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Meet the Faculty: Clifford A. Jones

Published: November 3rd, 2003

Category: News Briefs

View on the Profession

“Before I became an academic, I spent 17 years in private practice as a federal court litigator. Having experienced the highs and lows — fortunately the latter were few — of the legal profession helps put the articles I write and classes I teach in what I think is a better perspective. I greatly enjoyed most of my private practice experience and treasure the opportunities I had to work with and against top-notch lawyers.

“The legal profession does not for the most part enjoy the public respect and positive reputation it deserves, at least in part because not all lawyers behave in a professional manner. (This is true of clients as well.) However, most do, and most lawyers are genuinely interested in serving the needs of their clients.

“My suggestions for new lawyers include conducting yourselves with true professionalism, not mistaking litigation for war, and remembering the theory underlying the law you learn in class. Those lawyers who ‘just want to know what the rule is’ do a disservice to clients and the profession, because there will come a time when either there is no rule or the rule is against you.

“Sometimes, being a lawyer means understanding why the law is what it is and knowing what to do when it ought to be changed. Lawyers who can’t or won’t apply legal theory in practice to change the system and benefit their clients lack essential tools of the profession.

“Finally, reading Louis Nizer (My Life in Court, The Jury Returns) is still time well spent.”


B.A. (University High Honors), Southern Illinois University; J.D. (High Honors), University of Oklahoma, Order of the Coif, The Order of the Barristers; M. Phil. (EC Law), University of Cambridge, First in Class; Ph.D. (Law), University of Cambridge.

Professor Jones teaches and researches in fields of constitutional law, election and campaign finance law, antitrust, media law, corporations, European community law, international trade law, public international law, international business transactions, intellectual property law, federal courts, civil procedure, torts and remedies. He is internationally known in comparative and international antitrust law, especially for his books on private enforcement and the interface between antitrust and international trade law. He became an academic in 1997 and has published or in press nearly 40 books and journal articles.

He received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award to carry out research at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz on European and German media concentration law, and has been a visiting fellow at Oxford University and given scholarly lectures in England, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.

What You May Not Know

“I’m a big fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I always thought “from the sublime to the ridiculous” was a meaningless cliché, but Pratchett can take you there.”

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