Nationally recognized legal expert Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom delves into the intricacies of tort law and strives for a transparent, accessible, and equitable civil justice system

Palo Alto, California – Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom is an esteemed expert in tort law and legal ethics. With a focus on the day-to-day workings of the tort system, she examines its interaction with alternative compensation methods like no-fault automobile insurance and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Professor Engstrom’s extensive research also delves into trial practice, complex litigation, attorney advertising, and what she terms “settlement mills” – personal injury law firms that advertise heavily and process claims on a mass scale.

In recent years, Engstrom’s projects have shifted toward improving access to justice. She explores ways to make the civil justice system more navigable for both represented and self-represented individuals. Additionally, she investigates what she calls the “information-forcing function” of tort law, which brings hidden information to light and promotes safety beyond the scope of cost internalization.

Engstrom co-directs the Deborah L. Rhode Center on the Legal Profession, a leading academic institution dedicated to enhancing transparency, accessibility, and equity within the civil justice system. She also holds a prominent role at the American Law Institute (ALI), an independent organization committed to clarifying, modernizing, and improving laws. Within the ALI, Engstrom serves as a reporter for the Third Restatement of Torts: Miscellaneous Provisions, the Third Restatement of Torts: Medical Malpractice, and an adviser to the Third Restatement of Torts: Remedies. Her exemplary contributions earned her the prestigious R. Ammi Cutter Reporter’s Chair in 2022, a remarkable accolade bestowed by the ALI.

Engstrom’s influence extends to her work as a co-author of “Legal Ethics,” a renowned professional responsibility casebook, alongside Deborah Rhode, David Luban, and Scott Cummings. Furthermore, she co-authored the seminal torts casebook titled “Tort Law and Alternatives,” together with Marc Franklin, Robert Rabin, Michael Green, and Mark Geistfeld. Her exceptional scholarly work has been published in esteemed law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, NYU Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, and Michigan Law Review, among others.

An elected member of the ALI and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Engstrom currently chairs the Section on Torts and Compensation Systems at the AALS. She also serves on the Editorial Board of Foundation Press and previously held the position of Associate Dean for Curriculum at Stanford Law School from 2016 to 2018. Additionally, Engstrom provides expert assistance to litigants, law firms, and government entities on matters related to legal ethics.

Before joining Stanford University in 2009, Engstrom served as a Research Dean’s Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center and worked as an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. She gained valuable experience as a law clerk to Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Prior to that, Engstrom worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, focusing on terrorism and national security issues and earning the prestigious Attorney General’s Award for superior service. She graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1997 and obtained her law degree with Distinction from Stanford Law School in 2002, where she was also a member of the Order of the Coif.

In summary, Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom is a highly regarded expert in tort law and legal ethics. Her comprehensive research and involvement in various esteemed institutions demonstrate her commitment to enhancing the civil justice system, promoting transparency and accessibility, and advancing our understanding of tort law.