Prof. Dr. Marietta Auer, M.A., LL.M., S.J.D. (Harvard)

Managing Director

Main Focus

  • Private law and multidisciplinary foundations of law, in particular the philosophical and sociological history of ideas underlying private law
  • Theory of private law
  • Comparative private law
  • European private law and non-governmental private law regimes
  • Private law doctrine

Curriculum Vitae

Marietta Auer (1972) studied law, philosophy and sociology at the University of Munich and Harvard University. She completed both the first and second state legal examinations in 1995 and 1997, received her doctorate in law in 2003, her M.A. in philosophy and sociology in 2008, habilitated in 2012 and was granted the professorial teaching qualification for civil law, philosophy of law, commercial and corporate law, comparative law as well as European private law (all at the University of Munich). She received her LL.M. in 2000 and her S.J.D. in 2012 from Harvard University. In 2001 she received her license to practice as Attorney-at-Law in New York, USA. From 2013-2020, she held the chair for civil law and philosophy of law at the University of Giessen, and from 2016-2019, she served as dean of the law faculty. Since 2020, she is the director of the newly established Department for Multidisciplinary Theory of Law at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory (formerly Max Planck Institute for European Legal History) (Frankfurt am Main) and is professor for private law as well as international and interdisciplinary foundations of law at the University of Giessen. She received offers for professorships at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg (2019, declined) and from the University of Bonn (2019, declined). The department was established on 1 September 2020 and is currently in development.

She has received numerous distinctions and awards, among them the University of Munich Law Faculty Award (2004), Juridical Book of the Year (2005, 2015), Teaching Excellence Award at Bavarian universities (2006), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities Prize for Outstanding Research in the Area of the Foundations of Law and Economy (2017), and was a Fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study (2019-2020). In 2022, she was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Memberships in professional associations and advisory boards as well as evaluation activities, including the expanded Board of the Association of Lecturers in Private Law (Zivilrechtslehrervereinigung e.V.), the Board of Trustees of the Bucerius Law School, the Research Council of the European University Institute, Florence as well as in the Senate and Grants Committees on Research Training Groups for the German Research Foundation.


among others:

Auer, M.: Materialisierung, Flexibilisierung, Richterfreiheit: Generalklauseln im Spiegel der Antinomien des Privatrechtsdenkens. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen (2005), XXIII, 262 pp.
Auer, M.: Der privatrechtliche Diskurs der Moderne. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen (2014), X, 204 pp.
Auer, M.: Zum Erkenntnisziel der Rechtstheorie. Philosophische Grundlagen multidisziplinärer Rechtswissenschaft. Nomos, Baden-Baden (2018), 76 pp.
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