A Conversation With
Dean Symeonides Symeon C. Symeonides joined Willamette University in 1999 as the 19th dean of the College of Law. He is recognized internationally as one of the world’s top experts in conflict of laws. To date, he has authored more than 20 books and close to 100 articles, many of which have been translated into multiple languages. His work has received numerous awards and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and the House of Lords. Symeonides is president of the American Society of Comparative Law, vice president of the International Academy of Legal Science, a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and a member of the American Law Institute. In 2009, he was named the inaugural Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law at Willamette University. Symeonides recently reflected on his life and 10 years as dean with Willamette Lawyer magazine. What prompted you to study law? It is a very long story. Let’s just say that I found my self enrolled in law school at the University of Thessaloniki as a result of a series of events beyond my control. I did not expect to like it because my interests were entirely different (poetry, for example) and did not plan to continue after the first semester. However, after attending a few classes, I was intrigued by what I was hearing in the classroom. I took the first exams and to everybody’s surprise,
20 | Willamette Lawyer
Major Milestones in Academic Excellence: On the heels of the school’s 125th anniversary celebration, the College of Law marks four more rece...