In 1991, International Legal Studies was endowed, expanded, and renamed the Leo and Arvilla Berger International Legal Studies Program. Thanks to a gift of endowment principal from Arvilla and Captain Leo V. Berger, B.S. ’42, J.D. ’56., a distinguished graduate of Cornell Law School, as well as Cornell’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Leo Berger was born in Hungary and raised in an orphanage. He graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and pursued a highly-influential and successful career in the shipping industry, eventually becoming the largest private owner of U.S.-flag ocean-going vessels in the world.
Thanks to the generosity and vision of Captain Berger and his wife, the Arvilla and Captain Leo V. Berger International Legal Studies Program brings international students and scholars to Cornell Law School, supports faculty research and student projects dealing with matters of international law, and engages practicing lawyers and business leaders in this area as guest speakers whose collective expertise enriches our understanding of how international legal agreements help to govern the world.
Today, the ongoing activities of the Berger International Legal Studies Program are administered through the Clarke Center for International and Comparative Legal Studies, established in 2002 by a gift from Jack G. Clarke ’52 and Dorothea Clarke.