News Releases

International law expert speaks at Lander

February 22, 2012
Joel Samuels
Joel H. Samuels

Lander University's College of Business and Public Affairs recently began a new speaker series that aims to bring distinguished guests to campus who can address topics that link the academic disciplines covered by college faculty -- business, criminal justice, political science and sociology.

Dr. Douglas T. Grider, dean of the college, believes that such programs will better enable Lander students to see connections across academic disciplines and become more aware of important topics in today's globalized world.

The inaugural speaker in the series was Joel H. Samuels, associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. In his lecture, titled "The Importance of International Law," Samuels addressed students and faculty on the foundations of international law, summarized several important cases and trends, and described how international law matters to citizens' everyday lives.

Samuels earned a B.A. in political science from Princeton University, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Michigan. As a noted authority on international law, his research deals with such issues as international boundary disputes, piracy, commercial arbitration, and legal reforms and the rule of law in Russia. The recipient of many teaching awards, he was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the University of South Carolina in 2007. During the Spring 2012 semester, he is serving as a visiting associate professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School.

Prior to joining the faculty at the USC School of Law, Samuels practiced law with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where he was involved in a wide range of international litigation matters, including several arbitration cases at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), litigation in U.S. courts involving the Alien Tort Claims Act, and the ad hoc arbitration of the Eritrea-Ethiopia boundary dispute. He also previously worked at the World Bank in both Washington, D.C., and in Zimbabwe.

In addition to teaching civil procedure and international law courses at the USC School of Law, Samuels is also associate director of USC's Rule of Law Collaborative, an effort that organizes conferences and workshops for government agencies, human rights nongovernmental organizations and foreign government officials.

The College of Business and Public Affairs is working to bring other distinguished guests to Lander as part of its new speaker series. For more information, visit