Faculty Spotlight

Finkelman Lectures in Japan through Science Fellowship

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Professor Paul Finkelman, through a fellowship awarded to him by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), recently completed a speaking tour of five Japanese universities, covering such topics as immigration, slavery and constitutional law.

Professor Finkelman's presentations included:



  • Nagoya City University: Current issues in U.S. Immigration
  • Nanzan University (Nagoya): Talks on Immigration and the 2012 Election; Japanese Immigration to the United States; Plea Bargaining; Peer Review in American Universities; and Defining Slavery under the U.S. Constitution
  • Doshisha University (Kyoto): Seminar in American Constitutional Law on the Brown Decision
  • Kanazawa University: An Overview of U.S. Constitutional Law
  • University of Tokyo: Slavery in World History and in the Modern World

He also delivered four talks sponsored by the U.S. Embassy on the presidential election and baseball.

JSPS, founded in 1932, contributes to the advancement of science in all fields, including legal science, playing a pivotal role in the administration of a wide spectrum of Japan's scientific and academic programs.

Upon his return, Professor Finkelman delivered the 2012 John Jay Lecture, titled "Jay is for Justice: From Slaveholders to Abolitionists, the Jay Family and Racial Justice," at an event co-sponsored by Pace Law School and the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, N.Y. As speaker, he was also honored with a Jay Prize.

The John Jay Lecture honors the legacy of the first Chief Justice of the United States. In his extraordinary career of public service, Jay served in every branch of government and held more high offices than any other Founding Father.

Professor Finkelman, the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School, is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and more than 25 books. He was named the ninth most cited legal historian according to "Brian Leieter's Law School Rankings."

He is an expert in areas such as American legal history, race and the law, the law of slavery, constitutional law and legal issues surrounding baseball.

Professor Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case, and his scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry (2005) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). He was also a key witness in the suit over who owned Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball.