Michael Grünberger named new president of Bucerius Law School

Prof. Dr. Michael Grünberger, LL.M. (NYU) to become new President of Bucerius Law School on October 1, 2023.

Prof. Dr. Michael Grünberger, LL.M. (NYU) will become the new President of Bucerius Law School. The university's Board of Trustees has appointed him to the presidency as of October 1, 2023, based on the recommendation of the Academic Senate. He will be appointed to the Claussen-Simon Chair in Private Law and Responsive Legal Studies. Grünberger is currently dean of the Law and Economics Faculty at the University of Bayreuth.

Grünberger impressed the selecting committees with his broad leadership experience, his outstanding academic vita, his variety of ideas for future development of the university and its role in law, municipality and society.

Prof. Manuel Hartung, Chairman of the Board of ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, said: "I am very pleased that Bucerius Law School has been able to attain Michael Grünberger as its future President: He has convinced the Bucerius committee with a track record of excellence, leadership experience and a passion for contemporary themes. I am certain that Bucerius Law School will continue its successful path under Michael Grünberger's leadership. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Katharina Boele-Woelki for her exceptional work over the past few years, and I am pleased that she will remain with the law school conducting research and teaching.

As an endowed university, Bucerius Law School bears a special responsibility for freedom and the rule of law. Bucerius is a place that truly has an impact on society. The addition of two new buildings on the Bucerius Campus will support our mission all the more. I look forward with great anticipation to Michael Gruenberger's ideas and ambitions for this next phase."

Prof. Dr. Michael Grünberger is looking forward to further advancing Bucerius Law School together with its members, sponsors and representatives of civil society: "Over the past 20 years, Bucerius Law School has shown that a law school can focus on modern legal education and at the same time conduct pioneering legal research. My goal is to expand this unique position. Law plays a central role in meeting the great challenges of our time. Consequently, it needs a special place that brings together students, teachers and researchers who are aware of their social responsibility as lawyers - and who also want to face up to it. Bucerius Law School can and should be that place."

Grünberger, who is originally from South Tyrol, completed his law studies at the University of Cologne (1st State Law Examination, 1999) before going on to his postgraduate studies at New York University (LL.M., 2005). In between, he completed his legal clerkship, inter alia, at the Higher Regional Court of Cologne and an international law firm in New York (2nd State Law Examination, 2002). After successfully completing his doctorate at the University of Cologne ("Performer's Laws", 2005, awarded the Doctoral Prize of the Faculty of Law), Grünberger worked from 2005 to 2011 as a research assistant at the Institute for Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cologne.

In 2011, he habilitated there with his thesis "Personal Equality - The Principle of Equal Treatment in Civil Law". Since 2012, he has held the Chair of Civil Law, Business and Technical Law at the University of Bayreuth. There, he was the speaker of the DFG Research Training Group "Intellectual Property and Public Domain" from 2012. Since April 2016, he has been the managing director of the Institute for Copyright and Media Law in Munich.

Grünberger's research profile is a basic approach to areas of private law in the European multilevel system. He understands law as a specific social practice and conceives the conflicts to be solved primarily from their respective social contexts. With the concept of "responsive jurisprudence", he argues for a sociological approach to law. Under this theoretical framework, law should register the descriptions of its environment provided by multiple social theories as productive irritations. It should reconstruct this knowledge internally by following its own autonomy, thus preventing any one-to-one takeover of specific social theories.

Finally, the legal community should be better able to assess how the specific response of law to the challenges our our time, especially legal regulation, will be reabsorbed in the social environment. Areas of reference are (digital) contract law, copyright law and non-discrimination law.

Grünberger will be inaugurated on September 29, 2023, during the academic ceremony If you are interested in attending the event or would like to request an interview, please contact Jonathan Schramm, Press Officer at Bucerius Law School. Please credit Tina Weber, if you plan on using the portrait photo.

Bucerius Law School in Hamburg is the first private law school in Germany. It was founded in 2000 by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.


Jonathan Schramm