Published: Sept. 23, 2023
Mark Loewenstein

Since joining the faculty in 1979, Professor Mark Loewenstein has been a steadfast member of the Colorado Law community, teaching numerous courses—including Contracts, Corporations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement, and Agency, Partnership and the LLC—and mentoring hundreds of students. He’s served as associate dean three times: for faculty development, research, and academic affairs, as well as on numerous law school and university committees.

A prolific author and speaker in the areas of business associations, agency law, and securities law, with a particular interest in corporate governance, his widely used casebook, Agency, Partnership and the LLC: The Law of Unincorporated Business Enterprises (with J. Dennis Hynes ’60), is used in business law school classrooms across the nation. As Professor Loewenstein nears retirement, we look back at his academic career.

What accomplishments over the course of your career have brought you the most satisfaction, and why?

Occasionally a former student reaches out to tell me that I made a positive difference in their life. Sometimes that is a chance encounter, but regardless of the circumstances, I am always taken aback because the student generally is not one who came to my office for help or otherwise struck up a relationship with me. To have made a difference in another person’s life is, at least in part, what teaching is all about. If we are committed to the craft of teaching—to be prepared, to impart our commitment to the law, to model competent and ethical behavior—you can reach students where they are and maybe make a difference.

How has the field of business law evolved since you began your career?

Business law has undergone a revolution of sorts in the past 50 years (gasp!). When I started practice in 1974, businesses were organized as corporations or partnerships and the rules governing each were largely decades old.

But that started to change at about the time I graduated law school, with the advent of limited liability companies. LLCs are now, by far, the dominant form of business entity. The law that developed around LLCs then triggered a change in partnership and corporate law that, in turn, resulted in significant changes in tax law and securities regulation. In addition, a number of new business entity forms (e.g., limited liability limited partnerships, decentralized autonomous organizations) are now available to entrepreneurs. I have been fortunate to be a member of the Colorado Bar Association business entity committee that drafted or redrafted the Colorado statutes on these topics.

When you think back on your academic career, what memories come to mind?

I have many fond memories: seeing my students graduate, launch successful careers, and retire before I do (!); watching the Wolf Law Building become a reality; teaching at Hokkaido University in Japan as a Fulbright lecturer; and meeting with several Supreme Court justices who visited the law school—Justices Breyer, Scalia, Ginsburg, Thomas, Stevens, Gorsuch, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Another memory was one from the University of Michigan law school, where I was a visiting professor in the fall of 1999. I taught a course in business associations and had about 90 students in the class. One day I called on a student and she responded that I had already called on her. After a moment to collect my thoughts, I answered that I had already called on everyone in the class and she immediately responded that I had not. I then asked the rest of the students to raise a hand if I had not yet called on them. Naturally, no one did, and I told the student, “See, I have called on everyone. Now what is the answer to my question?” The story apparently got around Michigan quickly because one of my colleagues at Colorado Law had heard it from his son, who was then a student at Michigan.

What does Colorado Law mean to you?

I have always been impressed with the quality and decency of our students and the accomplishments of my faculty colleagues. I am proud to have been a member of this faculty and glad I never pursued the other opportunities that have come my way over the past 40-plus years.

What are your plans for retirement?

I’m not sure yet. I am a FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitrator and may became an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, so I plan to do some arbitrations. I will pursue some volunteer opportunities in the community. But mostly, my wife Linda and I plan to do some traveling, babysitting our grandkids, and enjoying the great outdoors here in Colorado.