Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School co-hosted the fourth annual Harvard-Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum (IJFF) in November, bringing 11 of the world’s most innovative junior legal scholars from around the world to present their work. This year’s forum was held at HLS.

The conference, organized by HLS’s Professor William P. Alford ’77 and Stanford Law School’s Professor Lawrence M. Friedman, aims to encourage exchanges of ideas and research among young international legal scholars. Junior scholars—those who have less than seven years of teaching experience and whose home institution is outside the United States—are invited to submit abstracts. An international jury of distinguished senior scholars then selects which papers will be presented, and serves as commentators at conference panels.

This year’s jury included several members of Harvard Law School’s faculty: Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law William P. Alford ’77; Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03; Harvard Business School’s Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance and HLS Professor of Law Mihir A. Desai; David Berg Professor of Law Mark Roe ’75; and Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law Carol Steiker ’86. Seung Wha Chang LL.M. ’92 S.J.D. ’94, a Visiting Professor of Law at HLS and a Professor of Law at Seoul National University School of Law in South Korea, also participated in the jury.

Said HLS Dean Martha Minow: “This forum generated outstanding discussions among scholars from Harvard, Stanford and around world, based on the original research of the participating junior faculty. With Bill Alford’s leadership of this global collaboration, this collaborative effort shows the power of emerging research while stimulating new ideas.”

“This, the fourth round of the Harvard-Stanford forum, was really terrific,” said Alford, who is also Vice Dean of the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies at HLS. “I was struck in particular by the blend of rigor and warmth. Our participants, drawn from 15 countries on 6 continents, probed deeply in order to be of assistance to the paper writers but did it in a highly constructive spirit. The papers ranged from an analysis of post conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina based on a survey of more than 700 school children to an experimental study of opt in and opt out models in class action membership to a paper focused on the impact of different types of state ownership on issues of corporate governance.”

Steiker added: “The International Junior Faculty Forum was a rich and exciting event, attended by energetic and promising young scholars writing from a wide variety of methodological perspectives from academic institutions around the globe. The convening power of Harvard (and Stanford) was put to excellent use in generating terrific discussions in an atmosphere that was at once warm and supportive, and serious and challenging.”

The IJFF “provides a strong forum for bringing new ideas from around the world to HLS,” Roe said.

Lejla Vujinović, one of this year’s junior faculty members and a PhD candidate at the University of Berne in Switzerland, appreciated the opportunity to participate in the conference.

“The Harvard Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum was a great opportunity for me to receive feedback from experienced senior scholars and to meet people from everywhere,” she said. “I was impressed by the high level of debates, and that people were truly interested in interdisciplinary research and in exchanging ideas. I found the format of the conference particularly interesting since everyone was very well-prepared and gave extremely helpful comments. The feedback on my paper has meant a lot to me since the comments and suggestions … helped me improve my research and included certain aspects that I have not taken into consideration before. Moreover, the feedback I received has motivated me to apply as a visiting scholar, in order to write a book on the topic that I have dealt with in the paper. I profited a lot from the open-minded and stimulating environment of the conference and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in this enriching event.”

Participating junior faculty included:

  • Eoin Carolan, Lecturer, University College Dublin, Ireland: Postcards From the Economic Abyss – What Ireland and Iceland Can Teach Us About Tea Parties, Big Societies, and Small Government
  • Avihay Dorfman, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, Israel: Caring Objectively
  • Rodrigo Meneses, Professor, Department of Law, Center for Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences, Mexico: Mapping a Legal Culture from the Sidewalk: Law and Street Vendors in Mexico City
  • Pedro R. Fortes, Professor of Law, Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School (Rio de Janeiro campus), Brazil: The Phenomenon of Lucrative Illegality: Understanding Why Brazilian Companies Constantly Break the Law
  • Lejla Vujinović, PhD candidate, University of Berne, Switzerland: Young People’s Perceptions About Domestic War Crimes Trials, Accountability and Social Repair in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • FAN Kun, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Changes and Continuities of Traditional Legal Culture in the Modernization of Law – the Case of China Through the Lenses of Dispute Resolution
  • Haochen Sun, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Can Louis Vuitton Dance with HiPhone? Rethinking the Idea of Social Justice in Intellectual Property Law
  • Gijs van Dijck, Associate Professor in Law, Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands: Class Membership in Class Actions: An Experimental Study of Opt In and Opt Out Models
  • Willem H. Boshoff, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Stellenbosch University, South Africa: Market Definition as a Problem of Statistical Inference
  • Bruno Meyerhof Salama, Professor of Law, Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School (São Paulo campus), Brazil: The Art of Law & Macroeconomics
  • Mariana Pargendler, Professor of Law, Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School (São Paulo campus), Brazil: State Ownership and Corporate Governance

In addition to HLS-affiliated faculty, the jury for the 2011 conference included:

  • Lawrence M. Friedman, Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law, Stanford
  • Deborah Hensler, Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution, Stanford Law School
  • Nora Engstrom, Assistant Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
  • Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, Professor, Faculty of Juridical and Political Studies, Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela; Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School
  • Helen Stacy, Senior Fellow, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford Law School
  • Stewart Macaulay, Malcolm Pitman Sharp Hilldale Professor and Theodore W. Brazeau Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Eric Feldman, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Anupam Chander, Professor, University of California Davis School of Law
  • Gillian Hadfield, Richard L. and Antoinette Kirtland Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, University of Southern California
  • Eric Talley, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor in Law, Business and the Economy, University of California Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law
  • Helen Irving, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Mavis Maclean, Senior Research Associate and Joint Director, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Abstracts for the fifth annual forum (which will be held at Stanford in fall 2012) are due on Jan. 13. Further information is available here.