Melissa J. Durkee

J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law

B.A., Westmont College
J.D., Yale University

Courses: 
International Environmental Law
Corporations
International Business Transactions
Biographical Information: 

Melissa J. (“MJ”) Durkee holds a J. Alton Hosch Associate Professorship. Her expertise and teaching straddles international and business law, and she teaches in the areas of corporate law, international business law and international environmental law. She also holds a courtesy appointment in UGA's Terry College of Business. 

Durkee's research focuses on global governance, lobbying, international organizations, public-private interactions that affect the content and success of international legal norms, and theories of lawmaking and compliance. Her work addresses a diverse set of substantive areas including environmental law and climate change, outer space law, private law and economic law. Durkee’s scholarship has been published in prestigious journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Washington University Law Review and the Virginia Law Review.

She is on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and serves as supervising editor of AJIL Unbound. She is a member of the American Society of International Law’s Executive Council and currently co-chairs the society’s Steering Committee for the Signature Topic on Climate Change. She has held a number of other leadership positions in the American Society of International Law and has given invited lectures and spoken to academic and professional audiences throughout the United States and internationally.

Prior to her arrival at the UGA School of Law in 2018, Durkee was an associate professor at the University of Washington Law School, where she was presented awards two consecutive years for her scholarship, and a third year for her support of student journals. She also served as an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School from 2011 to 2013. Prior to entering academia, Durkee practiced law in New York for five years with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where she specialized in international litigation and arbitration. She was a judicial clerk for Judge Sidney H. Stein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Durkee received her law degree from Yale Law School, where she served on the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of International Law. She obtained her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in 2000 from Westmont College, where she earned Highest Departmental Honors. She studied law in Chile while in law school and at the University of Oxford while pursuing her undergraduate education. While in law school, she was a teaching fellow at Yale University in the Philosophy Department.

Publications & Activities

ARTICLES:

Interpretive Entrepreneurs, 107 Va. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2021).

Interstitial Space Law, 97 Wash. U. L. Rev. 423 (2019).

International Lobbying Law, 127 Yale L.J. 1742 (2018).

Astroturf Activism, 97 Stan. L. Rev. 201 (2017).

The Business of Treaties, 63 UCLA L. Rev. 264 (2016).

Persuasion Treaties, 99 Va. L. Rev. 63 (2013).

Beyond the Guantánamo Bind: Pragmatic Multilateralism in Refugee Resettlement, 42 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 697 (2011).

SHORTER WORKS:

Book Review: Global Lawmakers: International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets, Susan Block-Lieb & Terence C. Halliday (2017), 113 Am. J. Int’l L. 422 (2019).

Industry Lobbying and “Interest Blind” Access Norms at International Organizations, 111 AJIL Unbound 119 (2017).

Introduction to Symposium on Industry Associations in Transnational Legal Ordering, 111 AJIL Unbound 103 (2017) (with Gregory Shaffer).

Parsing Teleglobe: Attorney/Client Privilege Rules for Jointly Represented Corporate Entities, WALL ST. LAWYER, Nov. 2007 (with Lisa M. Schweitzer), reprinted in Sec. Litig. Rep., Jan. 2008 *14