Stanford Law School offers a series of EU law related initiatives, programs, and study opportunities for students and scholars, with an emphasis, but not exclusively, on the legal framework governing business activities. Stanford Law School’s European Union Law Initiatives are directed by Professor Siegfried Fina, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law. The European Union Law Initiatives form an important part of Stanford Law School’s Global Initiative.
The U.S. and the European Union (which comprises 27 European states with 450 million people) form the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world. They are each other’s main trading partners in goods and services, and they are each other’s primary source and destination for foreign direct investment. U.S. companies rely on the EU market for more than half of their global foreign profits, and U.S. investment in the EU is currently three times greater than U.S. investment in the whole of Asia. Over 50% of the world’s GDP is generated on the Transatlantic Marketplace, and it accounts for nearly a third of world trade flows. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a free trade agreement currently under consideration between the EU and the U.S., will further strengthen substantially the economic ties between the EU and the U.S.
In recent years, all this has tremendously heightened the need of U.S. lawyers for a sound understanding of the legal system of the EU and the legal framework governing business activities in the EU, especially for business and technology lawyers.
Course European Union Law (LAW 5005)
The course European Union Law (LAW 5005) consists of two parts: The first part of the class examines the internationally unique legal system of the EU as applicable to any field of substantive and procedural EU law. We review the legal nature and different sources of EU law and its relationship with the national laws of the EU Member States. We cover the relevant EU law enforcement actions including state liability issues, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and the relevant remedies in national courts.
In the second part of the class, we explore the legal framework governing business activities in the EU from the perspective of an internationally operating business entity doing business in Europe. In this context, we focus on the most important areas of EU business law, i.e. the four fundamental economic freedoms of the European Internal Market for goods, services, capital, and persons, EU antitrust (competition) law, and the current developments for a digital European Single Market. Special attention is given to the question how companies established outside the EU can efficiently use EU business law to pursue their interests in the EU. We explore and discuss, for example, how to avoid the applicability of different national product standards of the individual EU Member States, how to fight discriminatory taxation, or how to strategize best the establishment of subsidiaries in the EU.
Another important learning goal throughout the course is that U.S. law students shall learn to understand European legal thinking, which can differ substantially from American legal thinking in many areas and which is essential to understand, in order to represent U.S. enterprises successfully in Europe.
For more details, please visit the European Union Law course webpage (LAW 5005).
Directed Research in EU Law
After completing the course European Union Law (LAW 5005), students can choose to focus on a specific EU law area of their interest by writing a 2-unit or 3-unit research paper for R credit. This opportunity allows students to specialize in and dive deeper into one selected field of EU law. Students may also opt to work on a comparative EU-US law topic. Students who write an EU law related directed research paper are eligible for the Jean Monnet EU Law Student Research Fellowship Program. Excellent directed research papers are published in the EU Law Working Paper Series.
For more details, please reach out directly to Professor Siegfried Fina.
Jean Monnet Student Research Paper Prize for European Union Law
This annual student writing competition recognizes excellence in student scholarship in EU law at Stanford. The Jean Monnet Research Prize includes a cash prize of $1,500 for the best student research paper. The top paper will be published in the EU Law Working Paper Series.
For more details, please visit the webpage of the Jean Monnet Student Research Paper Prize for European Union Law.
EU Law Working Paper Series
The web-based European Union Law Working Paper Series presents research on the law and policy of the European Union. Its objective is to publish excellent student research papers as well as research papers of scholars who wish to share their EU law related academic work online and, thus, to make it more easily accessible internationally.
Jean Monnet EU Law Student Research Fellowship Program
The Jean Monnet EU Law Student Research Fellowship Program is a complementary program for the European Union Law course (LAW 5005) and for directed student research in EU law. Jean Monnet EU Law Research Fellows are students who write an EU law research paper for R credit. Jean Monnet Fellowships help students to make their EU Law education more and better visible nationally and internationally. The Jean Monnet label serves as the European and international standard for the visibility of high-quality teaching and research in EU law.
For more details, please visit the webpage of the Jean Monnet EU Law Student Research Fellowship Program.
A Quarter Abroad: JD/LLM Option at the University of Vienna
Students, who successfully completed the European Union Law course (LAW 5005), are welcome to file a petition to study a quarter (autumn quarter) abroad as exchange students at the University of Vienna School of Law in Austria in line with the standards established by Stanford Law School’s Foreign Legal Study Program. Exchange students from Stanford Law School have the privilege to select their courses from Vienna’s LLM Program in European and International Business Law, which is offered in English to an international student body, and to earn an LLM degree at the University of Vienna during the exchange quarter. This study abroad opportunity in Vienna is of special interest to those students who wish to specialize in EU and international business law and/or European and international intellectual property & technology law.
The University of Vienna provides two full scholarships for incoming students from Stanford Law School.
Application deadline of the University of Vienna for the autumn quarter 2022-2023: April 15, 2022
2022-2023 Call for Applications from Incoming Stanford Students for a Tuition Scholarship for the LLM Program in European and International Business Law at the University of Vienna, Incl. Application Form (pdf) (Deadline: April 15, 2022)
Internships at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg
Stanford University is a partner university of the Dean Acheson Legal Stage (traineeship/internship) Program at the Court of Justice of the European Union (“EU Supreme Court”) in Luxembourg. SLS students/graduates are eligible to complete an internship (“stage“) with a judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union for a period of three months.
For more details, please
(b) contact Titi Liu, Director of Stanford Law School’s International Public Interest Initiatives, who administers this internship program,
(c) contact Professor Siegfried Fina, who will advise you on how to prepare best for this internship program academically in EU law.
Internships at the European Parliament in Brussels and Washington DC
The European Parliament Liaison Office with U.S. Congress (EPLO) offers internship opportunities for its Washington DC office for a period of three months, with an option to extend the internship for a further two months at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.
For more details, please visit the website of the European Parliament Liaison Office with U.S. Congress.