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Attracting the Best and the Brightest

$10 million lure draws top faculty.

Professor Steven Koh.  Photograph by Diane Levine

The recent $10 million gift from Marianne D. Short ’76 endowing the deanship of Boston College Law School is a stature-building commitment to excellence. As the search to replace Dean Vincent Rougeau continues apace, her gesture holds the promise of honoring the winning candidate with a named position. That is the power of such giving: It attracts the best of the best.

An earlier exemplar of that truth, in the person of a young scholar rather than a dean, is Steven Arrigg Koh, who, when he joined the Law School in 2019, became the inaugural recipient of another Short gift, the Marianne D. Short and Ray Skowyra Sesquicentennial Assistant Professorship.

It meant a great deal to Professor Koh to come to a school that chose to recognize him with the professorship. “I am incredibly honored and humbled to serve in this role,” he said at the time. “I look forward to contributing to [BC Law’s] remarkable scholarly and educational mission.”

He is living up to expectations. 

The Harvard College, Cornell Law, and University of Cambridge-educated professor carries a teaching load that includes courses in criminal law and procedure, international law, and legal theory. Professor Koh continues to present at major symposia and contribute to top law journals. Recent examples are “The Criminalization of Foreign Relations,” (forthcoming in Fordham Law Review) and “Othering Across Borders,” presented at the symposium “Reckoning and Reformation: Reflections and Legal Responses to Racial Subordination” and published in Duke Law Journal Online.

Professor Koh’s scholarship is informed by a unique combination of high-level legal practice at both US federal criminal and international criminal legal institutions. He was a trial attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice, advising federal and state prosecutors on international, criminal, and constitutional legal issues arising in US criminal cases with transnational dimensions. He also served as counsel to the top international law adviser to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. During this time, he taught International and Transnational Criminal Law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Professor Koh’s international legal experience spans continents. He worked in the Office of the Presidency of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, advising the legal adviser to the presidency. At the UN Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, he served as an associate legal officer in the Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić trial, one of the capstone cases in the tribunal’s history. For a time, he was a visiting scholar at Seoul National University.

Additional credentials include serving as senior fellow and interim-attorney editor at the American Society of International Law and as law clerk for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.