David Louis Finnegan

David Louis Finnegan


B.S.F.S. Georgetown University 1988
J.D. University of Michigan Law School 1991
Ph.D. University of Michigan


Professor Finnegan graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Journal of International Law. He received his undergraduate training at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He also has studied at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Professor Finnegan’s research focuses on law and policy reform in Africa and other developing regions.

Professor Finnegan earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, where his studies concentrated on the fields of Comparative Government and Public Law. His dissertation examined the relationship between law reform and economic development in Africa. Fieldwork for the dissertation was supported in principal part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Prior to joining academia, Professor Finnegan practiced law in Washington, D.C. His practice focused on domestic and international antitrust law, international investment dispute arbitration, government contracts investigations and related litigation, and litigation of commercial disputes before arbitration panels and federal courts.

Professor Finnegan teaches property and international law. He serves as faculty advisor to the law school’s Jessup International Law Moot Court team.



David L. Finnegan, Applied Comparative Law and Judicial Reform, 8 T.M. Cooley Prac. & Clin. L. 97, (2006).


David L. Finnegan, Law and Private Sector Development in Tanzania, Ph.D. dissertation, defended (Oct.1, 2008), awarded (Dec.14, 2008).

Analysis and Professional Papers 

David L. Finnegan, Review of Draft Zanzibar Anti-Corruption Bill, Analysis prepared for the ABA-UNDP, International Legal Resource Center (Aug. 10, 2011).

David L. Finnegan, Analysis of Zanzibar Draft Bill on Anti-Corruption for UNDP/Tanzania, comments and recommendations compiled in ABA-UNDP ILRC (2011). 

David L. Finnegan, The Path to Successful Law Reform, Background paper prepared for the World Bank’s Doing Business Project (Feb. 26, 2008).

David L. Finnegan, Judicial Reform and Commercial Justice: The Experience of Tanzania’s Commercial Court, Background paper prepared for World Bank’s World Development Report: 2005:A Better Investment Climate for Everyone, (Aug. 2004).

David L. Finnegan, The Pursuit of Effective Justice: Observations on Tanzania’s Commercial Court, Background paper prepared for the World Bank’s World Development Report 2002: Institutions for Markets, (2001).


David L. Finnegan, Publishing to a Global Audience, National Conference of Law Reviews, Lansing MI (Mar. 21, 2013).

David L. Finnegan, Commercial Law Reform and the Private Sector in Tanzania, Global Financial Reform: International Law Intersecting the New World Economy, ILSA Fall Conference, Kolkata, India (October 9, 2009).

David L. Finnegan, Law and Economic Development, Symposium on the Rule of Law in Africa, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, MI (Oct. 4 2008).

David L. Finnegan, Law and the Private Sector in Africa, 2008 United States – Africa Sister Cities Conference, Lansing, MI (July 24 2008).

David L. Finnegan, The Demand for Law in Africa, Conference on Comparative Constitutionalism and Rights: Global Perspectives, University of Kwa Zulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (Dec. 2005).

David L. Finnegan, The Pursuit of Effective Justice: Observations on Tanzania’s Commercial Court, World Bank Consultative Meeting on Judicial Systems, Washington, D.C. (May 18, 2001).


Real-World Experience

Specialties: Law and policy reform in Africa and other developing regions

Courses: Property, International Law

Faculty links

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