Photo of Pedro Malavet

Pedro A. Malavet

Director of LL.M. in Comparative Law



Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611


(352) 273-0974

(352) 392-3005

Professor Malavet graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. He then clerked for the Honorable Raymond L. Acosta of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 1987 to 1989. After his clerkship, he worked as a Junior Partner in the Bufete Malavet & Ayoroa, a small firm that specialized in litigation. He started teaching at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico Law School. He returned to Georgetown in 1993 to complete a Masters Degree in law and was offered the Future Law Professor Fellowship, which allowed him to study, co-teach a course with a member of the Georgetown faculty and to develop a scholarly article. After completing the fellowship and the LLM in late 1994, he joined the UF faculty in the summer of 1995. He was a visiting professor at Seattle University School of Law during the 2004-5 academic year.

Professor Malavet has taught Civil Procedure, but he now teaches Evidence. He has regularly taught Comparative Law courses, including a general overview of the comparative method, a specialized seminar on the civil code, and comparative procedure for J.D. students. He has headed the LLM in Comparative Law program at the Levin College of Law since the fall of 2011 after having served as Associate Director during the 2010-11 academic year, and he teaches the Introduction to U.S. Law courses for the LL.M. students and supervises their Directed Research projects. Malavet has occasionally taught a seminar on the U.S. Territorial Possessions and participated in the College of Law’s summer programs in France and in Costa Rica and been a visiting exchange professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. He has also taught Introduction to U.S. Law to international practitioners here at the college, in several Brazilian states and online in the MOOC the Global Student’s Introduction to the Law of the United States that reached over 25,000 students online. Professor Malavet served on the Membership Review Committee of the Association of American Law Schools from 2007 to 2009 (the committee “examines law school applications for membership in the Association and sabbatical evaluation reports of member law schools[; and] makes recommendations to the Executive Committee on the actions it should take.”). The AALS works with the American Bar Association during its re-accreditation process and Malavet has served on both AALS membership and joint ABA-AALS sabbatical site-visit re-accreditation teams.

Professor Malavet’s scholarship has focused on Comparative Law, especially the civil code and notarial transactions. He has also written about critical race theory and the legal treatment of Latinas/os in the United States “proper” as well as in its territorial possessions, and on the intersections of race, culture and citizenship.

Professor Malavet's scholarship can be found on: He can also be found on social media:


LL.M., Georgetown University; J.D., Georgetown University (magna cum laude); B.B.A., Emory University

Teaching and Scholarship

  • Teaching: Civil Procedure, Comparative Law, Civil Code Institutions Seminar, Evidence, Introduction to Law, U.S. Territorial Possessions Seminar. Also active in several international programs.
  • Research and Scholarship: Comparative Law (principally the Civil Code and Notarial Law), Critical Race Theory, LatCrit Theory, U.S. Territorial Possessions, Evidence, Civil Procedure.

Professional Activities

  • President, Florida Chapter—Order of the Coif (2006-present)
  • American Society of Comparative Law: Director of UF Levin College of Law Sponsor Membership (since July 2010)
  • Member of the American Law Institute (elected September 2009)
  • Association of American Law Schools: Membership Review Committee (2007-2009)
  • University of Florida: Joined College of Law faculty as Assistant Professor (1995-2001); Associate Professor (2001); Professor of Law (2004).
  • Previous Teaching Experience: Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico Adjunct Professor of Law (1991-92); Georgetown University Law Center; Teaching Scholar (1993-94), Adjunct Professor (1995).
  • Private Practice: Bufete Malavet & Ayora (Puerto Rico, 1989-93).
  • Professional Affiliations: Puerto Rican Bar Association, U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico, U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals, Center for the study of Race and Race Relations, Fundacion Facultad de Derecho Eugenio Maria de Hostos

Comparative Law (2 or 3 credits) - LAW 6250

  • An introduction to the comparative method from the perspective of an American lawyer, focusing on methodology, rather than on substantive matters. Starts with a survey of Comparative Law, its history, current definition and scope, followed by practical uses of Comparative legal analysis in United States courts. The more substantial part of the semester studies the Civil Law tradition, the most common legal system in our world today. Naturally, this course can only provide a general overview of the large number of Civil Law nations. It starts with foreign legal education and the legal professions. Then the Civil law system is placed in its proper context: historical roots; structure; approach to judicial review; judicial organization.

Evidence (4 credits) - LAW 6330

  • A study of the law governing proof of issues of fact before a judicial tribunal. Topics may include judicial notice, presumptions, burden of proof, hearsay, relevancy, testimonial proof, demonstrative and scientific proof, documentary proof and privileged communications. Emphasis is placed on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (LAW 5301) [Registration preference will be given to students in their third full semester.].

U.S. Territorial Possessions - LAW 6936

  • Examines history of U.S. territorial acquisitions and the changing legal paradigms applied by U.S. to its past and current territorial possessions. After reviewing the history, will then discuss legal, philosophical and moral implications of U.S. colonialism in 21st Century.

Directed Research for LL.M. in Comparative Law (2 credits) - LAW 7906

  • Legal research to be completed under the supervision of a faculty member conversant with the topic selected and culminating in a paper. Requires approval of the program director.

L.M. in Comparative Law Introduction to the Legal System of the United States Part I (2 credits) - LAW 7932

  • Intensive 3-week introduction to the comparative method and to legal education, professionalism and the legal system of the United States. Requires approval by the program director. Usually taught during the summer program.

LL.M. in Comparative Law Introduction to the Legal System of the United States Part II (2 credits) - LAW 7801

  • Continuing coverage of legal education, professionalism and the legal system of the United States, conducted over one or two full semesters. Typically, it will be conducted over two semesters with one teaching hour per semester week. Alternately, it will be taught as a two-credit course with two teaching hours per semester week.


  • "Counsel for the Situation: The Latin Notary, a Historical and Comparative Model," 19 Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 389-488 (1996).
  • "The Non-Adversarial, Extra-Judicial Search For Legality And Truth: Foreign Notarial Transactions As An Inexpensive And Reliable Model For A Market-Driven System Of Informed Contracting And Fact-Determination," 16 Wisconsin International Law Journal 1-60 (1997).
  • "The Foreign Notarial Legal Services Monopoly: Why Should We Care?," 31 John Marshall Law Review 945-970 (1998).
  • "Literature and Arts as Antisubordination Praxis LatCrit Theory and Cultural Production: The Confessions of an Accidental Crit," 33 UC Davis Law Review. 1293-1331 (2000).
  • "Puerto Rico: Cultural Nation, American Colony," 6 Michigan Journal of Race and Law 1-106 (2001).
  • "The Accidental Crit II: Culture and the Looking Glass of Exile," 78 Denver University Law Review 753-793 (2002).
  • "Reparations Theory and Postcolonial Puerto Rico: Some Preliminary Thoughts," 13 La Raza Law Journal 387-423 (2002).
  • "Introduction: LatCritical Encounters with Culture, In North-South Frameworks," 51 Florida Law Review 1-39 (2003).
  • "Afterword: Outsider Citizenships and Multidimensional Borders: The Power and Danger of Not Belonging," 52 Cleveland State Law Review 321-338 (2005).

Book Chapter

  • "The Story of Downes v. Bidwell: 'The Constitution Follows the Flag ... But Doesn't Quite Catch up With It,'" in Race and the Law Stories. Rachel Moran and Devon Carbado, eds., Foundation Press, 2008.


  • America's Colony: The Political and Cultural Conflict between the U.S. and Puerto Rico NYU Press 2004 (paperback edition 2007).

In Progress

  • From Downes v. Bidwell to Boumediene v. Bush: “The Constitution follows the flag … but [still] doesn’t quite catch up with it.” A follow-up piece to the book chapter listed above; this article provides historical context for the Supreme Court's references to the Insular Cases in the recent case challenging the detentions at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo. (
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