Washington & Lee Announces New First-Year Transnational Law Course

by Roger Alford

As regular readers know, I have been critical of Washington & Lee’s move toward a third-year experiential learning program, fearing that it would marginalize international law courses. Well, those fears were put to rest yesterday when the faculty at W&L unanimously approved a mandatory three-hour first-year Transnational Law course. The description of the course is as follows:

This course introduces students to core principles of public and private international law, comparative law, foreign law, cross-border legal process and deal-making, transboundary dispute resolution, and elements of U.S. law that have international effect.

The rationale of the course, according to the W&L Educational Planning and Curriculum Committee, was the following:

The overall goal of a first year Transnational Law course is to introduce students, early in their legal education, to the effects of globalization on the formulation, content, and practice of law and regulation in the modern world. Such a course will also usefully serve to place more traditional domestic law offerings into a larger legal context and thereby broaden our students’ vantage points on existing courses. We think the Transnational Law course would be an excellent small section writing course, especially with our cadre of expert international law faculty. The opportunity not only to interpret, reason about, and study the methodology of transnational law, but also to write extensively in the area, promises to distinguish our first year course from those being inaugurated at other schools.

Sounds like a great curriculum move. Combine that with W&L’s stellar international law faculty (beginning next year the IL faculty will include Johanna Bond, Mark Drumbl, Susan Franck, Fred Kirgis, Russell Miller, Hari Osofsky, etc.) and I think that any concerns about the marginalization of international law at Washington & Lee are misplaced.

Given that Hari Osofsky is a well-known foodie, perhaps she can email me a recipe for the best way to eat crow.


One Response

  1. I expect Mark Drumbl and Rick Kirgis used your posts quite persuasively among the faculty to show how failure to approve the new course could harm W&L’s reputation. In that regard they may want to thank you, or at least send the tastiest corvid recipe they can find.

    D. Gunboat

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