Symeon C. Symeonides

Alex L. Parks Distinguished Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus

Symeon C. Symeonides received his first two law degrees (summa cum laude in private and public law) from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and the next two (LLM and SJD) from Harvard. He also holds two honorary Doctor of Laws degrees and a PhD. He joined Willamette in 1999 as Dean of the College of Law and served in that capacity until 2011. Previously, he taught at the University of Thessaloniki (1976-78), and Louisiana State University, where he was the Judge Albert Tate Professor of Law (1987) and vice chancellor (1991-97). He has taught at the universities of Paris-I (Sorbonne), Paris-V (Descartes), Aix-en-Provence, Louvain-la-Neuve, NYU, Tulane, and Loyola, and lectured at The Hague Academy of International Law and in more than fifty universities in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.  He is also an honorary professor at the East China University of Politics and Law, Shanghai, China.

Symeonides has published 27 books and more than 120 articles, some of which appear in Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, or Spanish. The Stanford Law Review characterized him as a “conflicts giant” (v. 60 at 249), and The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (at 1380) as “perhaps the world’s leading expert on comparative conflicts law today.” His work has been cited by the supreme courts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel (22 times). The American Society of International Law characterized one of his books as “masterful” and “indispensable” (2015); the Michigan Law Review (vol. 103) described his previous book as a “brilliant contribution to legal theory, an impressive, original, one-of-a-kind book,” as well as “engrossing" and “often magnetic, a page-turner”; and the American Journal of Comparative Law (vol. 52) praised his “path-breaking work on choice-of-law codification and his penetrating critiques of conflicts law and theory.”

His scholarly work has been honored with: the Friedrich K. Juenger Prize (2002); the Robert L. Misner Award (2012, 2016); the Courtland H. Peterson Senior Scholar Prize (2013); a Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law (2015); a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Comparative Law (2015); the publication of A Tribute to Symeon C. Symeonides, 60 La. L. Rev. 1035-1399 (2000); and resolutions of appreciation by the AALS Section of Conflict of Laws (for his “enormously influential” and “extraordinarily helpful” publications (1998)); the Asociación Americana de Derecho Internacional Privado (for “his outstanding career and his exceptional contribution to the advancement of private international law” (2010)); and the Academia Mexicana de Derecho Privado y Comparado, which named its 34th national congress in his honor. 

Symeonides has served as president of the International Association of Legal Science, the American Society of Comparative Law, and the AALS Section of Conflicts of Laws, and vice president of the International Academy of Comparative Law.  He is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, life member of the American Law Institute and the Groupe Européen de Droit International Privé, member of  the Institut de Droit International, Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Coif, and a fellow of the European Law Institute. 

Symeonides is active in law reform. He drafted the Louisiana codification on Conflict of Laws, the Oregon codification for tort conflicts, and a draft Code of Private International Law for Puerto Rico. He spent six months in Brussels, chairing five working groups drafting new laws for the European Union and represented the Presidency of the EU council in negotiating an international convention. He currently serves on an Experts’ Group and a Working Group drafting another convention under the auspices of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, as an Adviser for the Third Restatement on Conflict of Laws for the ALI, and as a Supervisor in drafting the Asian Principles of Private International Law. He also provided legislative advice to the EU Parliament and the governments of Cyprus, Estonia, Russia, and Tunisia.

His teaching subjects include Conflict of Laws, Comparative Law, and International Litigation & Arbitration.

SSRN Author Page


  • PhD, University of Cyprus, honoris causa
  • LLD, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, honoris causa
  • LLD, Willamette University, honoris causa
  • SJD, Harvard University
  • LLM, Harvard University
  • LLB (Public Law), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), summa cum laude
  • LLB (Private Law), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), summa cum laude


Symeonides, Symeon. Private International Law: Idealism, Pragmatism, Eclecticism (The Hague Academy of International Law, Brill-Nijhoff, 2017).

Symeonides, Symeon. Oxford Commentaries on American Law: Choice of Law (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Symeonides, Symeon, Codifying Choice of Law Around the World: An International Comparative Analysis (Oxford University Press 2014).

Symeonides, Symeon (with Wendy C. Perdue), Conflict of Laws: American Comparative, International (West Casebook Series, 4th ed. 2019).

Symeonides, Symeon. Private International Law: United States of America (International Encyclopaedia of Laws, Kluwer Law International, 2015).

Symeonides, Symeon (with Peter Hay, Patrick Borchers & Christopher A. Whytock), Conflict of Laws (West Hornbook Series, 6th ed. 2018).

Law Review Articles and Essays

Symeonides, Symeon. Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2018: Thirty-Second Annual Survey, 67 Am. J. Comp. L. (forthcoming 2019).

Symeonides, Symeon, The Scope and Limits of Party Autonomy in International Contracts: A Comparative Analysis, in F. Ferrari & D. P. Fernández Arroyo (eds.), The Continuing Relevance of Private International Law and New Challenges (forthcoming 2019).

Symeonides, Symeon, The “Private” in Private International Law (Maastricht Law Series, forthcoming 2019).

Symeonides, Symeon, La convention de Bruxelles cinquante après: une vue de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique, Revue critique de droit international privé, 549 (2018).

Symeonides, Symeon, What Law Governs Forum Selection Clauses, 78 Louisiana Law Review 1119 (2018).

Symeonides, Symeon, The Third Conflicts Restatement’s First Draft on Tort Conflicts, 92 Tulane Law Review. 1 (2017).

Internal Awards

Symeon Symeonides — Robert L. Misner Award for Law Faculty Scholarship, 2012 and 2016.

External Awards

Symeon Symeonides “Certificate of Merit” awarded by the American Society   of International Law for the book Codifying Choice of Law Around the World: An International Comparative Analysis (Oxford UP, 2014) (2015).

Symeon Symeonides Lifetime Achievement Award, American Society of Comparative Law (2015).

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