Promoting legal research abroad

The Joachim Herz U.S. Exchange Fellowship program for international research stays of young legal scholars

Forschung & Fakultät |

A place of academic exchange

Since the foundation of Bucerius Law School, the international orientation of its curriculum has been a central component of the education program. The understanding of our law school’s pioneering role makes it both a necessity and an obligation to actively promote the study of international legal contexts among young academics. Today more than ever, law is called upon to deal with different legal systems and their varied cultural and historical backgrounds. Thanks to our extensive international network, we are an active place of academic exchange, regularly hosting guest scholars from around the world.

International advancement of young academics

Whether it is receiving international guests from the USA, Japan, India, Turkey or Iran, or the placement of German scholars abroad: Bucerius Law School is dedicated to the advancement of young academics.

Dean Boele-Woelki: "A research stay abroad brings a clear professional benefit, broadens the horizon and allows certain questions to be viewed from a different perspective. The direct contact with colleagues from other legal systems enriches researchers, strengthens their intercultural competence and enables them to improve their language skills".

Support in overcoming the financial hurdle

That said, a stay abroad is not always easy. Besides administrative issues, the financial aspect is an additional major hurdle. Since 2017, the Joachim Herz Foundation, together with the Bucerius Law School, has been supporting young scholars in research work in international and comparative law with the "Joachim Herz U.S. Exchange Program for Young Legal Scholars". The program is aimed at academically outstanding doctoral candidates, post-doctoral candidates, junior professors at Bucerius Law School and young academics (Ph.D., JSD and Tenure Track Lecturers) at Bucerius partner universities in the USA.

Kira Kuhnert, a 2018 International Exchange Program Alumna from the USA, has been a Joachim Herz Fellow at Bucerius Law School for a few weeks now. She is one of eight scholarship recipients who, thanks to this award, has been able to complete a research stay abroad. "After my experience as an exchange student in Hamburg, it was clear to me that I had fallen in love with the city and the university and wanted to come back" says Kuhnert. "In addition to the great reputation of the Bucerius Law School, I felt that the professors were encouraging and supporting students comprehensively in their scientific projects“.

An opportunity for personal and professional growth

Kuhnert is impressed by the modern, cosmopolitan approach of teaching found at Bucerius Law School: "The belief in being able to learn a great deal from other cultures and legal systems is something that is very important to me personally, not only in my way of understanding law, but also broadening my knowledge. I have never experienced this, to such an extent, at any other university. It is for this reason a great honor for me to be able to do my research here and contribute something to jurisprudence".

After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law, Kira Kuhnert applied for the Fellowship. In her academic work, she addresses the issue of international arbitration, specifically the lack of uniformity in laws of different countries regarding the translation of arbitral awards: "The New York Convention, the international treaty on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards, provides a few guidelines, but remains relatively vague. I hope that my research will reveal some positive practices and trends that I can analyse and put forth to the international community". She looks forward to the opportunity to exchange ideas with Professor Dr. Stefan Kröll, one of Germany’s leading arbitrators and head of the Center for International Dispute Resolution at Bucerius Law School.

Interested in becoming a visiting scholar at Bucerius Law School?

Information for Visiting Scholars


Interested in other testimonials from former Fellows of the Joachim Herz U.S. Exchange Program?

David Stute from the University of Michigan Law School