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Five Minutes with Professor Felix Chang

Visiting Professor of Law Felix Chang is one of the newest members of the law school’s faculty. Professor Chang was part of the team that established the College of Law’s Institute for the Global Practice of Law, which had its inaugural program this summer. During fall semester he will be teaching up-and-coming law students.

What’s on your nightstand?

I haven’t had the chance to do much nightly reading lately, but the last book I read was Elif Batuman’s The Possessed, which may still be on my nightstand.

What will be your area of focus at the law school?

My areas of focus, for the first year, will be Torts, Agency, and Corporations.  My current practice is securities and derivatives.

What are the big topics in your area?

The single biggest topic in my area of law – which I define as banking, securities, and investments – is the Financial Reform Bill.  The major components of this bill include capital markets reform (the Volcker Rule, clearing and margin requirements for derivatives), systemic risk (living wills, orderly resolution authority, prudential standards, and capital requirements), and retail banking (interchange fees, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and mortgage origination and securitization).

What sparked your interest in law?

My interest in law was sparked some years after college.  In 2002, when I was working in Central Asia as a journalist, I realized that journalists in post-Soviet societies weren’t useful as an instrument of change.  The government didn’t trust us, and people didn’t believe the newspapers.  I saw, however, that a number of lawyers attached to ABA legal reform initiatives were doing really cool work.  That’s when I became interested in law.

What’s the best part about the law/being a lawyer?

The novelty of issues you can encounter almost on a daily basis; the creativity that goes into devising solutions; and, especially in the financial area recently, the degree that lawyers can be the interface between business and government.

Why did you become a lawyer?

I always wanted to back to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc as a mid- or late-career lawyer to work on legal reform initiatives.  I still hope to someday