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UW Law Professor Noah Novogrodsky Honored for Excellence in Internationalization

April 15, 2013
Noah Novogrodsky

Associate Professor of Law Noah Novogrodsky’s efforts to ensure University of Wyoming students have opportunities to hone their skills in international law have earned him UW’s 2013 Faculty Award for Internationalization.

The award was established in 2001 by the UW International Board of Advisors to recognize excellence in promoting international activities at UW.

When Novogrodsky joined the UW College of Law in 2009, there was little in the way of international opportunity for its students. The time faculty had to devote to such opportunities was sparse and, besides, why would law students in Wyoming need to understand international law?

But where others might have seen scarcity, Novogrodsky saw opportunity. After his years of working in international law, both in scholarly and clinical roles, he was convinced that building a program where students can hone their lawyering skills in the most challenging arenas and become better lawyers overall in the process would make the UW law school stand out from the pack. It would provide Wyoming with better lawyers, and would make an impact on the lives of students, and their clients, for years to come.

He set out to build the UW Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy and, under his stewardship and guidance, the center has become a magnet for top law students, a forum for UW law students to learn about the challenges of practicing international law, and a thriving center for advocacy for asylum seekers in the United States.

His efforts have created a positive change for Wyoming and the world, says Anne Alexander, director of International Programs at UW.

“The practicum that he has created through the center has provided UW students with opportunities to work here, in the U.S., successfully representing six asylum seekers in their pursuit of safety from persecution in their home countries,” Alexander says. “UW law students are also afforded the opportunity to work across the globe on issues ranging from property rights in Cambodia to Thai/U.S. trade policy in intellectual property rights for pharmaceuticals.”

To benefit those who are unable to work in the practicum, he has organized balanced international law panels at UW to discuss -- in a civil, productive and instructive way -- all sides of some thorny but important international legal issues.

Novogrodsky also recruits and coaches the Jessup competition team at UW, the primary inter-school competition in the international arena. He continues to provide pro-bono expert testimony in human rights cases every year and, later this spring, will bring a respected Ugandan law professor to speak in various Wyoming communities about international security law and free speech.

“He is the epitome of a true diplomat and ambassador of our state and this university,” Alexander says.  “He serves as a role model for UW faculty, staff and students in his pursuit of solutions to global problems.”

Novogrodsky teaches international human rights, immigration law and civil procedure. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with highest honors from Swarthmore College. He has a law degree from Yale University and a Master of Philosophy degree in international relations from Queens' College at England’s Cambridge University, where he won the Daniel Vincent Prize for the best thesis on the Middle East.

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