Avi Soifer

  • Dean
  • Professor of Law


  • BA cum laude Yale University 1969
  • MUS Yale University 1972
  • JD Yale Law School 1972


Dean Soifer received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1972. He also holds B.A. cum laude (1969) and Masters of Urban Studies (1972) degrees from Yale.

While in law school, he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal, a director of the Law School Film Society, and a director of the Legal Services Organization. He helped to found the C.V.H. Project, representing people in Connecticut’s largest mental hospital. He clerked for then- Federal District Judge Jon O. Newman in 1972-73.

Soifer began his law teaching career at the University of Connecticut in 1973, received a Law and Humanities Fellowship at Harvard University in 1976-77, and taught at Boston University from 1979-1993. He served as Dean of Boston College Law School from 1993-1998, and continued to teach at BC until 2003, when he became Dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i.

Soifer received Boston College’s Distinguished Senior Research Award and he was appointed as a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Wisconsin's Legal Studies Institute. His book, Law and the Company We Keep (Harvard University Press, 1995) was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Triennial National Jesuit Book Prize in professional studies.

He has an extensive record of scholarly publications, presentations, and public service activities and he continues to teach primarily in the areas of constitutional law, legal history, legal writing, and law and humanities.


  • Protecting Full and Equal Rights: The Floor and More, chapter in THE PROMISES OF LIBERTY: THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT ABOLITIONISM (Columbia University Press) (forthcoming) (Alexander Tsesis, ed.).
  • Dedication, Symposium Issue, "Allan Macurdy: 'From Your Lips to God's Ear,'" 27 B.U. Int'l L.J. iii (2009).
  • Book Review, Susan Burch & Hannah Joyner, Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson, 27 LAW & HIST. REV. 470 (2009) (with Michael Ashley Stein).
  • De Facto Slavery and the 'Syren Songs of Liberty and Equality': For Carol Weisbrod, Much Obliged, 40 Conn. L. Rev. 1315 (2008).
  • Symposium, Rules of Law, Roles of Lawyers: The Changing Confines of American Legal Education, 57 Meijo L. J. 231 (2008) (translated into Japanese by Professor Masaki Igawa)
  • Hear Today, God Tomorrow?: To Be in but Not of the Law with Moses, and Milner Ball, 41 Georgia L. Rev. 917 (2007).
  • Text-Mess: There is No Textual Basis for Application of the Takings Clause to the States, 28 U. Hawai'i L. Rev. 373 (2006).
  • Charles L. Black, Jr.: Commitment, Connection, and the Ceaseless Quest for Justice, 7 Asian-Pac. L. & Pol'y J. 7 (2006).
  • Covered Bridges, 17 Yale J. of Law & the Humanities 55 (2005).
  • Ely the Transgressor, 117 Harv. L. Rev. 1743 (2004).
  • If History Mattered: John Marshall and Reframing the Constitution, 101 Mich.L.Rev. 2134 (2003).



  • Editorial Board, AALS Journal of Legal Education, 2009.
  • Law School Admission Council Services & Programs Committee, 2007-present.
  • Member, American Society for Legal History Finance Committee, 2006-present.
  • Board Member, King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, 2005 - present.
  • Board Member, American Judicature Society Hawai‘i Chapter, 2005 - present.
  • Board Member, Society of American Law Teachers, 1981 - present; Executive Committee, 2007-present.