William D. Lay

William D. Lay


Director of the School of Public and International Affairs, Associate Profesor of Criminal Justice and Human Security, School of Public and International Affairs

Carlson Hall, Room 229
(203) 576-4966

Prof. William D. Lay did his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) where he majored in Chemistry. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar throughout his years of study and was Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. Prof. Lay served as the Law Clerk of Hon. Joseph W. Bellacosa, Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, State of New York, the highest court in the State. Judge Bellacosa was the author of the Commentaries to McKinney’s Criminal Procedure Law, the fundamental resource on New York criminal procedure. The constitutional limit of police power is a major legal topic in the Court’s jurisprudence, and one of Judge Bellacosa’s areas of greatest experience. Prof. Lay worked closely with Judge Bellacosa on a number of key criminal law and criminal procedure decisions.

Prof. Lay practiced law for 12 years with two of the world’s premier law firms, the Fried Frank and Skadden Arps firms in New York, before opening his own law office in 2005. Prof. Lay’s substantive areas of experience include non-profit and corporate, white collar criminal, RICO, products liability and commercial law. Prof. Lay has also worked with the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. He has taught university courses on law and criminal justice since 2002. In addition to his native English, Professor Lay also reads, writes and lectures in Spanish. Prof. Lay chairs the Criminal Justice and Human Security program, and teaches various courses in law, human security and criminal justice.


B.S., University of Wisconsin; J.D., Columbia University School of Law


Prof. Lay has recently published articles on International Law and the South Chinas Sea Disputes (in the Harvard Asia Quarterly) and Human Security and Constitutional Rights (in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences)