Jay Butler

  • Joseph W. Dorn Research Professor of Law

Jay Butler focuses his scholarship and teaching on corporate social responsibility, contracts and international law. Butler joined the law faculty at the University of Virginia in 2021 after a faculty appointment at William & Mary Law School. He has been the Kellis E. Parker Teaching Fellow at Columbia Law School and taught as a visitor at Yale Law School, George Washington University Law School and Virginia.

Butler has been awarded the American Journal of International Law’s Francis Deák Prize (2021) for his article “The Corporate Keepers of International Law” and the Lieber Prize by the American Society of International Law (2018). He was selected to present at the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum (2019), he won a Law and Public Affairs Fellowship at Princeton University (2018), and his work was honored with a UVA Research Achievement Award (2022). He is currently at work on a book titled “The Business of Nations” (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). 

After graduating from Harvard University with a B.A. in history (magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa inductee), Butler was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a B.A. in jurisprudence from the University of Oxford. He graduated with his J.D. from Yale Law School. Butler served as a law clerk to Judges Hisashi Owada and Giorgio Gaja of the International Court of Justice immediately after law school and worked as a legal adviser to the government of Japan.

Butler is a member of the New York State Bar.



  • J.D.
    Yale Law School
  • B.A.
    Harvard University
  • B.A.
    University of Oxford

Works in Progress

The Business of Nations, Cambridge University Press.

Articles & Reviews

Corporate Commitment to International Law, 53 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 433–500 (2021).
The Corporate Keepers of International Law, 114 American Journal of International Law 189–220 (2020).
Corporations as Semi-States, 57 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 221–282 (2019).
Amnesty for Even the Worst Offenders, 95 Washington University Law Review 589–638 (2017).
Responsibility for Regime Change, 114 Columbia Law Review 503–582 (2014).

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.

All Courses

Conflict of Laws
Corporate Social Responsibility
International Business Transactions
Public International Law

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