Alex C. Geisinger
Professor Alex Geisinger joined the law school faculty in 2007. He is currently serving as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research. Geisinger teaches primarily in the fields of environmental law and tort law. His research focuses on law and social norms, torts, and environmental justice. He is particularly interested in how insights from psychology can be used to make law function better and to explain law’s relationship to culture.
An expert on law and social norms and the expressive function of law, he has written a number of foundational articles in the field, including his article, A Belief Change Theory of Expressive Law, in the Iowa Law Review, which provides a rational choice-based vision of how law influences norm formation and enforcement. He has also explored the relationship between law and norms in a variety of subject areas. Representative articles include Rational Choice, Reputation and Human Rights Treaties, (with M. Stein) in the Michigan Law Review, An Expressive Jurisprudence of the Establishment Clause, (with I. Bodensteiner) in the Penn State Law Review, and Toward an Expressive Theory of International Human Rights Treaties (With M. Stein) in the Vanderbilt Law Review.
Geisinger has also written and practiced extensively in the fields of environmental law and justice. He has worked with a number of non-profit organizations, including the Legal Environmental Aid Foundation (“LEAF”) of Indiana, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia on a wide variety of legal matters ranging from the cleanup of one of the largest steel mills in the country to protecting the Delaware River from the impacts of hydrofracking.
His practice, in turn, informs much of his environmental justice scholarship, which focuses on the economic growth narrative and its impacts on environmental justice communities. In his article, The Benefits of Development and Environmental Injustice in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, for example, he argues that the benefits created by development in environmental justice communities flow to economic and political elites rather than the communities themselves. Other representative works include: Rethinking Use-Restricted Environmental Remediation, in the Indiana Law Journal and Profiling, A Cognitive Model of Bias and its Legal Implications, in the Oregon Law Review.
Before coming to the law school, Geisinger served as associate dean and professor of law at Valparaiso University School of Law and was a visiting professor at William and Mary Law School and Northwestern University School of Law. Prior to teaching, he practiced with Day, Berry & Howard in Hartford, Conn.
He has served as an advisor to the Uniform Environmental Covenant Drafting Committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and was elected to the American Law Institute in 2010, where he currently serves as a consulting member to the Restatement Third of Torts.
He is also the co-founder and former chair of the New Law Professors Section of the Association of American Law Schools and has served on the board of the Indiana Bar Foundation and on the Curriculum Committee of the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education.
Professor Geisinger received his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and his LL.M from Harvard Law School.
He received the Dean Jennifer L. Rosato Excellence in the Classroom Award in 2014 and 2018.