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Professor Lawrence Solan Awarded 2021 Fulbright Distinguished Chair


Lawrence Solan, Don Forchelli Professor of Law and Director of Graduate Education, has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Birmingham School of Law, U.K., for the first half of 2021.

An expert on the intersection of the fields of linguistics and law, Solan plans to work with the Birmingham Law School to establish a center similar to Brooklyn’s Center for the Study of Law, Language and Cognition, of which Solan is the director. In addition, he also will continue developing his book, Language and Law: A Collision Course (working title), based on a series of lectures he gave at the Summer Institute of the Linguistic Society of America at the University of Chicago in 2015.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to interact with highly-regarded legal scholars in the field of legislation and statutory interpretation to develop my own scholarship in the field,” said Solan. “The U.K. boasts the world’s greatest concentration of scholars and university programs in language and law, and Birmingham is the hub of this activity. I look forward to contributing to the language and law scholarship there.”

In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation.

Solan holds both a law degree and a Ph.D. in linguistics. His scholarly works are devoted to exploring interdisciplinary issues related to law, language and psychology, especially in the areas of statutory and contractual interpretation, the attribution of liability and blame, and linguistic evidence. He is the author of several books on law and language, including The Language of Judges (University of Chicago Press 1993), which is widely recognized as a seminal work on linguistic theory and legal argumentation. He has served as president of the International Association of Forensic Linguistics and on the board of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health and the editorial board of the International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, and has been a visiting professor at the Yale Law School and in both Psychology and Linguistics at Princeton University.