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Global Outreach Committee


The International Committee has three core missions:

1)      Develop and Sustain Strong International Partnerships

SEALS is historically and still primarily focused on law schools in the Southeastern United States. However, we recognize that building good relationships with colleagues around the world is a worthy and important goal. We seek to encourage and facilitate participation in SEALS by law faculty who live and work beyond the U.S. borders.

2)     Encourage global & comparative perspectives on the law and legal education

While international and comparative law are core pillars of legal practice and legal education in most of the world, they has not attained such prominence in the United States.  The A.B.A. has recognized this as an area for improvement and this committee agrees.   We will propose programs, panels and events that prioritize a more global focus and/or comparative analysis.

3)     Provide international opportunities for SEALS members

This committee is very proud of the professors at our member schools and wants to showcase them to the world.  Our goal is to seek out international publication, speaking and teaching opportunities and publish these to the member schools.

Committee Members

  • Patrick Hugg (Loyola New Orleans) (Co-Chair),
  • Greg Bowman (Roger Williams) (Co-Chair)
  • Nadia Ahmad (Barry)
  • Lisa Avalos (Louisiana State)
  • Jennifer Bard (Cincinnati)
  • Todd Berger (Syracuse)
  • William Araiza (Brooklyn)
  • Robert Blitt (Tennessee)
  • Fernando Colon-Navarro (Thurgood Marshall)
  • Jon Garon (Nova Southeastern)
  • Kevin Govern (Ave Maria)
  • Vaughn James (Texas Tech)
  • Christopher Kelley (Arkansas)
  • Yuro Mantilla (Liberty)
  • Richard Meyer (Mississippi College) (GLEAC Committee Liaison)
  • Greg Noone (Roger Williams)
  • Jorge Ramirez (Texas Tech University School of Law)
  • Melanie Reid (Lincoln Memorial)
  • Marc Roark (Tulsa)
  • Shannon Sevier (St. Mary’s)
  • Jean Steadman (Charleston)
  • Matthew Steffey (Mississippi College)
  • Constance Wagner (St. Louis)
  • Del Wright (University of Missouri, Kansas City)

Annual Reports

2023 Annual Report

The Global Outreach Committee this year has targeted expansion into diverse areas of law with a growing global dimension—in particular, attempting to develop the increasing international interaction of such areas as environmental law, health law, criminal law, and social justice. Needless to say, the war in Ukraine and other hot spots continue to be a focus.

In Europe again, SEALS presented one of the featured panels at the annual meeting of the European Law Faculties Association (ELFA), in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 12-14, 2023. The Conference theme was “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Legal Education,” and the SEALS panel featured SEALS Executive Director Russ Weaver and the co-chairs of this committee, Dean Greg Bowman and Professor Pat Hugg, addressing “Teaching Foreign Law in American and European Law Schools.”

SEALS also participated in the ELPIS (European Law Practice Integrated Studies) annual meeting in Cergy, France, represented by SEALS Executive Director Russ Weaver, Melanie Reid, Director of Global Classroom Project & Transatlantic Lecture Series, SEALS member Professor Akram Fazier, and co-committee chair Patrick Hugg, as ELPIS and SEALS jointly explored Artificial Intelligence in legal education (special presentation by Dean Reid). The two associations continue to work on expanding visitorships, scholarship, and student exchanges.

We made tremendous strides in our collaborations between US and EU universities as we initiated a SEALS-ELPIS Global Classroom Project as a pilot program this past fall semester (in October and November 2022). The objectives behind this initiative were to:

  • Learn about various global issues facing the world today. Global learning encourages awareness and critical thinking about issues such as poverty, climate change, cultural differences, world finance and trade, law, and politics.
  • Educate our students on the importance of becoming global citizens by respecting cultural diversity, human rights, and the rule of law and empower students to see the importance of personally taking social action.
  • Understand the importance of being a lawyer in the global community and develop the core competencies which allow them to actively engage with other future lawyers/global leaders.
  • Communicate in small groups the differences and similarities between legal systems and discuss alternate approaches to global legal problems.

The seven class sessions covered a variety of topics to include: comparative environmental law, public banking law, gender equality, police activities, new technology and the rule of law, and the power of information and the role of media in contemporary society.

Students received a certificate if they attended 5 class sessions. During each class session, students were placed in small 4-6 people Zoom breakout rooms. Students from different law schools and nationalities were placed in different breakout rooms to discuss the relevant issues/topics. The environment was informal so that students could feel comfortable speaking to their peers and sharing their opinions.

A total of approximately 110 students from at least 12 different US and EU universities participated in the project. At the end of the project, students completed a survey and thought highly of the experience and expressed an interest in participating in the project again. We hope to revisit this initiative and learn to how to coordinate additional university schedules in the future and possibly add different topics or create some sort of case file/book as a testament to our collaboration.

Both ELPIS and ELFA participants will also enhance our 2023 annual conference program, as illustrated in the program descriptions included below. At this year’s conference, international scholars will participate in person or online, from law faculties in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, and the UK.

They will be joined in the multiple panels listed below by colleagues from U.S. law schools, and obviously, we are pleased at this outpouring of interest and participation. Especially noteworthy in this and recent years is the continued strong participation of ELPIS and ELFA members discussing various legal education issues, as well as controversial discussions on the global order following the Ukraine invasion, and judicial legitimacy in constitutional courts in Europe and the US. One large Discussion Group will focus on International Course Collaborations, a most successful initiative begun this past year described below. Another important innovative panel will examine Human Rights in Unrecognized or Partially Recognized States. This is sure to generate serious scholarly discussion over multiple global issues. Special thanks are due to international law expert Mr. Levon Golendukhin, ABA leader and attorney at Eversheds Sutherland, and SEALS Executive Director Russ Weaver.

Taking advantage of experiences learned during the COVID pandemic, SEALS Global Outreach Committee leader Dean Melanie Reid and ELPIS coordinator Professor Vasco Pereira da Silva, from the University of Lisbon (Portugal) School of Law, continued their series of student and faculty research exchange programs throughout 2022. Students and faculty from various US and EU law schools have participated in providing lectures and presentations on current legal topics that have global interest. Through this program, various students and faculty have access to live lectures from faculty at various US and European Universities and can provide live feedback to law students working on their own research projects.

Since the start of this exchange, several law student papers have been chosen for publication on the ELPIS website, This collaboration also opened the door to create a one-on-one student exchange between various ELPIS law school students and SEALS member law school students. Various students were matched and met via Zoom to discuss what it was like to be a law student in their respective country, and if they were working on a particular legal topic for a course, shared their insights with their student match.

2021 Annual Report

A year of Covid restrictions continued, yet expanding international relationships.

Time to re-load.

Submitted by Committee co-chairs Greg Bowman, Dean, Roger Williams University Law School, and Patrick Hugg, Professor Emeritus, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Special thanks to SEALS Executive Director, Professor Russ Weaver, for active support of this committee and his recruiting of many of the international speakers.

The past year was marked by Covid shutdowns, massive retreats to Zoom, and a dynamic virtual SEALS international representation at the Annual Conference.  We have witnessed growing collaboration with international colleagues in many dimensions, and especially with our colleagues in the ELPIS and ELFA groups, as evidenced by their contributions to the 2020 Annual Conference.

Even more international collaboration is scheduled for the coming 2021 Annual Conference this July/August at Avery Island.  Most of us will be together happily live and in-person, though due to the strict global restrictions, most international participants will be with us virtually, though no less enthusiastically.

At this year’s conference, twenty-two international scholars will participate online, from law faculties in ten countries, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Germany; Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the UK.

They will be joined in the multiple panels listed below by twenty-six colleagues from U.S. law schools.  We are pleased at this outpouring of interest and participation.

Especially noteworthy this year are the ELPIS and ELFA panels on Covid era law teaching and scholarship, as well as broad based discussions on academic freedom in today’s political/social environment and the emerging use of team-based learning in teaching law today.

Other panels and workshops, not specifically organized by the Global Outreach Committee, will also contribute to the international, global outreach dimension at the 2021 SEALS Conference. See Exhibit 1 at the end of this Appendix A.

2020 Annual Report

Special thanks to SEALS Executive Director, Professor Russ Weaver, for active support of this committee and his recruiting of many of the international speakers.

It has been a year of exciting expanding relationships. The past 12 months have been marked by dynamic expansion of the committee’s global outreach, yet frustrated by the Covid 19 cancellation of our physical meeting in Fort Lauderdale. To have so many international scholars join SEALS colleagues at our conference would have been special. Nonetheless, the virtual collaboration remains richly valuable.

At this year’s conference, twenty-one international scholars will participate online, from law faculties in Peking and Hong Kong, China; Lisbon, Portugal; Paris, France; Hannover, Mainz, and Bruehl, Germany; Katowice and Poznań, Poland, Budapest, Hungary; Doha, Qatar; Ankara, Turkey; and Bucharest Romania.

They will be joined in the multiple panels listed below by twenty-eight colleagues from U.S. law schools. We are pleased at this outpouring of interest and participation.

Especially noteworthy this year is the collaboration between SEALS and the European Legal Practice Integrated Studies (ELPIS) Network. The group was to be represented in Fort Lauderdale by many members, and several are participating in the workshop on Internationalization-ELPIS (see description below). Other panels include similar Workshops on International Collaborative Learning, a Workshop on the Law of Hong Kong, a Workshop on Collaborative Learning, as well as a Discussion Group on International Cooperation and Faculty Exchanges, a Discussion Group on the EU’s General Data Protection, and a Workshop on Free Speech (involving multiple international participants).

2018 Annual Report

2017/2018 was an exciting year for the Global Outreach (Previously International) Committee. It all started with a decision to change the Committee’s name. Global Outreach links to the Committee’s focus to expand our contacts with peers across the planet. Consistent with this focus, we decided on having panels that went beyond the traditional subjects of International Law and Comparative Law and instead, the Committee will be sponsoring events on cooperative agreements for teaching overseas. The new Visiting Professor database debuted at the European Law Faculties Association (ELFA) Conference in Barcelona on April 25, 2018. This database will allow our ELFA colleagues to easily post visit opportunities and our SEALS professor to post their availability. Current Chair Rich Meyer and Incoming Chair Jennifer Bard represented SEALS at the ELFA conference.

This past year the Global Outreach Committee carried the SEALS brand across the globe, including:

  1. Rob Blitt presented “Amendments to the International Religious Freedom Act: Entities of Particular Concern” during a conference on “War and Peace and Religion: Religious Freedom during Russian-Ukrainian Conflict”, at Yaroslav the Wise National Law University, Kharkiv, Ukraine (April 2018).
  1. Greg Bowman created a new Brazil Study Abroad Program in Brazil, hosted Professor Daniel Anorve, a McDougall Visiting Scholar from the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, and the WVU Jessup International Moot Court Team made the regional quarterfinals in the DC regional.
  1. Vaughn James worked on two cases of an international flavor, an immigration case (sad case—the petitioner died before his petition for re-entry could be approved) and a probate case (the decedent was a United States citizen formerly resident in New York City). He also worked directly with one bank on a FATCA/CRS-related issue where the expanse of the paperwork was enough “…to kill a forest!”
  1. Melanie Reid spent five months teaching criminal law & procedure in Riga, Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar.
  1. Rich Meyer led study abroad programs in China, Mexico and South Korea and revised two more in France and Germany. He also presented in Brno, Czech; ChengDu, China; Beijing, China; and Seoul, South Korea and developed partnerships with eight law schools on four continents.

We are excited to be hosting four events for the upcoming SEALS conference. We hope you can join us!

2016 Annual Report

The International Committee continued to strengthen its relationship with the European Law Faculties Association.  After hosting the ELFA President Laurence Gromley at the 2015 SEALS Conference, Committee members Pat Hugg, Greg Bowman, Jennifer Bard & Rich Meyer attended the annual ELFA conference at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.  Pat, Greg & Rich constituted a special SEALS panel at the Conference and presented on US Cuba Rapprochement.  The Committee & ELFA have an informal agreement that ELFA leadership have a standing invitation to the SEALS Conference, and that the ELFA Conference will continue to host a panel of SEALS speakers.  Laurence and new ELFA President Vera Kalvodova will be attending the International Committee meeting at the 2016 conference, where we hope to continue to expand our cooperation.  MC Law continues to host videos of past Committee presentations through its web page.