Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

Timothy Meyer

Professor of Law
FedEx Research Professor
Director, International Legal Studies Program

Timothy Meyer is an expert in public international law, with specialties in international trade and investment law and international energy governance. His current research examines how international economic agreements relate and respond to concerns about economic opportunity and inequality, as well as the role of the constitutional separation of powers in U.S. international economic policymaking. His past research has examined the interaction of international and local rules on energy subsidies, the role of local governments in free trade agreements, and the creation of non-binding "soft law" obligations. Professor Meyer's work has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the California Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Journal of Legal Analysis, and the European Journal of International Law, among others. He is also the author of a book on international soft law (with Andrew Guzman), forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Professor Meyer has testified before the U.S. Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and the Judiciary and has served both as counsel and as an expert in cases raising international law issues in U.S. courts.

Before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2015, Professor Meyer taught for five years at the University of Georgia School of Law. He entered the legal academy after practicing law for several years at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser where he represented the United States in commercial arbitrations and real property transactions all over the world and in negotiations with foreign governments on diplomatic law issues. Before joining the State Department, Professor Meyer was a law clerk for Justice Neil M. Gorsuch when he sat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Professor Meyer earned his B.A. and M.A. in history from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. and Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he held a Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Fellowship from the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

Research Interests

International trade law, international investment law, international institutions, international lawmaking, compliance, international energy governance, international environmental law


Representative Publications

  • "Saving the Political Consensus in Favor of Free Trade," 70 Vanderbilt Law Review 985 (2017)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • "Local Liability," 95 North Carolina Law Review 261 (2017)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • "Shifting Sands: Power, Uncertainty and the Form of International Legal Cooperation," 27 European Journal of International Law 161 (2016)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • “How Local Discrimination Promotes Global Public Goods,” 95 Boston University Law Review 1939 (2015)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • “From Contract to Legislation: The Logic of Modern International Lawmaking,” 14 Chicago Journal of International Law 559 (2014)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Epistemic Institutions and Epistemic Cooperation in International Environmental Governance," 2 Transnational Environmental Law 15 (2013).
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • “Codifying Custom,” 160 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 995 (2012)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • “Power, Exit Costs, and Renegotiation in International Law,” 51 Harvard International Law Journal 379 (2010)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "International Soft Law," 2 Journal of Legal Analysis 171 (2010) (with Andrew T. Guzman)
    Full Text | SSRN | PDF
  • "Soft Law as Delegation, 32 Fordham International Law Journal 888 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | PDF