W. A. Franke Global Law Program

W. A. Franke Global Law Program

We live in an increasingly global world. Every day, more goods, services, ideas and people cross legal borders, creating new challenges for businesses and governments.

All 21st century lawyers are likely to face transnational legal issues, and must be prepared to engage with people, legal systems, businesses, governments and multilateral institutions from around the globe.

  • One in three goods crosses national borders, and more than one-third of financial investments are international transactions. 1
  • International data flows and trade are exploding and are projected to grow by another nine times in the next five years. 2
  • The US represents only 4% of the global population and about 15% of global GDP.
  • Problems like climate change and the refugee crisis require increasing multilateral cooperation between governments, businesses and local communities.

We have taken the lead in preparing students for this reality with the new W. A. Franke Global Law Program. Our innovative model for training tomorrow’s law and business leaders is comprised of four elements:

  1. a global quarter: an intensive, 10-week immersion in international law and finance
  2. a foundational course on global legal practice
  3. courses that combine rigorous classroom training with intensive overseas study trips
  4. greater integration of comparative law and international issues into existing core courses

Stanford Law’s signature international initiatives, including a robust program in international and comparative law, provide additional resources and experiences for cultivating global perspective.


1. Global Flows in A Digital Age, McKinsey, 2014.
2. Digital Globalization: The New Era of Global Flows, McKinsey, 2016.

A Global Quarter

Careers 4

The W. A. Franke Global Law program is an intensive, 10-week immersion in international business law and finance. It offers students a unique opportunity to devote an entire quarter to developing the skills, conceptual tools and international experiences to prepare them for a globalizing world and for careers in business, law and policy.

SLS will also select up to 25 students to be Franke Fellows in Global Business.

The 2021 Global Quarter will focus on business law in Asia. Students will spend seven weeks on the SLS campus studying business law and taking foundational courses in international business transactions, regulation and litigation. Students will also choose from a series of short, intensive 2 to 3-week long courses on corporations, commercial law, capital markets, corporate finance and accounting. In addition, they will take a seminar that introduces them to fundamentals of the legal, financial and corporate governance systems of Japan, China and Singapore. These courses will prepare students to get the most out of their experience abroad.

Following this coursework, students and faculty will travel to China, Japan and Singapore for 3 weeks. Students will meet and work with academics, regulators, lawyers and business leaders, gaining valuable experience and training in world commercial centers.

This one-of–a-kind experience will give students the conceptual background, analytical tools and global exposure necessary to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. Subsequent quarters will focus on other areas of the globe or subject matters.  Trip costs will be covered for students enrolled in the quarter.

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A Foundational Course on Global Legal Practice — International Business Transactions Regulation and Litigation

Few law schools offer courses that integrate legal analysis and doctrine with the practical skills required to operate in the global legal environment. SLS is bridging the gap with a new foundational course called International Business Transactions and Litigation.

Designed to introduce students to the practice of law in a global context, the course is an essential building block in an SLS degree, much like evidence, tax, corporations or administrative law. Unlike a typical course in international antitrust, international intellectual property or international arbitration, which lets you dive deep with a narrow focus, International Business Transactions and Litigation prepares you to serve clients whose concerns involve a wide range of interconnecting issues in law and business.

International Business Transactions and Litigation is like no other law school course.

  • First, it’s team-taught by faculty who lead classes in their area of expertise, with input from general counsel and leading international law firms.
  • Second, instead of using the traditional law school case method, which focuses Socratic dialogue around a judicial opinion, International Business Transactions and Litigation uses the business school model. Each case centers on a complex, real-world transnational transaction that requires you to navigate uncertainty in search of solutions.

Course Faculty

Jenny S. Martinez 1

Jenny Martinez is a leading expert on international courts and tribunals and international human rights. An experienced litigator, she has also worked on numerous cases in the U.S. Supreme Court involving international law and constitutional law issues.

A. Douglas Melamed

Doug Melamed’s experience as head of the antitrust division of the Department of Justice and general counsel of a major multinational corporation allows him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing global legal actors.

Robert M. Daines

Rob Daines is the Associate Dean for Global Programs and has spearheaded Stanford’s W A Franke Global Law Program. Before entering academia, Rob was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs where he helped clients structure transnational deals.

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This was one of the most incredible and rewarding academic experiences I have ever had. However, without SLS’s generous financial contribution, this trip would not have been possible for me. … It is this kind of willingness to experiment, institutional flexibility, and commitment to the student experience that truly sets Stanford Law School apart.

James Barton, JD‘15, "Studying at the Hague", Stanford Lawyer Magazine, Issue 91

James Barton Graduation Class of 2015 Speech Dean's Award

Intensive Overseas Field Study Trips

At SLS, you don’t have to give up on-campus learning for a full semester of study abroad. SLS overseas field study excursions are optional trips typically attached to the end of a regular Stanford course.   Whether you are spending a week at the Hague witnessing the international criminal justice system in action or finalizing a transnational merger in Brazil, each immerses you in the law of another nation and allows you to witness firsthand international institutions at work.

7-10 Days: Overseas field study courses take place between quarters, so students can experience other legal cultures without losing time on SLS campus.

2 SLS Credits: Overseas field study courses allow students to cultivate global awareness while earning academic credit toward a JD or joint degree.

10-15 Students: Reflecting Stanford Law’s collaborative culture, immersion programs take a small group into an international setting, where students work closely with each other, with faculty mentors, and with leaders in the local law and business communities.

Core Courses Integrate Transnational Law

Global Initiative 3

At Stanford Law, we are shaping the future of legal education by ensuring that every student has the opportunity for global perspective. Over time, more courses in the SLS curriculum — from antitrust to corporations to contracts — will incorporate the transnational perspective. We host short-term visiting lecturers who partner with faculty-in-residence to teach core courses. For example, Horst Eidenmüller, chair of private law, German, European and international company law at University of Munich and University of Oxford, has participated in Professor George Triantis’ contract design course and Professor Rob Daines’ corporations course. Mariana Pargendler, professor at FGV Law School in São Paulo, has taught a Latin American deals course and an overseas short course in Brazil.