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Law Associate Dean Jeremy Levitt Elected to the American Law Institute

January 25, 2011

Orlando, Fla.
- Jeremy I. Levitt, Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Associate Dean for International Programs and Distinguished Professor of International Law, has been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI).  Founded in 1923, the ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law.  Its mission of law reform is vitally important given the challenging problems the U.S. faces today.

“Jeremy Levitt's election to the ALI is a testimony to his notable reputation as an outstanding legal scholar and to the caliber of faculty we boast at the FAMU College of Law,” said Dean LeRoy Pernell, who nominated Levitt.  “Membership in this elite Institute is indeed an honor for those elected.”  ALI President Roberta Cooper Ramo noted that she is delighted to welcome all of the “distinguished and talented new members to the ALI.”

Participation in the Institute’s work allows its members the opportunity to influence the development of the law in both existing and emerging areas.  There are just over 4,000 members of the ALI which includes lawyers, judges, and law professors of the highest qualification.  The ALI incorporators included Chief Justice and former President William Howard Taft, future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, and former Secretary of State Elihu Root.  ALI membership is a distinct professional honor.

Levitt is a public international lawyer and political scientist with expertise in the law of the use of force, human rights law, African politics, democratization, state dynamics and regional collective security.  He is the author or editor of four books and numerous scholarly articles including: Hurricane Katrina: America's Unnatural Disaster, (eds.) (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln: 2009); Africa: Mapping New Boundaries in International Law, (eds.) (Hart Publishers, Oxford, UK: 2008); The Evolution of Deadly Conflict in Liberia: From ‘Paternaltarianism’ to State Collapse (Carolina Academic Press: Durham, North Carolina: 2005); and Africa: Selected Documents on Political Conflict and Security, Humanitarian and Judicial Issues, (eds.) (Transnational Publishers: Ardsley, NY: 2003).

Levitt is founder and director of the FAMU College of Law’s Center for International Law and Justice (CILJ), which develops scholarly, educational and practice-oriented activities for students and faculty in complementing FAMU’s international mission.  He holds a Ph.D. in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge-St. Johns College; a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and a B.A. in political science from Arizona State University.

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The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee.  After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The re-established FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.  The FAMU College of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in July 2009, and is ranked number one in the nation for Diversity by U.S. News & World Report.

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