Lea Brilmayer

Roberta "Lea" Brilmayer (born 1950) is an American legal scholar. She is the Howard M. Holtzmann Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and an expert in conflict of laws, personal jurisdiction, and international law.

Lea Brilmayer
Alma materUniversity of California
UC Berkeley School of Law
Columbia Law School
Scientific career
FieldsInternational Law
Conflict of laws
InstitutionsYale Law School


Brilmayer received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from University of California, Berkeley. After beginning graduate studies in mathematics, she switched to law, graduating with a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law and an LLM from Columbia Law School.[1]

Brilmayer was a professor at Yale until 1991 before leaving to be a professor at NYU School of Law. Prior to her first term at Yale, she was a professor at University of Chicago Law School, where she was at one time the only tenured female faculty member—a distinction she held in the 1980s at Yale as well.[2][3] She returned to Yale Law School in 1998, teaching contracts and conflict of laws there. In addition to teaching at Yale, Chicago, and NYU, Brilmayer has taught at University of Texas School of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, Columbia Law School, and Harvard Law School.[4]

In addition to her work as a law professor, Brilmayer has been involved in various international law issues. She served in a legal capacity for the nation of Eritrea in their dispute with Ethiopia over various issues, including war crimes, boundary disputes, and other issues related to the Eritrean–Ethiopian War of the late 1990s.[5] She was the Legal Advisor to the Office of the President of Eritrea at the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, an independent commission tasked by the Permanent Court of Arbitration with arbitrating the disputes between the two nations.[6]


In addition to her teaching, Brilmayer is the author of an amica brief to the Supreme Court,[7] as well as an arbiter in international law issues. She has been published in numerous legal journals, including the Yale Law Journal[8] and Harvard Law Review.[9] Additionally, she has also testified before congressional committees, including on the issue of gay marriage.[10]

Her books include the following works:

  • Justifying International Acts[11]
  • American Hegemony: Political Morality in a One-Superpower World[12]


  1. ^ "Women in the law: Do they change the legal perspectives?". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  2. ^ "A Reliable Progressive, Wood on Many Supreme Court Short Lists". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Women in the law: Do they change the legal perspectives?". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Lea Brilmayer". Archived from the original on 2014-01-11.
  5. ^ Adrangi, Sahm (10 September 2001). "Searching for Justice After War". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission". Permanent Court of Arbitration. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12.
  7. ^ "Daimler AG v. Bauman". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  8. ^ Brilmayer, Lea (May 1989). "Rights, Fairness, and Choice of Law". Yale Law Journal. 98 (7): 1277–1319. doi:10.2307/796746. JSTOR 796746.
  9. ^ Brilmayer, Lea; Norchi, Charles (April 1992). "Federal Extraterritoriality and Fifth Amendment Due Process". Harvard Law Review. 105 (6): 1217–1263. doi:10.2307/1341728. JSTOR 1341728.
  10. ^ Baldor, Lolita. "Congress Set to Debate Gay Marriage". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  11. ^ Brilmayer, Lea (1989). Justifying International Acts. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801422782.
  12. ^ Brilmayer, Lea (1994). American Hegemony: Political Morality in a One-Superpower World. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300060331.

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