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Ian Kysel Joins Cornell Law as Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Transnational Disputes Clinic
Headshot of Ian Kysel

Cornell Law School is pleased to announce that Ian M. Kysel will join the faculty on July 1, 2022, as an assistant clinical professor of law and the founding director of the Transnational Disputes Clinic. Kysel’s students will engage in strategic litigation with a focus on the rights of migrants.

Jens Ohlin, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, said “Professor Kysel’s unique background combining international private practice with public interest impact litigation and engaged research makes him an exciting addition to the faculty. The new Transnational Disputes Clinic will allow Cornell Law students to contribute directly to global migration policy reform as they build transferable litigation skills.”

Kysel has been visiting at the Law School since 2019, where he has served as the co-director of the Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic and core faculty in the Migration & Human Rights Program. Kysel has also been active in Cornell University’s Migrations Initiative and served as an inaugural Global Public Voices fellow at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. In addition, he co-taught a new seminar, Critical Perspectives: Racism, Xenophobia and Im/migration. Kysel currently holds appointments as a non-resident fellow at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School; a Plumer visiting research fellow at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford; and as an academic visitor at Oxford’s Faculty of Law.

Through his International Migrants Bill of Rights Initiative, Kysel oversees interdisciplinary research on the human rights of migrants. Kysel’s scholarship, which focuses on the rights of migrants as well as children’s rights, has appeared in the New York University Journal of Law & Social Change, the International Journal of Refugee Law, and the American Journal of International Law Unbound, among other journals. In addition to scholarly writing, Kysel’s commentary and opinion articles have appeared in Just Security, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Kysel serves in leadership roles within the American Society of International Law and multiple advocacy organizations.

“In his short time as a visiting faculty member, Professor Kysel has collaboratively designed courses to respond to student interest in international litigation and foster critical conversations about race and migration, and it’s exciting to welcome him to the faculty to direct the new clinic” said Beth Lyon, clinical professor of law, associate dean for experiential education, and clinical program director.

Kysel earned his B.A. degree with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Swarthmore College and earned a J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif (2011), and an L.L.M. in Advocacy, with distinction (2015), from Georgetown Law. While a law student, he was a Global Law scholar and an articles editor for the Georgetown Journal of International Law. After law school, Kysel served as the Aryeh Neier Fellow at Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, where he led the first investigation of the solitary confinement of children in U.S. jails and prisons and the call for a ban, partially implemented by the Obama Administration in 2016. Kysel returned to Georgetown to serve as the inaugural Dash/Muse Teaching Fellow at its Human Rights Institute. Kysel then practiced in Shearman & Sterling’s International Arbitration Group and its Public International Law Practice in London while holding appointments at the University of Oxford. Before starting his visit at Cornell, Kysel was a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.

“I could not be more excited to join Cornell Law School’s faculty and our dynamic clinical program,” Kysel said. “I am honored to have the chance to help students launch careers as transnational lawyers by teaching them to think like strategic litigators while we work with partners and clients around the world to advance fundamental rights and the progressive development of international migration law.”

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