R. Lisle Baker

Professor of Law

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Bar Admittance



Associate, Hill & Barlow (8 months leave of absence to work with public television), 1968-73; Associate Professor of Law, Suffolk, 1973-78; Professor of Law, since 1978; Visiting Researcher, Harvard Law School, 1984-1986; Master of Applied Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania (2016); Member, Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Activities

Public Service:  City of Newton: Alderman, 1980-84, 1988-2015; City Councilor, 2016 to date


Book Chapters

Chapter: Common Law Environmental Protection in Massachusetts, in MASSACHUSETTS ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 4th ed., Gregor I. McGregor ed., 2016)


Integrating Positive Psychology into Legal Education, 48 SOUTHWESTERN L. REV. 295 (2019)

Delivering Bad News Well, LAW PRACTICE TODAY (January 14, 2019) (with Jennifer List)

Character and Fitness for Leadership: Learning Interpersonal Skills, 58 SANTA CLARA L. REV. 101 (2018)

Designing a Positive Psychology Course for Lawyers, 51 SUFFOLK L. REV. 207 (2018)

Planning Your Career in Law Practice, 50 SUFFOLK L. REV. 2 (2017)

On Engagement: Learning to Pay Attention 36 U. ARK. LITTLE ROCK L. REV. 348 (2014) (with Daniel P. Brown, PhD.)

The Advocates: a retrospective on an important—and still relevant—innovation in public affairs television, HARV. NEGOT. L. REV (March 12, 2014).

Exploring How Municipal Boards Can Settle Appeals of Their Land Use Decisions within the Framework of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, 44 SUFFOLK UNIV. L. REV. 455 (2011)

My Tree Versus Your Solar Collector or Your Well Versus My Septic System?--Exploring Responses to Beneficial but Conflicting Neighboring Uses of Land, 37 B.C. ENVTL. AFF. L. REV. 1 (2010)

Using Special Assessments as a Tool for Smart Growth, 22 PROBATE & PROP. 55 (2008)

Using Special Assessments as a Tool for Smart Growth: Louisville's New Metro Government as a Potential Example, 45 BRANDEIS L. J. 1 (2006)

Achieving Smarter Growth in Massachusetts: Some Ideas for Moving Forward, 22 :3 MUNICIPAL ADVOCATE 21 (2006)

Challenges of Learning Interpersonal Negotiation, 22 NEGOTIATION J. 505 (2006)

Using Insights about Perception and Judgment from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument as an Aid to Mediation, 9 HARV. NEGOT. L. REV. 115 (2004)

Ethical Limits on Attorney Contact with Represented and Unrepresented Officials: The Example of Municipal Zoning Boards Making Site-Specific Land Use Decisions, 31 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 349 (1997)

Enhancing Professional Competence and Legal Excellence Through Teaching Law Practice Management, 40 J. LEGAL EDUC. 375 (1990)

Byproducts Liability--Using Private Actions To Clean Up Hazardous Waste Sites, 10 HARV. ENVTL. L. REV. 99 (1986) (with Michael J. Markoff)

Negotiated Development and Open Space Preservation: A Case Study of Neighborhood Purchase and Ultimate City Acquisition Involving Partial Development, Betterment Assessments and Federal Tax Benefits, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (1984) (with Norman H. Wolfe)

Planning for Platted Lands: Land Use Remedies For Lot Sale Subdivision, 11 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 505 (1983) (with Frank Schnidman)

Recovering Privately Conferred Windfalls Recovering Privately and Publicly Conferred Windfalls—An Exploratory Essay, 13 URB. LAW. vii (1981)\

Taxing Speculative Land Gains: The Vermont Experience, (1980) (with Dr. Stephen Andersen , economist at College of the Atlantic) Abridged version published in 22 URB. L. ANN. 3 (1981). Abstract also published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA, as part of its tax policy series (1981)

Local Zoning, Regional Planning/Permitting, and State Tax Incentives and Disincentives for Environmental Protection or Enhancement, 10 NAT. RESOURCES LAW. 737 (1978)

Enhancing the Visual Environment of the Twilight Commercial Zone: The Great Neck Plaza Experiment, 2 HARV. ENVTL. L. REV. 389 (1977)

Controlling Land Uses and Prices by Using Special Gain Taxation to Intervene in the Land Market: The Vermont Experiment, 4 ENVTL. AFF. 427 (1975)


  • AB, Williams College
  • LLB, Harvard University
  • Master of Applied Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
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Courses Taught

  • Law Practice Planning: Law as a Career and an Enterprise
  • Negotiation
  • Leadership and Character Strengths
  • Positive Psychology for Lawyers
  • Equitable Remedies