Georgia State University College of Law’s new international arbitration center, which will open in September, has hired an international lawyer, Y. Grace Ha, as its first fellow. She will help develop programs and operating protocols.
The Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation is housed in GSU Law’s new $82.5 million building at 85 Park Place. The law school’s faculty and staff just moved into the new facility last week, and classes there will begin in the fall.
In addition to the international arbitration center, the 200,000-square-foot space, which is a stone’s throw from Woodruff Park, includes 21 classrooms, a conference center, a 230-seat main courtroom, additional courtrooms, space for clinical practice and community outreach—and a law library on the top two floors with a reading room, collaborative learning areas, a café and a terrace.
The arbitration center is a partnership between GSU Law and the Atlanta Arbitration Society (AtlAS), which was founded in 2011 by a group of Atlanta lawyers seeking to make the city a hub for international commercial arbitrations. It will offer facilities for private parties who need a venue to hear international arbitrations and mediations for business disputes. It will also offer continuing education and promote scholarship around international law and dispute resolution.
The center’s staff is lean; Shelby Grubbs, the executive director, and Magaly Cobian, the managing director, are its only full-time employees. Cobian said they are hosting six interns this summer from different U.S. law schools, as well as one from Zurich, Switzerland.
Ha is the center’s first AtlAS fellow, which is funded by GSU Law. For the past two years, she has been practicing international commercial arbitration in Seoul for a South Korean firm, Shin & Kim, which also has offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Ha is a 2011 graduate of Emory University Law School. Before joining Shin & Kim in 2013, she spent a year as an assistant district attorney for the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office and another year as a special assistant district attorney for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.
The fellowship “is a major step toward our vision of making Atlanta a world leader in commercial dispute resolution,” Ben Greer, the president of AtlAS and a retired Alston & Bird partner, said in a statement. “With our airport, our cost structure and our favorable legal environment, and now with Grace Ha joining our team, we have a promising future.”
Ha will join the center in August for six months, after finishing up her job in Seoul, Cobian said. She will be working with Cobian and Grubbs, helping to plan arbitration conferences and programs and marketing.