Fred McChesney, JD '78, Returns to Miami Law


More than three decades after obtaining his law degree at Miami Law, Fred S. McChesney is coming home.

His acceptance of the de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics is a "major coup" for the school, in the words of Dean Patricia D. White, who has organized an event on Oct. 6 in honor of Professor McChesney's return.

After obtaining his law degree at Miami Law in 1978, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Economics and went on to become a major figure in the confluence of business, finance and law, with teaching positions in the law schools of Cornell, Emory and Northwestern and a stint as an associate director at the Federal Trade Commission. While at Northwestern, Professor McChesney held a joint appointment in the schools of law and business and was holder of the James B. Haddad Professorship.

Back in Miami, he will focus on topics such as corporate finance, business transactions and antitrust issues. He will also be the Director of the JD/MBA program at Miami Law. "I want to be a resource," said Professor McChesney, the first Miami Law alumnus to be named to a chair at the school.

Adding to the serendipity of his appointment, the chair he is to occupy was established in memory of former Miami Law Dean Soia Mentschikoff, one of his professors and mentors all those years ago, and he will be its first holder.

To celebrate his ascendance, Dean White has asked Professor McChesney to deliver a lecture on "What Lawyers Can Learn from Economists – and Vice Versa," on Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center on campus. The lecture will be followed by a cocktail reception.

The concept of integrating law and economics began at Miami Law in 1975, when a young Fred McChesney was among the first students to explore the links between the two disciplines.

Carlos M. de la Cruz Sr., the Miami Law alumnus and entrepreneur who established the chair in Mentschikoff's honor, said that Professor McChesney's "most distinguished academic career" was born "while Mentschikoff was our dean."

Professor McChesney could not be more pleased with his new connection to his legal roots.

"One can only be humbled by assuming a position named for Carlos de la Cruz and Soia Mentschikoff – two towering figures in their respective professions who have made the world a much better place," he said. "I am extremely lucky to have known them both, and to have benefited from their contributions to UM Law."