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“Fifty Years in the Conflicts Vineyard” Symposium to honor Symeon C. Symeonides

by Jessica Rotter,


Symeon C. Symeonides
Symeon C. Symeonides

Symeon C. Symeonides, Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law and Dean Emeritus, has completed 50 years of teaching and writing in the fields of conflict of laws and comparative private international law. He plans to retire from the Willamette Law faculty in 2025. 

Together with the Conflict of Laws Sections of the Association of American Law Schools, the law school will be hosting a symposium to celebrate Symeonides’ many contributions to legal education and the legal profession. It will be an opportunity to recognize his major scholarly contributions in the fields of conflict of laws, comparative law, and transnational litigation, among others. 

The symposium, taking place on May 8 and 9, 2024, will feature panel discussions by esteemed legal scholars from around the world. They will present papers relating to Symeonides’ work which will be published in a special issue of the Willamette Law Review. Speakers will also offer personal reflections and comments on the impact of Symeonides’ teaching and writing. 

Symeonides was born and raised in Lythrodontas, Cyprus, and studied law in Greece. He graduated with the highest grade in the history of the University of Thessaloniki Law School — a perfect 10. In addition, he holds an LLM and an SJD from Harvard, alongside three honorary degrees. 

 Symeonides joined Willamette Law as Dean in 1999, serving in that capacity until 2011. He has published 30 books and 135 articles, some of which appear in Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, and Spanish. His work has been cited by supreme courts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel (22 times). He has been referred to as “the conflicts giant,” “the world’s leading expert on US and comparative conflicts law,” and “the father of choice of law in the twenty-first century.”

Symeonides shares, “I am enormously flattered and gratified that this Symposium will bring to Willamette so many distinguished speakers from around the world, and I am grateful to each of them and to the organizers.”

About Willamette University College of Law

Willamette University College of Law was the first law school to open in the Pacific Northwest. Building on deep historic roots, we focus with pride on educating the next generation of problem-solving lawyers and leaders. Our location in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and Supreme Court, cannot be matched in the region. Our thought-leading scholars advance and promote our shared responsibility to make a difference in society, placing justice, fairness, and equality at the heart of everything we do.

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