Rachel Brewster to join Duke Law faculty

June 7, 2012Duke Law News

brewster.jpgRachel Brewster, an assistant professor of law and an affiliated faculty member of the Weatherford Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, will join the Duke Law faculty in July.

Brewster’s scholarly interests include international trade, international relations theory, and global economic integration. She publishes on issues of international economic law, including carbon tariffs, trade law enforcement, and dispute resolution in international trade law. She also will serve as co-director of Duke’s Center for International and Comparative Law.

“We are delighted that Professor Brewster will be joining us next year,” said Dean David F. Levi. “We have been looking for some time now for an exciting trade law scholar who also is interested in international economic law and regulation more generally. Professor Brewster fits the bill perfectly. She is a creative legal scholar who will extend our ties to other schools and scholars on campus. She will be a wonderful addition to Duke Law.”

Brewster was a visiting faculty member at Duke Law during the fall 2011 semester, when she taught International Trade and a seminar on International Law and International Relations Theory. She has served as an assistant professor at Harvard since 2006 and previously was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. In 2008, she served as legal counsel in the Office of the United States Trade Representative, where she worked on legal issues relating to U.S. agriculture subsidies and domestic cap-and-trade proposals.

Brewster holds a PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received the John Patrick Hagan Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She earned her JD at the University of Virginia School of Law and while there served as articles editor of the Virginia Law Review and an Olin Law & Economics Student Fellow. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Virginia.

“I am thrilled to be coming to Duke,” Brewster said. “It is a fantastic and collegial community. There’s a phenomenal law faculty, and I also liked that I could talk to people across disciplines. There are no walls. Duke delivers on its interdisciplinary vision.”

In studying international economic and trade issues, Brewster draws from a range of disciplines, from law to public policy, economics to international relations. She has studied conflict of laws governing international economic activity, compliance with international trade law and anti-bribery regimes, and the benefits of linking international trade and intellectual property.

Her recent publications include “The Remedy Gap: Institutional Design, Retaliation, and Trade Law Enforcement” in the George Washington Law Review (2012); “The Surprising Benefits to Developing Countries of Linking International Trade and Intellectual Property” in the Chicago Journal of International Law (2011); and “Unpacking the State’s Reputation” in the Harvard International Law Journal (2009).

“Rachel Brewster brings to Duke Law a deep knowledge of international economic law and policy,” said Laurence R. Helfer, the Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law and co-director of the Center for International and Comparative Law. “Her scholarship has made bold and original contributions to the study of the World Trade Organization, U.S. trade policy, and the interdisciplinary analysis of international law. She also understands how the trade regime functions in practice and will bring those insights to her scholarship and teaching at Duke.”

Brewster says she looks forward to collaborating with faculty at Duke Law and around the university. “People at Duke are interested and engaged with each other in a way that you don’t often find,” she says. “Duke faculty are willing to be playful with ideas; they are not only interested in what their colleagues are doing but also in how they might contribute to each other’s work. I think it is partly because of Duke’s geography ⎯ it is small and everyone is close together on campus ⎯ but also because of its energy and sense of community.”

She also noted that, having lived in Carrboro several years ago while completing her doctoral degree, she is looking forward to returning to the Triangle area of North Carolina. “I love Durham,” she says. “It has changed a lot since I lived there, but it is an incredibly vibrant community ⎯ with a lot of really great restaurants!”