Virginia Tech® home

Henry N. Butler

Henry N. Butler, of Huntly, Virginia, earned a master’s degree in 1979 and doctorate in 1982, both in economics from Virginia Tech, and simultaneously earned a juris doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics at the Law and Economics Center. Prior to this, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Richmond.

A prolific law and economics scholar, Butler has devoted much of his career to educating judges, lawyers, and public policymakers. He currently serves as the dean and professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Prior to his appointment as dean, he was a George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law and executive director of the university’s Law and Economics Center. In both leadership roles, Butler has been successful in securing philanthropic support, including a $30 million contribution during his first year as dean that resulted in renaming the law school for Antonin Scalia, as well as more than $34 million in support of the Law and Economics Center.

Butler began his academic career as an assistant professor of management at Texas A&M University and spent a year as a John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He joined George Mason University as an assistant professor of law in 1986. Additionally, he has held academic appointments at the University of Kansas, Chapman University, and The Brookings Institution. Butler also served as executive director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University School of Law.

In addition to several books, Butler has published in leading economic journals including the Journal of Law & Economics and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. He also has published in major law reviews, including the Virginia Law Review and Yale Journal on Regulation. His casebook, Economic Analysis for Lawyers, has been adopted at leading law schools and is the primary textbook for the Economics Institutes for Judges. Butler is a member of the American Law & Economics Association, the Mont Pelerin Society, the Association of Private Enterprise Education, and the Advisory Board of the Atlantic Legal Foundation. A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Butler’s dedication and service to public policy is a familial practice. He is the son of the late Congressman M. Caldwell Butler, who served in the House of Representatives from 1972 to 1983, and also was a beloved and respected lawyer.