Immigration expert receives professorship in School of Law

Stephen H. Legomsky, J.D., D.Phil., has been named the John S. Lehmann University Professor in honor of his outstanding scholarship, teaching, and service to the University, the School of Law, and the international community.

The new professorship was created through a charitable trust established by the late John Lehmann, a distinguished alumnus, lawyer and University trustee for more than 20 years. An installation ceremony will be held in the spring.

Stephen Legomsky
Stephen Legomsky

“Endowed professorships are an important vehicle for helping the University recognize and retain truly outstanding faculty,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “I am pleased that we are able to honor Steve’s ever-expanding contributions with this new distinction. I am also deeply grateful to John Lehmann and his family for this recent gift to the law school, as well as the host of other significant gifts to the Washington University community through the years.”

Kent D. Syverud, J.D., dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor, said: “We are thrilled to be able to bestow this new professorship on Steve, whose many achievements place him among our most distinguished faculty. The Lehmann family’s longstanding support of the school and their many contributions to the legal profession make this a particularly appropriate professorship with which to honor Steve.”

A former actuary and member of the faculty since 1981, Legomsky is an internationally renowned scholar in immigration, refugee, and nationality law and policy.

He is the founding director of the school’s Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies, a past chair of the University’s Judicial Board and a past member of the University City Board of Education. An elected member of the American Law Institute, he has received many accolades, including the University’s Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award and its Founders Day Distinguished Faculty Award, the law school’s Triennial Teaching Award and the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award.

Legomsky is the author of numerous articles and several books on immigration and refugee law and other subjects. His coursebook,Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy,” has been the required text for immigration courses at 157 U.S. law schools.

He has testified before Congress; chaired several national committees; and advised several United States presidential administrations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the immigration ministers of Russia and Ukraine, and several foreign governments.

As an ambassador for the McDonnell International Scholars Academy at WUSTL, he represents the institution for the University of Hong Kong. Legomsky has held visiting teaching and research positions in 10 countries.

A longtime St. Louis attorney, Lehmann graduated from the law school in 1910 and served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1941-1963. He co-founded a firm that pioneered the development of chemical treatment methods for oil field emulsions and for water. He later headed the firm’s successor, Petrolite Corp., as well as its Tretolite Division and the Rock Hill Co.

Numerous members of the Lehmann family also have been prominent lawyers and business leaders, and have shown extraordinary support for the University.