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Joseph F. Rice School of Law


Benjamin Means

Title: Professor of Law
John T. Campbell Chair in Business and Professional Ethics
Joseph F. Rice School of Law
Phone: 803-777-3616

1525 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29208


CV [pdf]


Benjamin Means


Benjamin Means is a Professor of Law and the John T. Campbell Chair in Business and Professional Ethics at the University of South Carolina School of Law.  His research focuses on corporate governance and family-owned businesses. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Georgetown Law Journal, the Washington University Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Emory Law Journal, the Boston College Law Review, the U.C. Irvine Law Review, the William & Mary Law Review, the U.C. Davis Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, and the Fordham Law Review. His article Nonmarket Values in Family Businesses was selected for inclusion in the Junior Faculty Forum sponsored by Harvard, Stanford, and Yale law schools.  Three of his articles have been selected for reprinting in the Corporate Practice Commentator.  Professor Means has placed shorter work in venues including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online and The Conversation (republished by the Houston Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among others) and has been featured in articles published by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  He is a member and past chair of the executive committee for the AALS Section on Agency, Partnership, LLCs, and Unincorporated Business Associations. Professor Means earned his AB cum laude from Dartmouth College and his JD magna cum laude from Michigan Law School.  He served as an articles editor for the Michigan Law Review. He then clerked for the Honorable Rosemary S. Pooler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Before entering academia, he practiced law in New York at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Satterlee Stephens LLP. 


  • Business Associations (LAWS 609)
  • Family Business Law (LAWS 603)
  • Contracts (LAWS 504)
  • Liberty Seminar (LAWS 668)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (LAWS 774)

Selected Scholarship

  • Against Contractual Formalism in Shareholder Oppression Law, U.C. Davis L. Rev. (forthcoming 2023) (with Douglas K. Moll)
  • Climate Change Compliance, 107 Iowa L. Rev. 2135 (2022) (with Susan Kuo) 
  • Solving the "King Lear Problem", 12 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 1245 (2022) 
  • A Corporate Law Rationale for Reparations, 62 B.C. L. Rev. 799 (2021) (with Susan Kuo)
  • The Value of Insider Control, 60 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 891 (2019)
  • The Political Economy of Corporate Exit, 71 Vand. L. Rev. 1293 (2018) (with Susan Kuo)
  • Collective Coercion, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 1599 (2016) (with Susan Kuo)
  • Wealth Inequality and Family Businesses, 65 Emory L.J. 937 (2016)
  • The Contractual Foundation of Family-Business Law, 75 Ohio St. L.J. 675 (2014)
  • Nonmarket Values in Family Businesses, 54 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1185 (2013)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.