Award for Global Engagement

2016 Recipient

Robert A. Stein
Everett Fraser Professor of Law
Law School

Robert A. Stein is a leader and innovator in international education, the international rule of law movement, international human rights, and the international practice of law—with lasting impacts for the University, the state of Minnesota, and around the world.

As dean of the Law School, Professor Stein established the goal that every law student should have an international or comparative law experience as part of their legal education at the University of Minnesota. And he created the first rule of law course at the University of Minnesota— one of the first of its kind offered in the United States.  

Professor Stein also enriched the Law School community with the presence of international students and faculty. He worked with the faculty to create the Master of Laws degree for international students and created exchange programs that bring in students and faculty from around the world. Most notably, he established an exchange with the University of Uppsala, which is now the Law School’s longest and most productive exchange. He received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala in recognition of his role as founder and continued advocate for the exchange.  

His impact has also been felt around the world. He worked with Chinese university and bar leaders to develop the modern legal education system in China, which has resulted in an increase in the number of lawyers in China from under 100 in 1980 to more than 250,000 today.

As executive director of the American Bar Association (1994-2006), he supervised law reform programs in more than 25 countries in Asia as well as Central and Eastern Europe. These reform programs helped establish newly emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union.

Closer to home, he played crucial roles in the creation of the Center for the Victims of Torture, and the founding of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota.

Dean Garry Jenkins sharing remarks about Robert Stein at the award ceremony