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Get to Know: Christopher Liebig

Christopher Liebig

Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing & Research

At the UI Since: 1997

Alma Mater: 

BA, Yale University, 1987

JD, Harvard Law School, 1990

MFA, University of Iowa, 1999

Where is your hometown? West Hartford, Connecticut.

What did you do before joining Iowa Law? After law school, I practiced in firms in Hartford and Boston.  In between, I was a law clerk on the district court in Connecticut and the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.  Then I came to Iowa to get an M.F.A. in the Writers’ Workshop.

Describe your role at the university. I teach an introductory course on legal analysis, writing, and research to first-year law students.  I’ve also taught Contracts, Election Law, and a fiction-writing seminar for law students.

What do you enjoy most about working at Iowa Law? I really enjoyed law school as a student, especially the first year.  I liked the intellectual challenge of trying to understand how people use legal rules to impose order on a chaotic world.  I like trying to help students find that same source of enjoyment in learning about law.

How did you decide to join the legal profession? I was always interested in politics and even ran for the Connecticut legislature as a third-year law student.  It was my interest in policy and legislation that led me to law school.

What is most fulfilling about your work? I love the role of big, public universities in generating social mobility for students from all walks of life.

What do you enjoy most working in higher education? Faculty governance.  It’s a pleasure to be a part of such a smart, public-spirited group of people helping to direct the future of the College of Law.

What's a risk you've taken and did it pay off? When I left the practice of law to move to Iowa and study fiction writing, I didn’t know where it would lead.  But I loved the M.F.A. program, and as a student there, I worked part-time in the law school’s Writing Center, which ultimately led to the job I have now.  So the risk paid off in a great job in a great place to raise a family.

What's your favorite book, or what are you reading right now and why do you enjoy it? So many favorites—Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain; Housekeeping by Iowa’s own Marilynne Robinson; Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse; Ellison’s Invisible Man; Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day; Evan Connell’s Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge; Moby Dick; all of Orwell’s non-fiction, especially Homage to Catalonia; I could go on.  My summer project, which is ridiculous, is to read both The Brothers Karamazov and all of Remembrance of Things Past.

Name a few of your favorite things. Tennis with my kids, followed by a big glass of iced tea, then relaxing at home.