William & Mary
Nathan B. Oman

Nathan B. Oman

Rollins Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for the Study of Law and Markets
Degrees: J.D., Harvard Law School; B.A., Brigham Young University
Email: [[nboman]]
Office phone: (757) 221-3919
Office location: Room 236C
Full resume: here (.pdf in new window)
Areas of Specialization

Contract Law; Economic Analysis of Law; Jurisprudence; Law and Religion; Legal History

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Joined the faculty in 2006. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Articles Committee of the Harvard Law Review and as an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He graduated from Brigham Young University, where he was a Benson Scholar, and, prior to law school, worked on the staff of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Morris Shepard Arnold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and worked as a litigation associate in the Washington, DC office of Sidley Austin, LLP.

Scholarly Publications
  • Reapproaching Zion: New Essays in Mormon Social Criticism (with Samuel Brunson, eds., forthcoming).
  • Nathan B. Oman, "Private Law and Local Custom," in Oxford Handbook of New Private Law Theory (Henry Smith et. al. eds. forthcoming ). SSRN.
  • Perspectives on Contract Law (with Randy E. Barnett, eds., 5th ed.) (2018).
  • Contracts: Cases & Doctrine (with Randy E. Barnett eds.) (6th ed. 2016).
  • The Dignity of Commerce: Markets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law (2016 Chicago UP).
  • Contract Law and the Liberalism of Fear, 20 Theo. Inquiries in L. 381 (2019).
  • Temple, Torah, and Sacrament: Some Christian Thoughts on Halakhah, 64 Villanova L. Rev. 743 (2019).
  • Justice Traynor and the Summer of Love: Misunderstanding the Parole Evidence Rule in Pacific Gas, in The Best and Worst of Contracts Decisions: An Anthology, 45 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 1004 (2018).
  • Beyond Gift and Bargain: Some Suggestions for Increasing Kidney Exchanges, 81 Law & Contemp. Prob. 37 (2018).
  • Doux Commerce, Religion, and the Limits of Antidiscrimination Law, 92 Ind. L.J. 693 (2017). SSRN.
  • Commerce, Religion, and the Rule of Law, 6 J.L. Rel. & St. 213 (2018). SSRN.
  • Reconsidering Contractual Consent: Why We Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Boilerplate and Other Puzzles, 83 Brooklyn L. Rev. 215 (2017). SSRN.
  • "International Legal Experience and the Mormon Theology of the State, in Out of Obscurity, (Patrick Mason & John Turner, eds. 2016).
  • Book Review, 33 L. & His. Rev. (2015) (reviewing Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffery N. Walker & John Welch, Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith's Legal Encounters​​​).
  • International Legal Experience and the Mormon Theology of the State, 1945-2012, 100 Iowa L. Rev. 715 (2015). SSRN.
  • The Need for a Law of Church and Market, 64 Duke L.J. Online 141 (2015). SSRN.
  • Book Review,, 101 J. Am. Hist 549 (reviewing New Perspectives in Mormon Studies: Creating and Crossing Boundaries, Quincy D. Newell & Eric F. Mason eds.).
  • Hobby Lobby, Corporate Law, and the Theory of the Firm: Why For-Profit Corporations are RFRA Persons, 124 Harv. L. Rev. F. 273 (2014) (with Alan Meese). SSRN.
  • A Theory of Civil Liability, 21 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 381 (2014).
  • The Supreme Court's Theory of Private Law, 62 Duke L.J. 1109 (2013) (with Jason M. Solomon). SSRN.
  • Markets as a Moral Foundation for Contract Law, 98 Iowa L. Rev. 183 (2012). SSRN.
  • Promise and Private Law, 45 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 935 (2012) (solicited).
  • Consent to Retaliation: A Civil Recourse Theory of Contractual Liability, 96 Iowa L. Rev. 529 (2011). SSRN.
  • How to Judge Sharia Contracts: A Guide to Islamic Marriage Contracts in American Courts, 2011 Utah L. Rev. 287 (2011). SSRN.
  • Natural Law and the Rhetoric of Empire: Reynolds v. United States, Polygamy, and Imperialism, 88 Wash. U. L. Rev. 661 (2011). SSRN.
  • The Honor of Private Law, 80 Fordham L. Rev. 31 (2011).
  • Why There is No Duty to Pay Damages: Powers, Duties, and Private Law, 39 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 137 (2011) (solicited).
  • Bargaining in the Shadow of God's Law: Islamic Mahr Contracts and the Perils of Legal Specialization, 45 Wake Forest L. Rev. 579 (2010) (solicited). SSRN.
  • A Pragmatic Defense of Contract Law, 98 Geo. L.J 77 (2009). SSRN.
  • Preaching to the Court House and Judging in the Temple, 2009 BYU L. Rev. 157 (2009). SSRN.
  • Specific Performance and the Thirteenth Amendment, 93 Minn. L. Rev. 2020 (2009). SSRN.
  • Contract Law and Morality: Introduction, 48 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1643 (2007). SSRN.
  • The Failure of Economic Interpretations of the Law of Contract Damages, 64 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 829 (2007). SSRN.
  • Book Review, Unity and Pluralism in Contract Law, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 1483 (2005) (reviewing Stephen Smith, Contract Theory).
  • Corporations and Autonomy Theories of Contract: A Critique of the New Lex Mercatoria, 82 Denv. U. L. Rev. 101 (2005). SSRN.
  • Statutory Interpretation in Econotopia, 25 Pace L. Rev. 49 (2005). SSRN.
  • Unity and Pluralism in Contract Law, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 1483 (2005) (reviewing Stephen Smith, Contract Theory) (book review). SSRN.
  • Note, Wagering on Religious Freedom, 116 Harv. L. Rev. 946 (2003). SSRN.
  • Book Review, Story of a Forgotten Battle, 2002 BYU L. Rev. 745 (2002) (reviewing Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America) (book review). SSRN.
  • Case Comment, Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 122 S. Ct. 2528 (2002), 116 Harv. L. Rev. 272 (2002) (case comment).
  • Case Comment, Washington v. Heckel, 24 P.3d 404 (Wash. 2001), cert. denied, 70 U.S.L.W. 3193 (U.S. Oct. 29, 2001) (No. 01-469), 115 Harv. L. Rev. 931 (2002) (case comment).
  • "I will give unto you my law": Section 42 as a Legal Text and the Paradoxes of Divine Law, in Embracing the Law: Essays on Doctrine & Covenants Section 42, (Jeremiah John ed., forthcoming).
  • Truth, Doctrine, and Authority, Element: The Journal of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology (forthcoming) (solicited).
  • Civil Disobedience and the Latter-day Saint Tradition, (Terryl Givens & Eric Eliason eds., forthcoming).
  • John Calvin's Quarrel with Civil Recourse Theory, (Michael Mooreland & Robert Cochran, eds, forthcoming).
  • Mormonism and Conscience, (Jeffrey B. Hammond & Helen M. Alvare, forthcoming) (with Rosalynde Welch).
  • Private Law and Local Custom, (Henry Smith et al. eds., forthcoming).
  • Book Review, Mormon Stud. Rev. 167 (2019) (reviewing Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers, Richard E. Turley, Jr. et al eds.).
  • "We the People of the Kingdom of God": Mormon Constitution Writing in the Council of Fifty, in The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal About Mormon History, (Jeremiah John & Joseph M. Spencer, eds. 2017).
  • 'Standing Betwixt Them and Justice': War and Atonement in the Book of Mormon, in God Himself Will Come Down: Reading Mosiah 15, (Joseph Spencer & Andrew Smith, eds., forthcoming). SSRN.
  • Doux Commerce in the City of God: Trade and the Mormon Ideal of Zion, in Reapproaching Zion, (Sam Brunson & Nathan B. Oman, eds., forthcoming). SSRN.
  • A Local Faith, 49/2 BYU Studies (Summer 2010 at 163).
  • Church-State Relations, in Encyclopedia of Mormon History (Paul Reeve & Ardis Parshall, eds., 2010) (solicited).
  • Mordred had a Point, 43/1 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Spring 2010) at 201 (reviewing Gary Topping, Leonard J. Arrington: A Historian's Life) (solicited).
  • Reynolds v. United States, in Encyclopedia of Mormon History 119 (2010) (Paul Reeve & Ardis Parshall, eds. (solicited).
  • 'The Living Oracles': Legal Interpretation and Mormon Thought, 42/2 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Summer 2009) at 1. SSRN.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States 301 (David S. Tanenhaus et al. eds., 2008) (solicited).
  • The Scholar as Celebrant, 41/3 (Fall 2008) Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought at 163 (reviewing Terryl Givens, People of Paradox: A Cultural History of Mormonism) (solicited).
  • A Defense of the Authority of Church Doctrine, 40/4 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Winter 2007) at 1.
  • Shylock and Article Nine of the U.C.C, in Perspectives on the Uniform Commercial Code 106 106 (2007) (2d ed. Douglas E. Litowitz ed., 2007) (solicited).
  • Jurisprudence and the Problem of Church Doctrine, 2/2 Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (Fall 2006) at 1.
  • Secret Combinations: A Legal Analysis, 16/1 FARMS Rev. of Books (Spring 2004) at 49.
  • 41 BYU Studies 71 (2002) (reviewing Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (2001)) (book review).
  • Review of Sarah Barringer Gordon, 41/3 The Mormon Question, Brigham Young University Studies (Fall 2002) at 71.
  • Out of Zion Shall Go Forth the Law, 12 FARMS Rev. of Books 113 (2000) (reviewing Richard Collin Mangrum & Edwin Firmage, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900) (book review).

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