The University of Richmond School of Law is pleased to announce the appointment of two new professorships. Dean Wendy Perdue named Christopher A. Cotropia as the Dennis I. Belcher Professor of Law and James Gibson as the Sesquicentennial Professor of Law. Both intellectual property scholars, the two professors have co-authored four articles together.  

“Chris and Jim bring an exceptional level of both scholarly and teaching excellence to the Richmond Law community, and I’m proud to honor their contributions in this significant way” said Dean Perdue. 

Professor Cotropia, who joined the law faculty in 2006, teaches and writes in the areas of patent law, intellectual property, and empirical legal studies. He is the author of numerous book chapters, amicus briefs, and law review articles on these subjects. His scholarship has appeared in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Texas Law Review, UCLA Law ReviewMinnesota Law Review, Iowa Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Notre Dame Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law ReviewYale Law Journal Forum, Yale Journal of Law and Technology, and Berkeley Technology Law Journal, among other venues. He has also testified on patent law matters before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Federal Trade Commission, and the United States International Trade Commission. Prior to joining the Richmond Law faculty, Professor Cotropia was the C. J. Morrow Research Professor of Law at Tulane University School of Law. He is a recipient of the University of Richmond's 2015 Distinguished Educator Award and served as President of the University Senate. He is currently the director of the Law School’s Intellectual Property Institute.

The Belcher Professorship was established in 2017 by friends, family, and colleagues of Dennis I. Belcher, L’76, to honor the former McGuireWoods attorney who demonstrated professional excellence in his 41 years in trusts and estate law.

Professor Gibson, on the Richmond Law faculty since 2002, teaches and writes in the areas of intellectual property, contracts, and law and technology. He is also founder and former director of the Intellectual Property Institute and served as the law school’s Associate Dean for Academics from 2014 to 2018. His scholarship has appeared in the Yale Law JournalVirginia Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalTexas Law Review, and UCLA Law Review, among other venues. Professor Gibson is a frequent commentator in the media and has been quoted in the New York TimesWall Street JournalNational Law JournalSlate, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a recipient of the University of Richmond's 2007 Distinguished Educator Award.

The Sesquicentennial Professorship is a new position established in 2019 as the Law School prepares for its 150th anniversary celebration in 2020.