Deborah Hensler

Deborah Hensler, PhD

Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution
Professor of Law
Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Stanford Law School
Director at the Law and Policy Lab

Room N349, Neukom Building
Stanford Law School
Stanford, CA  94305

(650) 723-0146 (voice)
(650) 725-0253 (fax)

Research Interests

Access to Justice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Civil Procedure & Litigation, Class Actions & Mass Litigation, Comparative Law, Complex Litigation, Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), Law & Society, Legal Profession, Mass Torts/Class Actions, Mediation & Dispute Resolution, Medical Malpractice, Policy Analysis, Product Liability, Public Policy & Empirical Studies, Third-Party Litigation Finance, Transnational Litigation & Arbitration.


Deborah R. Hensler is the Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Emerita at Stanford Law School, where she teaches courses on complex and transnational litigation, the legal profession, and empirical research methods. She co-founded the Law and Policy Laboratory at the law school with Prof. Paul Brest (emeritus). She is a member of the RAND Institute Civil Justice Board of Overseers and the Berkeley Law Civil Justice Initiative Advisory Board. From 2000-2005 she was the director of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation.

Prof. Hensler has written extensively on mass claims and class actions and is the lead author of Class Actions in Context: How Economics, Politics and Culture Shape Collective Litigation (2016) and Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain (2000) and the co-editor of The Globalization of Class Actions (2009). Prof. Hensler has taught classes on comparative class actions and empirical research methods at the University of Melbourne (Australia) and Catolica Universidade (Lisboa) and held a personal chair in Empirical Legal Studies on Mass Claims at Tilburg University (Netherlands) from 2011-2017. In 2014 she was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by Leuphana University (Germany). Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, Prof. Hensler was Director of the RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Prof. Hensler received her A.B. in political science summa cum laude from Hunter College and her Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stanford Affiliations