Published April 13, 2020

A Commitment to the Public Good

Rutgers Law professor Douglas S. Eakeley is nationally known for his advocacy of law in the public interest.

photo of douglas eakeleyDouglas S. Eakeley joined Rutgers Law School in 2012 from Lowenstein Sandler LLP, one of New Jersey’s leading law firms, where he specialized in complex civil litigation, including securities fraud, antitrust, consumer fraud, class actions, and derivative litigation. He has served as New Jersey’s first assistant attorney general. He is the founder and co-director of the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance and the founder and co-director of the Rutgers Law School Entrepreneurship Clinic.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Eakeley holds a law degree from Yale Law School, a master’s degree in jurisprudence from Oxford University, and a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude, with highest honors in economics) from Yale University. He chaired the board of the national Legal Services Corporation for more than nine years and he serves as chair of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and as a trustee of Legal Services of New Jersey.

Eakeley has received numerous awards for his pro bono work and contributions to the legal community, including the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award of Excellence, the John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award from the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and the National Housing Institute’s Outstanding Service Award.

The Alan V. Lowenstein Chair in Corporate and Business Law was established by the late Alan V. Lowenstein, founder of the law firm Lowenstein Sandler and a major figure in New Jersey’s legal and nonprofit communities.

In the Professor’s Own Words

What inspired you to study law?

I started studying law at Oxford University, after graduating from Yale. Like many in my generation, I planned on going to law school to keep my career options open. But it didn’t take long in the course of my legal studies before I discovered a sense of vocation. As Justice William J. Brennan Jr. once put it, “The law is not an end in itself, nor does it provide ends. It is pre-eminently a means to serve what we think is right.”

What achievement are you most proud of?

Serving as the chair of the Board of Directors of the national Legal Services Corporation, which provides federal funding to legal aid programs across the country for civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families.

What aspect of your work is most fulfilling?

Teaching law students, both in the classroom and the Entrepreneurship Clinic and through programs offered by the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance.

What do you hope your impact on Rutgers has been?

The creation of new courses and programs, a new Entrepreneurship Clinic, and a new research center that will continue to contribute to the success and well-being of the law school, its faculty, and students long after I have departed the scene.


This story is part of Rutgers University Foundation’s Endowed Chairs Impact series. Supporting professorships and research helps spark innovation and creativity here in New Jersey and beyond. 

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