Global Initiative 5

Global Initiative

To make a difference in the world, learn how law works around the globe.

At SLS, we believe lawyers have the greatest impact when they are culturally competent and able to understand the global dimensions of complex decisions made by all the players in the global arena, including multinational companies, regulators, and nongovernmental organizations.

We have taken the lead in preparing students for this reality with a new Global Law Initiative. Our innovative model for training tomorrow’s law and business leaders is comprised of three elements:  a foundational course on global legal practice; intensive overseas studies trips; and greater integration of transnational law into existing core courses. Stanford Law’s robust program in international and comparative law provides additional resources and experiences for cultivating global perspective.

Short Immersions Instill Global Competency

luggage icon red small block

7-10 Days

The average short, in-country learning program is about as long as the typical spring break. In fact, many programs take place between quarters, so students can experience other legal cultures without losing time on the SLS campus.

certificate icon red small block

2 SLS Credits

Short-term overseas immersions are an important part of the academic experience at SLS — and an excellent way to cultivate global awareness while earning credit toward a JD or joint degree.

students icon red small block

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.

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.

John Barton, JD‘15 On The System of International Justice: From Stanford to The Hague —
a class and international immersion opportunity offered through the Global Initiative

Global Initiative 7

Course Close-up — Going Global

Few law schools offer courses that integrate training in law with the skills required to operate in the global business environment.  SLS is bridging the gap with Introduction to Global Legal Practice — “Going Global” for short — a foundation course launched in the 2014-15 academic year.

Designed to introduce the practice of law in a global context, the course is an essential building block in an SLS JD, 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, Going Global prepares you to serve clients whose concerns involve a wide range of interconnecting issues in law and business.

There are other ways in which Going Global 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 at such companies as Google, Cisco, and leading international law firms, including Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps.  Second, instead of using the traditional law school case method, which focuses Socratic dialogue around a judicial opinion, Going Global 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.

explore courses
Global Initiative 3

Core Courses Integrate Transnational Law

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. As a first step in this transition, we host up to five short-term visiting lecturers per academic year, 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.

Where in the world can SLS take you?

There’s no need to wait for a degree to explore law in the world. International perspective, in the classroom and through firsthand experience, is an essential element of an SLS education. And through established international learning opportunities in six countries — China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Singapore — SLS opens paths to intensive, on-the-ground experience. Choose from these existing programs, or petition to study at the foreign law school of your choice through The Foreign Legal Study Program, which prepares you for practice or post-graduate work in a world without boundaries.

Explore Foreign Legal Study Program
Foreign Legal Study Program Partner Schools