Butler Shaffer

Professor of Law Emeritus (deceased)

Sadly passed away on December 29, 2019

A Tribute to Professor Emeritus Butler Shaffer

B.S., Law, 1958 and B.A., Arts and Sciences, 1959, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; J.D., 1961, University of Chicago; Member, Colorado and Nebraska State Bars


Professor Butler ShafferAnyone wishing to send letters of condolence can send an email to academicadmin@swlaw.edu or snail mail to:
     Professor Butler Shaffer's Family
     c/o Academic Administration
     Southwestern Law School
     3050 Wilshire Blvd.
     Los Angeles, CA 90010

The reasoning and analytical skills that Butler Shaffer developed in law school where he served as associate editor of the law review, have helped him pursue "the continuous process of inquiry that Socrates referred to as 'the examined life.'"

"I like to explore, with my students and in my research, the nature and purpose of governmental regulation of economic activity."

From the view of a "modern social historian and philosopher," Professor Shaffer has written numerous books and articles on social theory, business and labor law, and has spoken on these topics before a variety of academic and special interest forums. In his book, Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival, he explores the theory that "institutions are the principle means by which conflict is produced and managed in society." He considers how leaders of industry influenced the creation of the New Deal's National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 in his book, In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition. Professor Shaffer has also been interviewed on these subjects on network television, cable and radio.

Following graduation from law school, Professor Shaffer was a labor relations consultant to the Midwest Employers Council in Lincoln, Nebraska, and went on to establish a private law practice in Omaha. He subsequently joined the firm of Nelson, Harding, Marchetti, Leonard & Tate, and then began a career in academia at the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration where he taught courses in business and law.

Professor Shaffer joined the Southwestern faculty in 1977. Over the years, his courses included Administrative Law, Antitrust Law, Informal Systems of Order Seminar, Property, Property Transactions Practice, and SCALE courses in Legal Reasoning, Possession and Ownership, and Property Transactions Practice. In 2002, he was named as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in recognition of his outstanding contributions to legal education and scholarship. He took Emeritus status in 2015. Professor Shaffer says, "I like to explore, with my students and in my research, the nature and purpose of governmental regulation of economic activity."

Selected Achievements

2011, Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient