William & Mary welcomes a new international law scholar and teacher to the faculty: Professor Jay Butler.
“We are delighted to have Jay join us,“ said Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas. “He is an ambitious scholar whose work promises to have significant impact. Jay will also bring great energy to the classroom. He is a superb addition to our ranks.”
Butler joins William & Mary from Columbia Law School, where he was the Kellis E. Parker Teaching Fellow. He taught previously at Yale Law School and the George Washington University Law School and his recent article, "Responsibility for Regime Change," was published in the Columbia Law Review. Prior to beginning his academic career, he clerked for Judge Giorgio Gaja and Judge Hisashi Owada of the International Court of Justice and served as a legal adviser to the Government of Japan.
Born in Bermuda to a family that has been active in social justice advocacy and politics for generations, Butler crisscrossed the Atlantic several times for his education. He completed his high school studies at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales before enrolling at Harvard University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude with highest honors in history. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar in his senior year, he returned to the United Kingdom to study at Oxford University, where he earned a B.A. in Jurisprudence. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law.
Butler said he chose to pursue a law degree because of the opportunities it offered “to address current problems.” His initial foray into research as an undergraduate focused on post-emancipation societies transitioning out of slavery in the nineteenth century. “This in turn led me to think more deeply about regime change, post-conflict transitions and the role of law in mediating such difficult periods,” he said. In addition to international law, his teaching interests include international business transactions, contracts and trade regulation.
William & Mary's reputation for excellent scholarship and engaged teaching is well known according to Butler. “I am looking forward to many lively discussions with colleagues and students and to the impact of these interactions on my own writing and research,” he said.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.