Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Faculty Biographies > Faculty Bio

Beny, Laura Nyantung

Earl Warren DeLano Professor of Law

428 Hutchins Hall

Since joining Michigan Law in 2003, Professor Laura N. Beny, the Earl Warren DeLano Professor of Law, has taught Corporate Finance, Enterprise Organization, International Finance, The Public Corporation, Law and Development, and Law and Finance. In fall 2018, she will teach a course that she custom-developed entitled, Africa in the Global Legal System, the first of its kind among U.S. law schools. This novel course will integrate her research and teaching interests, which span Africa, law, economics, finance/capital markets, international development, and political economy. The course will equip students to embark upon legal, policy, business, and/or nonprofit careers that engage with the African continent from legal and strategic perspectives.

Professor Beny's research has been published in the American Economic Review, American Law and Economics Review, Journal of Corporation Law, and Harvard Business Law Review, among others, and has been cited in numerous print and digital media, including The Economist, The Age (Australia), and Global Risk Regulator, and has been referenced in congressional testimony. She is co-editor of the book Sudan's Killing Fields: Political Violence and Fragmentation (Red Sea Press, 2014). Professor Beny also has published many opinion pieces on Africa, particularly Sudan and South Sudan, in various international media, including Newsweek International,, and Al Jazeera.

In 2007–2008, she served as a legal consultant to the Government of Southern Sudan prior to its independence from Sudan in 2011. In 2015, Professor Beny was elected and served a two-year term on the executive committee of the University of Michigan International Institute's African Studies Center. Before joining Michigan Law, she practiced at Debevoise & Plimpton, a global law firm based in New York City, where she provided legal counsel to both business and pro bono clients. She currently is serving as associate director of the U-M African Studies Center.

Professor Beny earned her MA and PhD in economics from Harvard University, her JD from Harvard Law School, and her BA in economics from Stanford University.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

The Empirical Evidence on the Regulation of Insider Trading. Working Paper.

The Law and Economics of Public Global Efforts to Prevent and Punish Genocide. Working Paper.​

Diversity Among Elite American Law Firms: An Empirical Analysis. University of Michigan Law & Economics Working Paper.
Full text: SSRN

Analysis of the Republic of South Sudan's Accession to the East African Community: Benefits, Detriments and Recommendations. M. Snyder, co-author. University of Michigan Public Law Research Paper, no. 337. Working Paper, 2013.
Full Text: SSRN

"Breaking Baal: Monuments, Memory, and Social Justice." Harvard Law Review Forum, Forthcoming 2021.

"Decolonization as Dialectic Process in Law and Literature." Review of The Battle for International Law, by Jochen von Bernstorff and Philipp Dann, editors. International Law and International Legal Thought (2020).

Review of South Sudan: A Slow Liberation, by Edward Thomas. The Historian 80, no. 3 (2018): 540-1.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Wiley (UMich Users) | Wiley

"A National Adaptation Programme of Action: Ethiopia's responses to climate change." A. Golrokhian, K. Browne, R. Hardin, A. Agrawal, K. Askew, B. Larroquette, and B. Morse, co-authors. World Dev. Persp. 1 (2016): 53-7.​
Full Text: ScienceDirect (UMich Users) | ScienceDirect


Participated in the Nobel Symposium at the U-M Center for Complex Systems along with other U-M scholars from various academic departments, University of Michigan, December 2019.

Spoke about investment/growth opportunities and legal, economic, and political risks in Africa on the panel, "Opportunities and Challenges for Emerging Markets," 2018 Emerging Markets Conference, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, December 2018.

Ran the U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) Colloquium, African Studies Center, University of Michigan International Institute, November 2018.

Served as a discussant for "Do Legal Remedies Promote Investment? New Evidence from a Natural Experiment in the Investment Treaty Network" (authored by Cree Jones, '13), International Law/Law & Development Panel, 2018 Empirical Legal Studies Conference, University of Michigan Law School, November 2018.

Presented the article, "Metals or Management? Explaining Africa's Recent Growth Spurt," previously published in the American Economic Review, as a mock research presentation to the U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS), African Studies Center, University of Michigan International Institute, September 2018.

A previously written article that appeared in the American Economics Review was cited in a Bloomberg article, September 2018.

Appointed associate director of the University of Michigan African Studies Center, International Institute, July 2018.

Nominated to serve another term as a member of the executive committee of the University of Michigan African Studies Center, July 2017.

Hosted the 11th Annual Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop and Writing Retreat at the University of Michigan Law School, July 6–12, 2017. It involved fundraising from co-sponsoring law schools for participant scholarships and a year of planning and coordination. Keynote speakers included Robert Sellers, U-M vice provost; Michele Coleman Mayes, '74, vice president and general counsel of the New York Public Library; and Marcilynn Burke, dean of the University of Oregon School of Law.