Dr. David Nersessian
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
Interests: Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Public and Private International Law, Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility
David Nersessian earned his D. Phil. (Ph.D.) in Law in 2005 from Oxford University (St. Catherine's College), where his research concentrated on public international law and human rights. He earned his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1995 and a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University in 1992.
During the 2011-12 academic year, Dr. Nersessian will teach Human Rights Law (fall) and Global Professional Responsibility (spring). He will supervise written work in the areas of Professional Responsibility, Comparative Legal Ethics, International Law, and Human Rights. In prior years Dr. Nersessian taught Professional Responsibility and offered seminars in Public International Law and International Criminal Law at BU Law. He previously taught Criminal Law at St. Benet’s Hall and St. Edmund Hall at Oxford University.
Prior to his visiting appointment with BU Law, Dr. Nersessian was Executive Director of Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession. Before that he was the 2005-06 Supreme Court Fellow at the United States Supreme Court, where he worked in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice, who is the Chief Justice’s chief of staff. He provided research and other support to Supreme Court Justices and delivered formal diplomatic briefings to over 900 visiting dignitaries representing some 96 countries. He also oversaw the Supreme Court’s Judicial Internship Program and worked to enhance the public’s understanding of the role of the federal judiciary.
Prior to completing his doctoral work, Dr. Nersessian spent many years as a litigation attorney with several national and regional law firms. He concentrated in complex business and insurance coverage disputes and represented clients in state and federal courts, administrative proceedings, and private arbitrations throughout the United States. He later served as vice president and general counsel of an international educational foundation.
Dr. Nersessian writes and speaks extensively on the impact of globalization on the legal profession as well as in the fields of human rights and public international law. He currently is working on a judicial monograph on the Alien Tort Statute and human rights litigation in federal courts, which was commissioned by the Federal Judicial Center for distribution to Article III judges and federal magistrates nationwide (forthcoming 2012). Dr. Nersessian’s first book, Genocide and Political Groups, was published by Oxford University Press in Fall 2010. His current law review scholarship analyzes the ethical and disciplinary regulation of business lawyers whose legal work facilitates serious human rights violations abroad (eg, lawyers representing a bank in a secured lending transaction where the lender provides extraction industry financing to a brutal foreign government that uses slave labor to mine “blood” diamonds).