Glenn R. Butterton

Lecturer in Law

J.D., Columbia University, Columbia Law School
M.Phil., Cambridge University, Trinity College
Ph.D., M.A. & A.B., University of California, Berkeley

Glenn Butterton
Phone: (305) 284-1159
Office: C-422

Glenn Butterton has research interests in legal reasoning; international and comparative law; piracy and counterfeiting; and international trade.  In addition, he works on issues at the intersection of law and cognitive neuroscience, theoretical linguistics, psychology, analytic philosophy, artificial intelligence, and literature.  He has private sector and federal government practice experience, and has held teaching, fellowship, research, and administrative positions at several schools including Harvard University, Columbia University, Peking University and the University of Chicago.

He has been a Senior Associate in International Trade at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, a Senior Attorney at the International Trade Administration in Washington, DC, and has served as Distinguished Senior Research Scholar, Consultant and Deputy Director for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience.  He has done pro bono work, too, in support of individuals and the UN International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNICERD).

Dr. Butterton has represented the United States in trade proceedings with Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Holland, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Turkey.  And he has worked on wide-ranging litigation and regulatory matters on behalf of American, British, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Mexican and Swedish companies with multi-national operations in such areas as aviation, telecommunications, high-technology, steel, chemicals, energy, automobiles, textiles, financial services, entertainment, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals.

At the University of Chicago, he was a Bigelow Fellow and taught at the University of Chicago Law School; at Columbia University, he was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows, and a Mellon Lecturer in the Columbia Core Curriculum; at Peking University, he was a Cornelius Vander Starr Senior Lecturer and Foreign Expert, and taught in the School of Transnational Law and the School of Humanities; at Harvard University, he was a Resident Tutor, Assistant Senior Tutor and Member of the Senior Common Room at Dunster House in Harvard College, and taught in the MBA program at the Harvard Business School.

Dr. Butterton has taught courses on Law & Neuroscience; Comparative Systems of Law and Justice; Law & Authoritarian Societies; Transnational Legal Practice; Administrative Law; Philosophy of Law; Introduction to American Law; Western Legal Tradition; Justice, Law and the Constitution; Legal Writing & Appellate Advocacy; Legal Research & Communication; among others.

He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, earning the A.B. degree with Highest Honors (summa cum laude), Great Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa, while concentrating on Literature, Psychology, and Philosophy.  Subsequently, he studied broadly in the cognitive sciences, earning M.A. & Ph.D. degrees as a Regents’ Fellow, Heller Traveling Fellow, and Phi Beta Kappa Doctoral Fellow, while concentrating on English Philology, Theoretical Linguistics, and Philosophy of Language.  At Cambridge University (Trinity College, Cambridge) he earned the M.Phil. degree with support from the Arthur Eddington Fund, and received a Hooper Declamation Prize, while concentrating on International Law, Economics & Politics with a focus on decision making and deterrence.  At Columbia University Law School, he earned the J.D. degree as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, received Parker School Honors in Foreign Law, and concentrated on Foreign, Comparative & International Law, as well as Intellectual Property and Business Law.  He was Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, and a judicial law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, for the Hon. Judge Rosemary Barkett.

He has explored 49 of the 50 states, run seven marathons, and played many games of four-wall handball.  Most important of all, he is a single parent and the proud father of two extraordinary children, who are the most interesting people he has ever met, and the best teachers he has ever had.


Pirates, Dragons and U.S. Intellectual Property Rights in China, Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law (Robert Merges & Peter Yu eds.) (2020).

How Neuroscience Technology Is Changing Our Understanding of Brain Injury, Vegetative States and the Law, 20 N.C. J. of Law & Technology 331 (2019).

Pirates, Dragons and U.S. Intellectual Property Rights in China, Comparative Law Global Legal Traditions for the 21st Century (Michael Bazyler, Abdullahi al-Naim, et al, eds.) (2013).

A Problem of Process in WTO Jurisprudence: Identifying Disputed Issues in Panels and Consultations, with Gary Horlick, 31 Law & Policy in Int'l Business 573 (2001).

Pirates, Dragons and U.S. Intellectual Property Rights in China, Conflict and Culture Reader (Pat K. Chew ed.) (2000).

Signals, Threats and Deterrence: Alive and Well in the Taiwan Strait, 47 Catholic U. Law Rev. 51 (1997).

Norms and Property in the Middle Kingdom, 15 Wisconsin Int'l Law Journal 279 (1997).

Renew MFN for China? Right Decision, Wrong Reasons, Chicago Tribune (1996).

The Empire Strikes Back: Piracy with Chinese Characteristics, 81 Cornell Law Rev. 1129 (1996).

Glenn Butterton
Phone: (305) 284-1159
Office: C-422