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i.
Soifer received Boston College’s Distinguished Senior Research Award and he was appointed as a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Wisconsin’s Legal Studies Institute. His book, Law and the Company We Keep (Harvard University Press, 1995) was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Triennial National Jesuit Book Prize in professional studies.
He has an extensive record of scholarly publications, presentations, and public service activities and he continues to teach primarily in the areas of constitutional law, legal history, legal writing, and law and humanities.
- Introduction. Ka Lama Kū O Ka Noʻeau: The Standing Torch of Wisdom, a tribute to Chief Justice William S. Richardson, by Melody Mackenzie, 33 U. Haw. L. Rev. 3, 2011, pp. iii–xiv. HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Remembrance, Group Gripes, and Legal Frictions: Rule of Law or Awful Lore? Robert Cover Symposium, 37 Touro L. Rev. 2011 (2022). Scholarspace
- Righting The Wrong Wrongs: A Cautionary Tale of Congress, Labor, and European Immigrants in the Gilded Age. 24 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 49 (2020). HeinOnline
- The Paradox of Texts and Constitutional Authority: For Rick Kay, Wallace Stevens Professor. 52 Connecticut Law Review 1691 (2021). HeinOnline
- The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era by Jonathan Gienapp (review). 54 Eighteenth-Century Studies 1078 (2021). Muse
- Old Lines in New Battles: An Overlooked Yet Useful Statute to Confront Exploitation of Undocumented Workers by Employers and by ICE, 19 Nev. L. J. 397 (2018) HeinOnline*
- Optimism v. Hope: Larry Yackle, In Fairness, 98 B.U. L. Rev. 335 (2018). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Introduction, 39 U. Haw. L. Rev. [vii] (2017). HeinOnline
- Of Swords, Shields, and a Gun to the Head: Coercing Individuals, But Not States, 39 Seattle U. L. Rev. 787 (2016) . HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- The Spokesman Conundrum: ‘Is It Good for the Jews?,’ 40 Law & Social Inquiry 1039 (2015). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- JVD, 34 U. Hawai’i L. Rev. 363 (2012). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Federal Protection, Paternalism, and the Virtually Forgotten Prohibition of Voluntary Peonage, Thirteenth Amendment Symposium, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 1607 (2012) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- A Moon Court Overview: Rent for Space on Earth, 33 U. Hawai’i L. Rev. 441 (2011). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Constrained Choices: New England Slavery decisions in the Antebellum Era, in Tony Freyer & Lyndsay Campbell, eds., Freedom’s Conditions in the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands in the Age of Emancipation (Carolina Academic Press, 2011).
- For CJ Richardson: Hawai‘i’s Bold and Gentle Dreamer, 33 U. Hawai‘i L. Rev. 17 (2010). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Protecting Full and Equal Rights: The Floor and More, chapter in THE PROMISES OF LIBERTY: THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT ABOLITIONISM AND ITS CONTEMPORARY VITALITY (Columbia University Press, 2010).
- Dedication, Symposium Issue, “Allan Macurdy: ‘From Your Lips to God’s Ear,'” 27 B.U. Int’l L.J. iii (2009). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Book Review, Susan Burch & Hannah Joyner, Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson, 27 LAW & HIST. REV. 470 (2009) (with Michael Ashley Stein). SSRN | ScholarSpace
- De Facto Slavery and the ‘Syren Songs of Liberty and Equality’: For Carol Weisbrod, Much Obliged, 40 Conn. L. Rev. 1315 (2008). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace | ScholarSpace
- Symposium, Rules of Law, Roles of Lawyers: The Changing Confines of American Legal Education, 57 Meijo L. J. 231 (2008) (translated into Japanese by Professor Masaki Igawa)
- Hear Today, God Tomorrow?: To Be in but Not of the Law with Moses, and Milner Ball, 41 Georgia L. Rev. 917 (2007). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace | ScholarSpace
- Text-Mess: There is No Textual Basis for Application of the Takings Clause to the States, 28 U. Hawai’i L. Rev. 373 (2006). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- For Judge David Alan Ezra, 28 U. Haw. L. Rev. (2006). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Charles L. Black, Jr.: Commitment, Connection, and the Ceaseless Quest for Justice, 7 Asian-Pac. L. & Pol’y J. 7 (2006). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Covered Bridges, 17 Yale J. of Law & the Humanities 55 (2005). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Ely the Transgressor, 117 Harv. L. Rev. 1743 (2004). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace | ScholarSpace
- If History Mattered: John Marshall and Reframing the Constitution, 101 Mich.L.Rev. 2134 (2003). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Secular Sectarianism, Perilous Neutrality, 38 Tulsa L. Rev. 755 (2003). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Disabling the ADA: Essences, Better Angels, and Unprincipled Neutrality Claims, 44 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1285 (2003). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Rethinking Fairness: Principled Legal Realism and Federal Jurisdiction, 46 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 29 (2002). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Courting Anarchy, 82 B.U. L. Rev. 699 (2002). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Our Welfare: Doing Good and Being Happy, 10 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol’y & L. 57 (2002). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Descent, 29 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 269 (2001). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- The Equitable Distribution of Injustice: Raising Twain, 32 Conn. L. Rev. 1565 (2000). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- The Disability Term: Dignity, Default, and Negative Capability, 47 UCLA L. Rev. 1279 (2000). HeinOnline | SSRN
- Full and Equal Rights of Conscience, 22 U. Haw. L. Rev. 469 (2000). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Born Classified, Born Free: An Essay for Henry Schwarzschild, 19 Cardozo L. Rev. 1369 (1998). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Memorial Tributes for Professor Elizabeth B. Clark, 78 B.U. L. Rev. 244 (1998). HeinOnline
- Redress, Progress and the Benchmark Problem, 40 B.C. L. Rev. 525 (1998). HeinOnline | SSRN
- Redress, Progress and the Benchmark Problem, 19 B. C. Third World L. J. 525 (1998). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Who Took the Awe out of Law, 3 Graven Images 173 (1996). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Facts, Things, and the Orphans of Girard College: Francis Lieber, Protopragmatist, 16 Cardozo L. Rev. 2305 (1995). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Mapping and Matching DNA: Several Legal Complications of Accurate Classifications, 22 Hastings Const. L.Q. 1 (1994) with Miriam Wugmeister. HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear, 28 Ga. L. Rev. 533 (1994). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of Hurst’s Growth of American Law, 17 Law & Soc. Inquiry 167 (1992). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Fact or Fiction in Film, 15 Legal Stud. F. 233 (1991) with Marlene Booth. HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- Faith in Secular Religion: A Brief Reply, 48 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 453 (1991). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
- On Being Overly Discrete and Insular: Involuntary Groups and the Anglo-American Judicial Tradition, 48 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 381 (1991). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Moral Ambition, Formalism, and the Free World of DeShaney, 57 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1513 (1989). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Assaying Communities: Notes from the Tempest, 21 Conn. L. Rev. 871 (1989). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Freedom of Association: Indian Tribes, Workers, and Communal Ghosts, 48 Md. L. Rev. 350 (1989). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Beyond Mirrors: Lawrence Friedman’s Moving Pictures, 22 Law & Soc’y Rev. 995 (1988). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Toward a Generalized Notion of the Right to Form or Join an Association: An Essay for Tom Emerson, 38 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 641 (1987). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Status, Contract, and Promises Unkept, 96 Yale L.J. 1916 (1987). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- The Paradox of Paternalism and Laissez-Faire Constitutionalism: United States Supreme Court, 1888-1921, 5 Law & Hist. Rev. 249 (1987). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- MuSings, 37 J. Legal Educ. 20 (1987). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Truisms That Never Will Be True: The Tenth Amendment and the Spending Power, 57 U. Colo. L. Rev. 793 (1986). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Reviewing Legal Fictions, 20 Ga. L. Rev. 871 (1986). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Confronting Deep Strictures: Robinson, Rickey, and Racism, 6 Cardozo L. Rev. 865 (1985). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Professor Mooney, Judge Deady, and the Celestial Kingdom, 63 Or. L. Rev. 645 (1984). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Listening and the Voiceless, 4 Miss. C. L. Rev. 319 (1984). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Protecting Posterity, 7 Nova L.J. 39 (1982). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Complacency and Constitutional Law, 42 Ohio St. L.J. 383 (1981). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Protecting Civil Rights: A Critique of Raoul Berger’s History, 54 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 651 (1979). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Disarray on the High Court, 5 Barrister 42 (1978). HeinOnline
- Younger Doctrine: Reconstructing Reconstruction, 55 Tex. L. Rev. 1141 (1977) with H.C. Macgill. HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
- Parental Autonomy, Family Rights and the Illegitimate: A Constitutional Commentary, 7 Conn. L. Rev. 1 (1974). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
Selected Awards and Memberhips
- Commissioner, Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission and Chairperson, Education, Communications, and Conference Planning Committee, 2008–present.
- Board Member, American Judicature Society Hawai’i Chapter, 2005–present.
- Executive Committee Member, Association of American Law Schools, 2015–2017.
- Chair, Academic Working Group, Obama Presidential Center, 2011–2015.
- Board Member, Society of American Law Teachers, 1981–2012.
- Board Member, King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, 2005–2012.
- Member, American Society for Legal History Finance Committee, 2008–2013.
- Editorial Board, AALS Journal of Legal Education, 2009.
- Law School Admission Council Services & Programs Committee, 2007–2008.