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Jeff Sovern

Professor of Law
A.B., Columbia University
J.D., Columbia University

Jeff Sovern is a Professor of Law at St. John’s University in New York City where he teaches Civil Procedure, Consumer Protection and Introduction to Law. The New York Times has called him "an expert in consumer law," a statement echoed by the Chicago Tribune, and Mother Jones.

Professor Sovern writes for three overlapping audiences. For the public, he has published numerous op-eds, including essays in The New York Times (here and here, and in DealBook, herehere and here), USA TodayThe Boston Globe, Fortune,  the Christian Science Monitor, the American Banker (herehereherehere, and here), the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (hereherehereherehereherehere, and here), The New York Daily News (here, and here), The Conversation (here and here), The Hill (hereherehereherehere and here), CNN.comPoliticoCommonwealth, Morning Consult,  and a variety of blogs. Professor Sovern can be heard on public radio's Academic Minute  (here and here) and discussing privacy issues during an hour-long interview on the University of California—Irvine’s radio show “Privacy Policy” initially broadcast on July 26, 2006. He has also published 42 letters in The New York Times. He has been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Reports, Newsday, Politico, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Daily News, National Law Journal, Consumer Reports, Mother Jones, Washington Examiner, The Oregonian,, Bloomberg,, The Huffington Post, the ABA Journal eReports, the Associated Press, The Center for Public Integrity and on CBS News.

Professor Sovern also writes for law students. He co-authored a casebook titled Consumer Law: Cases and Materials (4d ed. 2013 West) with Professors John A. Spanogle, Ralph J. Rohner, Dee Pridgen, and Christopher Peterson, with whom he also co-edited Selected Consumer Statutes (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 editions).  He previously co-authored the third edition of the casebook. His study of student laptop use during classes was published in the University of Louisville Law Review in 2013.

Finally, Professor Sovern writes for law professors, judges, lawyers and other academics interested in consumer issues.  His scholarly writings have appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Washington Law Review, William and Mary Law ReviewOhio State Law Journal (twice), University of California-Irvine Law ReviewMaryland Law Review, SMU Law Review, The Business Lawyer, Federal Rules Decisions, the University of Pittsburgh Law Review (here and here), Missouri Law Review, McGeorge Law Review, DePaul Law Review, Advancing the Consumer Interest, the Annual Review of Banking Law, Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, Journal of Consumer Affairs (twice), the Journal of Commercial and Consumer Law (twice), and the Encyclopedia of Housing. The federal Department of Education relied in part on an article Professor Sovern co-authored when it issued its 2016 student loan regulations barring the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses. His writings have been referred to in numerous casebooks, treatises, law review articles, and court decisions. One of his articles was listed in Martha Minow’s Archetypal Legal Scholarship: A Field Guide, 63 J. Legal Education 65 (2013) as an example of archetypal policy analysis. Professor Sovern also has two forthcoming articles in the Rutgers Law Review. He is a co-coordinator of the Consumer Law and Policy Blog, which can be read at, and the co-editor of the Consumer Law Abstracts eJournal for the Social Science Research Network, available at  The American Council on Consumer Interests awarded Professor Sovern the Russell A. Dixon Prize in 2002 and the 2010 Applied Consumer Economics Award. 

Sovern has spoken at the Pound Civil Justice Institute's Forum for State Appellate Court Judges, Georgetown Law School, the University of California-Irvine (twice), the Conference of the American Association of Law Schools (twice), the National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, the University of Houston's Conference on Teaching Consumer Law (multiple times), the Practicing Law Institute's Consumer Financial Services Institute (three times), the Summer Judicial Seminar for New York State Judges, the Annual Conference of the American Council on Consumer Interests (three times), Rutgers Law School (twice), Hofstra Law School, the New York City Consumer Advocates Task Force, the New York City Consumer Debt Working Conference, and the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, among other events. He has also spoken at webinars conducted by the American Bar Association and the Ballard Spahr law firm.   Professor Sovern has served as Reporter to the Eastern District Discovery Oversight Committee and on committees of the American and New York State Bar Associations and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Before joining the law faculty, Professor Sovern served as a law clerk to Judge Frank A. Kaufman of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and practiced law in the litigation department of a major New York City law firm.  He holds A.B. and J.D. degrees from Columbia University.

Jeff Sovern