A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY THROUGH AKRON LAW
INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW
Go global at Akron Law
Drawing upon extensive real-world international legal experience in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and other parts of the world, our expert faculty equip you with the knowledge and experience you need to transcend international borders in your studies and future career.
Through coursework, symposia, overseas internships, study abroad programs, and contact with our international alums, Akron Law offers specialized guidance and the opportunity to design an education and career path suited to your international law interests.
Akron Law also provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable international experience in the classroom or abroad. We have a host of active relationships with foreign universities, host scholars from overseas, attract international students from around the world, and even offer courses that enable you to engage in practical skills such as immigration and asylum proceedings or cross-border negotiation simultations. Akron Law also supports study abroad opportunities around the world. We even offer an acclaimed and innovative dual country, tri-city program in Japan and South Korea that was recently named as a “Best Law School Study Abroad Excursion” by the National Jurist. Through this program, you can acquire practical skills, learn more about the cross-border practice of law, visit legal institutions, and interact with legal experts and judges in Asia.
Take advantage of the global experience and international expertise of our faculty. In fact, a significant number of our practice-oriented faculty have substantial international experience.
Matthew J. Wilson, Professor and recent President| Bio
Professor Wilson has nearly three decades of international experience in legal, business and educational matters in the United States, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. He lived in Asia for over half of this time, and is completely fluent in Japanese. President Wilson specializes in international business law, intellectual property law, international dispute resolution, comparative law, and Japanese law. From 2011 to 2014, he served concurrently as an international scholar at Kyung Hee University Law School. In this capacity, he developed a collaborative relationship with the University and taught international negotiations each summer at its campus in Seoul, South Korea. His publications include articles and books in both English and Japanese regarding jury trials, trial advocacy, cross-border litigation, and comparative law, among other things. He has appeared on prime-time Japanese television, South Korean radio, and news programs around the world. He is one of the most renowned speakers on combining a career in the law with international interests.
Elizabeth Knowles, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Knowles supervises our Immigration and Human Rights Law Clinic. She previously served as Executive Director of the American Bar Association's Immigration Justice Project. She supervised the Legal Orientation Program at the Otay Mesa Detention Center on the U.S. - Mexico Border and the IJP's Pro Bono Lawyer Training Program. Her current research explores access to justice issues for detained non-citizens and holistic approaches to advocating for ultra-vulnerable clients in removal proceedings.
Vera Korzun, Assistant Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Korzun brings extensive global experience to Akron Law. Her specialties include international arbitration, international business transactions, international investment law, contracts, corporate and business law. Professor Korzun has master degrees from universities in three countries (Central European University, Universitat Hamburg, and University of Michigan), a PhD in Law (Belarusian State University), and S.J.D. (Fordham University).
Sarah M.R. Cravens, C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Professor of Law | Bio
Dean Cravens has substantial experience internationally. Her activities outside of the United States have involved England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea. She even has a master’s degree from Cambridge University. Her areas of interest and teaching on an international scale include legal ethics, judicial role in an international context, cross border practice, international dispute resolution, conflict of laws, and global tort law
Patrick H. Gaughan, Associate Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Gaughan focuses on innovation, entrerpreneurship, and international business. He earned his M.B.A. from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and holds a PhD in International Business. His doctoral dissertation is on “The Internationalization of Professional Service Firms: The Case of U.S. Law Firms.” Professor Gaughan has been instrumental in fostering close relationships between Akron Law and three universities in Vietnam (Hanoi Law University, National Economics University, and University of Danang)
G. Kristen Barnes, Associate Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Barnes has experience working in France as an in-house reinsurance legal consultant for SCOR (Société Commerçiale de Reassurance). In addition to her work experience, she was honored with several international fellowships involving international law, global institutions, and foreign languages. Professor Barnes has focused much of her scholarship on the European Union and North Africa. She teaches comparative law and comparative constitutional law
Martin Belsky, Randolph Baxter Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Belsky has a rich and diverse background in legal practice and academia. Among other things, he is an expert on international law, oceans, and coastal law. In addition to writing numerous articles and books on these topics, Professor Belsky has helped organize, as well as participate in, numerous conferences on international law. He also served as chief counsel to the Special House Committee on the Outer Continental Shelf (offshore drilling). Professor Belsky studied at the Hague Academy of International Law and at Cambridge University
John (Jack) P. Sahl, Joseph G. Miller Professor of Law, and Director of The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility | Bio
Professor Sahl is a frequent national and international speaker, consultant, teacher, and expert witness. He has served as a visiting professor at the CEIDA Institute in Rome, Italy. Among his extensive presentations, Professor Sahl delivered “Training Lawyers Across Borders: How Film and Documentaries Promote Law, Morals, and Professional Responsibility” at the Facultad Libre De Derecho De Monterrey, Mexico. He was also appointed to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 Inbound Foreign Lawyer Working Group.
At Akron Law, we have a host of international and comparative courses that will enrich your understanding of the cutting-edge legal issues involved in an international career.
In addition, we permit students in good standing to study abroad in any of the ABA-accredited study abroad programs. Regardless of whether you remain in Akron or want to explore an overseas destination, we will equip you with the tools necessary to succeed in an international career.
International and comparative courses that we may offer at Akron Law include:
- Global Tort Law
- Immigration Law
- International Law
- International Negotiations
- Cross-Border Practice
- International Business Transactions
- International Intellectual Property
- International Patent Law
- International Patent Prosecution
- International Contracting Strategies
- International Commercial Arbitration
- Comparative Law
- Comparative Constitutional Law
- Conflicts of Law
- International Trade
- Independent Study (international topic)
STUDY ABROAD: A SPRINGBOARD TO AN INTERNATIONAL PRACTICE
When I entered Akron Law, I had no idea about what area of law I wanted to practice in. Having spent some time in Asia before law school though, I had hoped to return there in a professional capacity some day.
Many years ago, Matthew Wilson visited Akron Law from Tokyo to speak to us about international opportunities in the law including global careers and study abroad. Wilson is the preeminent speaker in the country on these topics. Under Wilson's guidance and direction, I studied in Tokyo during my final semester of law school. My credits transferred back to Akron Law with no problem. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget, and has had a major impact on my life.
I now live in Tokyo with my wife (who is Japanese) and our son, where I work as a director of a Japanese company that provides global trademark and regulatory services.
I landed this exciting job through a contact that I met when studying abroad in Japan. In my current position, I recently assisted another Akron Law student who studied abroad in Tokyo by facilitating a legal internship at my company. This Akron Law graduate is now practicing law in Australia.
For me and other law students, the first step into a career in Asia was through study abroad. Akron Law was a major supporter of me, and will continue to be a great resource for current and future Akron Law students who are interested in international law.
Class of 2006
Director, naexasCompass Group