Thomas H. Lee

Fordham Law Professor Thomas Lee

Leitner Family Professor of International Law; Director of Graduate and International Studies

Telephone: 212-636-6728
SSRN (academic papers)

Research and Teaching Areas

International Law; Civil Procedure; Courts–Supreme Court; Federal Courts; Constitutional Law & Theory; Law of War; International Arbitration


Professor Lee's fields of expertise are international law, international arbitration, comparative and U.S. constitutional law, civil procedure, and the U.S. federal courts. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School (2012-13), University of Virginia School of Law (2007), and Columbia Law School (2005-06). After receiving his JD in 2000, he clerked for Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Justice David Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court. During law school, he was Articles Chair of the Harvard Law Review and a PhD candidate in Government. He has also worked at Munger, Tolles & Olson and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He received an AB summa cum laude in East Asian Languages & Civilizations and Government and an AM in Regional Studies-East Asia from Harvard in 1991. From 1991 to 1995, he served as a U.S. naval cryptologist with four submarine deployments and shore duty in Korea and Japan. He is a member of the bars of New York, Massachusetts (inactive), and the U.S. Supreme Court, and is admitted in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the DC, First, and Second Circuits. He is on the ICSID Panel of Conciliators and is Executive Director of the International Arbitration & Mediation Assistance and Training Institute. He has advised the Constitutional Court of Korea and consults on U.S. federal constitutional, jurisdictional, and procedural issues, international arbitrations, and multi-country litigation matters.

Selected Publications

  • The Law of War and the Responsibility to Protect Civilians: A Reinterpretation, 55 Harvard Int'l L. J. 251 (2014)
  • The Three Lives of the Alien Tort Statute: The Evolving Role of the Judiciary in U.S. Foreign Relations, 89 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1645 (2014)
  • International Law and Institutions and the American Constitution in War and Peace, 31 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 291 (2013)
  • The Story of the Prize Cases: Executive Action and Judicial Review in Wartime, in Presidential Power Stories (Curtis Bradley & Chris Schroeder, eds., 2009) (with Michael D. Ramsey)
  • The Civil War in U.S. Foreign Relations Law: A Dress Rehearsal for Modern Transformations, 53 St. Louis L. J. 53 (2008)
  • The Safe-Conduct Theory of the Alien Tort Statute, 106 Colum. L. Rev. 830 (2006)  
  • University Dons and Warrior Chieftains: Two Concepts of Diversity, 72 Fordham L. Rev. 2301 (2004)
  • International Law, International Relations Theory, and Preemptive War: The Vitality of Sovereign Equality Today, 67 Law & Contemp. Probs. 147 (Autumn 2004)
  • The Supreme Court of the United States as Quasi-International Tribunal, 104 Colum. L. Rev. 1765 (2004)
  • Making Sense of the Eleventh Amendment: International Law and State Sovereignty, 96 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1027 (2002)


Harvard, AB, AM, JD; PhD candidate (ABD, Political Science)