Peter V. Letsou

Peter V. Letsou

College of Law Dean; Roderick and Carol Wendt Chair in Business Law

  • J.D. University of Chicago, highest honors, Order of the Coif
  • B.A. Harvard College, magna cum laude

Peter V. Letsou became dean of Willamette University College of Law in June 2011. He also holds the Roderick and Carol Wendt Chair in Business Law and directs the school’s Program in Law and Business.

Letsou, who previously was associate dean, joined the faculty in 2002. Prior to his tenure at Willamette, he served as professor of law and director of the Center for Corporate Law at the University of  Cincinnati College of Law. He began his teaching career at the George Mason University School of Law in 1990, earning tenure there in 1996. Letsou also has been a visiting professor at the University of Connecticut  School of Law and the Emory University School of Law.

In 1986, Professor Letsou graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with highest honors and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He was a comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and was twice selected as an Olin Foundation Fellow in Law and Economics. Upon graduation, Professor Letsou served as a law clerk to the Honorable Walter R. Mansfield, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the Purpose of Appointing Independent Counsels. He then served as associate counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition. He entered private practice in New York as an associate with Cravath, Swaine & Moore and later with Christy & Viener.

Professor Letsou is an active scholar and lecturer. At Willamette, he teaches Business Organizations, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Introduction to Business Law. He also directs Willamette’s specialized Certificate Program in Law and Business and serves as faculty advisor to the Willamette Law Review. Professor Letsou is a member of the New York State Bar. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where he earned the Bachelor of Arts in Physics in 1983, and an alumnus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

SSRN Author Page


  • BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS Fourth Edition (with Larry E. Ribstein), 2004, 2005 & 2006 Supplements (Anderson)
  • BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS Fourth Edition (with Larry E. Ribstein) (Anderson 2003)
  • BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS Third Edition (with Larry E. Ribstein) 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000 Supplements (Matthew Bender)
  • BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS Third Edition (with Larry E. Ribstein) Documents Supplement (Matthew Bender 1996 &1999)
  • BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONs Third Edition (with Larry E. Ribstein) (Matthew Bender 1996)

Articles & Essays

  • The Dilemma That Should Never Have Been: Minority Freeze Outs in Deleware. 61 BUS. LAW. 25 (2005) (with Hass).
  • SEC Rules: No Panecea. WILLAMETTE LAWYER, Spring 2004.
  • Power Dive. THE DAILY DEAL, October 6, 2003.
  • Snuffing Out Business Investment in Oregon. THE OREGONIAN, September 1, 2003.
  • Neutral Ground. THE DAILY DEAL, February 6, 2003.
  • Flaw and Folly. THE DAILY DEAL, October 9, 2002.
  • Saying "No" in Ohio. THE DAILY DEAL, June 4, 2002.
  • Leave the Analysts Alone. THE DAILY DEAL, May 7, 2002.
  • Why Kill Andersen? THE DAILY DEAL (NEW YORK CITY), April 23, 2002.
  • Some Reflections on the Impact of Shareholder Diversification on Corporate Law: The Case of the Business Judgment Rule. 77 CHI.-KENT. L. REV. 179 (2001)
  • Are Dead-Hand (and No-Hand) Poison Pills Really Dead? 68 U. CIN. L. REV. 1101 (2000).
  • The Future of Legal Education: Some Reflections on Law School Specialty Tracks. 50 CASE W. RES. L. REV. 457 (1999).
  • Introduction to the Twelfth Annual Corporate Law Symposium on Developments in the Law of Business Organizations. 67 U. CIN. L. REV. 945 (1999)
  • The Role of Appraisal in Corporate Law. 39 B. C. L. REV. 1121 (1998).
  • The Scope of Section 12(2) of the Securities Act of 1933: A Legal and Economic Analysis. 45 EMORY L. J. 95 (1996)
  • The Political Economy of Consumer Credit Protection Regulations. 44 EMORY L. J. 587 (1995)
  • The Ins and Outs of Buyouts. THE WORLD & I, September 1995, at 66
  • Shareholder Voice and the Market for Corporate Control. 70 WASH. U. L. Q. 755 (1992)
  • A Time-Dependent Model of Products Liability. 53 U. CHI. L. REV. 209 (1986)

Honors & Awards

  • Appointed initial holder of Roderick and Carol Wendt Chair in Business Law (September 2003)
  • Appointed to Isaac Van Winkle Melton Endowed Professorship (September 2002)