Clinton William Francis

Professor of Law


Professor Francis is a tenured member of the faculty of Northwestern University School of Law. He currently teaches and researches in the  areas of Corporate Restructuring/Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Capital Management, Medical Innovation, and Value Chain Management. Professor Francis obtained his initial legal training in New Zealand, where he completed LLB and LLM degrees, and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the New Zealand Supreme Court.

After teaching at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Professor Francis completed a Doctorate in Law (SJD) at the University of Virginia School Of Law, with fellowships from the Fulbright and DuPont Foundations. He came to Northwestern from University of California Berkeley Law School, where he taught as an associate. Since joining the Northwestern University School of Law faculty in 1978, Professor Francis has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards and has served on and chaired a variety of University and Law School committees. He has taught courses together with Kellogg School of Management, participates in executive training programs and regularly teaches at KAIST Graduate School of Management in Seoul, South Korea. He has served on the boards of several corporations and undertakes select professional consulting assignments.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Bankruptcy
  • Commercial Law
  • E-Commerce
  • Legal History
  • Intellectual Property
  • Property Law
  • Payment Systems

Selected Publications

  • Language System (LS) 3.0: An Agenda for a Model of Innovation Valuation , in The Role of Intellectual Property Rights In Biotechnology Innovation, edited by David Castle (Edward Elgar Publishing 2009).


  • LLB with honors, Victoria University
  • LLM with honors, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • SJD, University of Virginia

Prior Appointments

  • Harry B. Reese Teaching Professorship, 1995-1996, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Associate Professor of Law, 1982-1985, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Assistant Professor of Law, 1978-1982, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Law Associate, 1977-1978, Boalt Hall, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
  • Junior Lecturer, 1974-1975, Law Department, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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