Colleagues celebrate Lowenfeld's 42 years on the NYU Law faculty

“He’s got a lot of attributes,” said Harold Kongju Koh of his friend and mentor, Andreas F. Lowenfeld, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law, “but brevity isn’t one of them.”

Koh, dean of Yale Law School, took time out from preparing for confirmation hearings in Washington, D.C., on his nomination to become legal advisor to the U.S. Department of State, to drop by Vanderbilt Hall during Thursday morning’s opening session of a tribute to the much-beloved and highly prolific Lowenfeld, whose “selected” writings on international law, as listed for the special event celebrating his 42 years on the NYU Law faculty, included 14 books and 43 scholarly articles.

“Gosh, Andy,” added Koh, “I haven’t read all your work.”

The visitor from Yale was hardly alone in offering up accolades to Lowenfeld, who began his career as a trouble-shooting State Department lawyer under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson—helping those administrations through such delicate matters as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the invasion of the Dominican Republic, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Also praising Lowenfeld at Thursday’s event, coordinated by Linda Silberman, Martin Lipton Professor of Law, were Theodor Meron, Charles L. Denison Professor of Law Emeritus and Judicial Fellow, and Thomas Franck, Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law Emeritus, along with academic colleagues from abroad. All spoke of Lowenfeld’s trademark characteristic: reasonableness.

“He taught me how to be a teacher, and a champion of reasonableness,” Koh said further of Lowenfeld, who assumes emeritus status in the fall. “And finally, how to be a problem solver—how to speak across ideological lines in this very troubled world, this very beautiful world.”

Posted April 17, 2009