Laurence R. Helfer

Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law


Laurence R. Helfer is an expert in the areas of international law and institutions, international adjudication, human rights (including LGBT rights), and international intellectual property law and policy. He is co-director of Duke Law School's Center for International and Comparative Law and a Senior Fellow with Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Prior to joining the Duke Law faculty in July 2009, Helfer was a professor of law and director of the International Legal Studies Program at Vanderbilt University Law School. He has also taught at Harvard Law School, Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Princeton University, the University of Chicago Law School, and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and the Journal of World Intellectual Property.

Helfer has authored more than 60 publications and has lectured widely on his diverse research interests, which also include of international litigation and dispute settlement and lesbian and gay human rights. He is the coauthor of Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Human Rights (2d ed., Foundation Press, 2009). He also published a monograph, Intellectual Property Rights in Plant Varieties: International Legal Regimes and Policy Options for National Governments (2004), with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. His articles have appeared in leading American law reviews, including the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, and Duke's Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, as well as in numerous peer-reviewed political science and international law journals.

Helfer holds a JD from New York University, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was articles editor of the New York University Law Review. He also holds a master's degree in public administration from Princeton University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and a bachelor's degree from Yale University. He served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Before beginning his academic career, Helfer practiced with the New York law firm of Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinksy & Lieberman, P.C., focusing on international law, intellectual property litigation, and civil liberties.