Chris Whytock: New Quinney College Professor Focuses on 'Law in Action'

Chris Whytock first felt the pull of a legal career while studying engineering at UCLA. Intellectually omnivorous by nature, he felt constrained by the engineering college’s rigidly enforced limitations on elective classes, and soon changed his undergraduate major to political science. It wasn’t long before he discovered his true passion had more to do with international law than flexibility, freeze and other engineering precepts.

Still, something of the former engineering student remains in Whytock’s methodical approach to the law. One of his former students from Duke University, where Whytock taught before coming to the Quinney College, fondly recalls how he arrived at class each day equipped with a fresh PowerPoint presentation highlighting that day’s material. And in his scholarship, he stresses unified concepts that link legal analysis and statistical analysis – not so different, after all, from the interrelated concepts such as thermodynamics and fluid mechanics that freshman engineering students are typically introduced to.

Whytock is teaching civil procedure this fall. In the spring, he will teach business organizations and a seminar titled the Judiciary and World Politics.