Law School builds on growth in international students and programs

Professor Meredith Kolsky Lewis

Published August 5, 2015

As SUNY Buffalo Law School expands its global presence, drawing international students and establishing programs worldwide, a new Office of International and Graduate Programs will build on that momentum.

Interim Dean James A. Gardner announced creation of the office, which will be headed by Professor Meredith Kolsky Lewis, newly named vice dean for international and graduate programs. In addition, Joseph E. Schneider has been named assistant dean for international and graduate education.

Lewis, who joined the law faculty in January, 2013, maintains an appointment at the Victoria University of Wellington Law School, in Wellington, New Zealand. She teaches public and private international law subjects, with a primary research interest in international economic law, focusing on international trade.

The Law School began developing new international offerings and linkages in 2013, when Professor David “Bert” Westbrook was appointed director of global strategic initiatives and Lewis was named director of the Canada-U.S. Legal Studies Centre.

“Bert was very successful in his role, making important strides in conceptualizing, marketing and developing our international programs,” Gardner said. “Among other achievements, Bert led our efforts to design and roll out our two-year J.D. program, and developed and implemented our dual LL.M. program with the Catholic University of Lyon.  While Bert is stepping down from his position, he has laid the groundwork for additional growth in these programs.

“Meanwhile, Meredith has been instrumental in developing our cross-border initiatives, beginning with rebranding the Canada-U.S. Legal Studies Centre as the Cross-Border Legal Studies Center, then developing and initiating our cross-border legal studies concentration, and most recently obtaining faculty approval to seek the authorizations necessary to introduce an LL.M. in cross-border legal studies.”

These initiatives have attracted more international students to apply for the Law School’s master of laws and two-year J.D. programs.

In her new role, Gardner said, “Meredith will be responsible for overseeing and developing a wide range of international and graduate initiatives in the areas of degree programs, curriculum, international student recruitment, study abroad and exchange programs, and faculty exchange.”

Schneider, formerly director of post-professional and international education, joined the Law School in 2008. “Joe has traveled extensively on behalf of the Law School and has communicated directly with many prospective students,” Gardner said. “His efforts have resulted in significant growth in our international applicant pool as well as a welcome increase in the engagement of many of our international alumni. As assistant dean, Joe will continue to be the person primarily responsible for recruiting, admitting, seating and supporting the Law School’s LL.M. and two-year J.D. students. He will also play a more prominent role in working with current international students and international alumni.”