Robert C. Bird

Professor of Business Law and Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics


Education/Professional Certification

J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1996
M.B.A., Boston University Graduate School of Management, 1998

Areas of Expertise

Business ethics, corporate social responsibility, ethics and compliance, business and human rights, employment law, law and strategy, empirical legal studies


Robert Bird conducts research in compliance, employment law, legal strategy, intellectual property, law and marketing, business and human rights, and related fields. Robert has authored over seventy academic publications, including articles in the Journal of Law and Economics, American Business Law Journal, Law and Society Review, Connecticut Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Robert has received sixteen research-related awards, including the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) best international paper award, distinguished proceedings award, and the Holmes-Cardozo best overall conference paper award. He has also received the best junior faculty paper award from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Business Law Association two years in a row, a distinguished paper award from the Pacific Southwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and a best paper award from the North East Academy of Legal Studies in Business. Robert was also awarded the highest honor for a new ALSB professor, the Junior Faculty of the Year Award, in 2003. Robert’s teaching-related awards include winning the outstanding article of the year award two years in a row from the Journal of Legal Studies Education, receiving the student-selected Alpha Kappa Psi Teacher of the Year award, and being a three-time invited finalist to the ALSB Master Teacher Competition.

Robert was editor in chief of the American Business Law Journal in 2012-13, publishing the 50th anniversary issue. He also served as administrative editor, articles editor, senior articles editor, and managing editor from 2006 through 2012. Robert is also a manuscript reviewer for several journals, including the Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Legal Studies Education, Journal of Management and Governance, and Law and Society Review, among others.

Featured Publications

Empirical Legal Studies

  • The Role of the Chief Legal Officer in Corporate Governance, Journal of Corporate Finance, 34(1), 1-22 (2015) (with J. Knopf & P. Borochin)
  • The Impact of Local Knowledge on Banking, Journal of Financial Services Research, 48(1), 1-20 (2015) (with J. Knopf)
  • Social Network Theory and the Diffusion of the Search and Seizure Exclusionary Rule Among State Courts Between Weeks and Wolf, BYU Journal of Public Law, 27(1), 96-144 (2013) (with L. Benner & D. Smythe)
  • Social Network Analysis and the Diffusion of the Strict Liability Rule for Manufacturing Defects, 1963-87, Law and Social Inquiry, 37(3) 565-594 (2012) (with D. Smythe)
  • Do Disability Laws Impair Firm Performance?, American Business Law Journal, 47(1), 145-190 (2010) (with J. Knopf)
  • Do Wrongful Discharge Laws Impair Firm Performance?, Journal of Law and Economics, 52(2), 197-222 (2009) (with J. Knopf)
  • The Social Structure of American Legal Institutions and the Diffusion of Wrongful Discharge Laws, 1978-99, Law and Society Review, 42(4), 833-863 (2008) (with D. Smythe)

Trademark and Marketing Law

  • The Impact of Plain Packaging Regulation on Illicit and Non-Illicit Tobacco Products in the European Union, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 38(4), 1015-1056 (2013) (with G. Berger-Walliser)
  • The Protection of Well-Known Foreign Marks in the United States: Potential Global Responses to Domestic Ambivalence, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 38(1), 1-40 (2012) (with E. Brown)
  • The Role of Consumer Surveys in Trademark Infringement: Empirical Evidence from the Federal Courts, 14 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 14(4), 1013-1053 (2012) (reprinted in the 2013 edition of the Intellectual Property Law Review) (with J. Steckel)
  • Repackaging, Pharmaceuticals, and the European Union: Managing Gray Markets in an Uncertain Legal Environment, Virginia Journal of International Law, 50(3), 719-756 (2010) (with P. Chaudhry)
  • Making Sense of Trademark Dilution (Again): The Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(3), 434 (2008)
  • The Impact of the Moseley Decision on Trademark Dilution Law, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 26(1), 102-117 (2007)

Law and Strategy

  • Finding the Right Corporate Legal Strategy, MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(1), 81-89 (2014) (with D. Orozco)
  • Law, Strategy, and Competitive Advantage, Connecticut Law Review, 44(1), 61-97 (2011)
  • The Many Futures of Legal Strategy, American Business Law Journal, 47(4), 575-586 (2010)
  • Pathways of Legal Strategy, Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance, 14(1), 1-41 (2008)

Employment Law

  • Precarious Work: The Need for Flextime Employment Rights and Proposals for Reform, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 37(1), 1-41 (2016)
  • Why Don’t More Employers Adopt Flexible Working Time?, West Virginia Law Review, 118(1), 327-367 (2015)
  • Employment, Justice, and the Psychological Contract, Oregon Law Review, 90(2), 449-524 (2011) (with L. DiMatteo and J. Colquitt)
  • The Four-Day Work Week: Old Lessons, New Questions, Connecticut Law Review, 42(4), 1059-1080 (2010)
  • Shiftwork and the Law, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 27(2), 383-430 (2006) (with N. Mirtorabi)
  • Employment as a Relational Contract, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law, 8(1), 149-217 (2005).
  • Rethinking Wrongful Discharge: A Continuum Approach, University of Cincinnati Law Review, 73(2), 517-579 (2004)
  • Good Faith and Wrongful Termination in Canada and the United States: A Comparative and Relational Inquiry, American Business Law Journal, 41(2), 205-250 (2004) (with D. Charters)


  • Turning Corporate Compliance into Competitive Advantage, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 19(2), __-__ (2017) (with S. Park)
  • The Domains of Corporate Counsel in an Era of Compliance, American Business Law Journal, 53(2), 203-249 (2016) (with S. Park)


  • Tax Avoidance as a Sustainability Problem, Journal of Business Ethics, _(_), _-_ (2017) (with K. Davis-Nozemack)
  • Tax Sham or Prudent Commissioner: Deconstructing the Government’s Pyrrhic Victory in Salina Partnership v. Commissioner, University of Virginia Tax Review, 22(2), 231-271 (2002) (with A. Tucker)

Business and Human Rights

  • Human Rights, Technology and Food: Coordinating Access and Innovation for 2050 and Beyond, American Business Law Journal, 52(3), 435-500 (2015) (with D. Cahoy)
  • Corporate Voluntarism and Liability for Human Rights in a Post-Kiobel World, Kentucky Law Journal, 102(3), 601-651 (2013-14) (with D. Cahoy and L. Dhooge)

Moral Rights

  • Moral Rights: Diagnosis and Rehabilitation, American Business Law Journal, 46(3), 407-452 (2009)
  • Protecting Moral Rights in the United States and the United Kingdom: Challenges and Opportunities under the U.K.’s new Performances Regulations, Boston University International Law Journal, 24(2), 213-282 (2006) (with L. Ponte)
Robert Bird
Contact Information
Phone+1 (860) 486-6136
Office LocationBUSN 353
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