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:
- a global quarter: an intensive, 10-week immersion in international law and finance (offered in 2022)
- a foundational course on global legal practice
- courses that combine rigorous classroom training with intensive overseas study trips
- 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.
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.
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.
Field Study Course Offerings (2019–2020)
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.