Press Release: Stanford Law School Launches First-of-its-Kind Global Quarte

Inaugural cohort of Franke Global Law Fellows learns to practice law across borders and cultures during first Europe-focused program.

The Stanford Law Global Quarter launched in 2022 with 22 second- and third-year students taking advantage of a unique cross-border program designed to train the next generation of globally minded lawyers. Funded by the Franke Global Business Law Fellowship, the Stanford Law School (SLS) Global Quarter allows an intimate cohort of students to spend seven weeks on campus studying the economic and legal challenges facing global business, followed by a three-week immersive experience in business and financial centers around the world.

Unlike the old aphorism, “all politics are local,” it increasingly can be said that “most law is global.” The problem facing law schools and law firms is that the U.S. legal education system still focuses heavily on U.S. law and on litigation. But this focus fails to meet the realities of practice: many SLS graduates go into transactional practice (not litigation), and most large deals and disputes involve some transnational aspect. So much of what law school graduates will do is neither exclusively domestic, nor litigation. Stanford Law seeks to address these issues through its Global Quarter program.

“At Stanford Law School, we aim to give our students unique opportunities to prepare themselves for an increasingly interconnected and global, complex world and legal landscape,” said Jenny Martinez, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School (SLS). “We believe this is an innovation in legal education that will ensure our students cultivate a global perspective.”

For the first seven weeks of Global Quarter, participating students, called Franke Fellows, are on campus taking preparatory courses, including international business transactions and global business law and policy. When they travel abroad for the three-week immersive experience, the Fellows have the opportunity to meet foreign law students and academics and to engage in simulated negotiations and other exercises involving cross-border business and investment. They also meet with regulators, lawyers, and business leaders at multinational companies to learn the professional skills required to face the legal, business, and cultural challenges arising in global business transactions.

For the overseas portion of the Global Quarter, travel, lodging, and most weekday meals are covered by the Franke Fellowship, thanks to William Franke, AB ’59, LLB ’61, who created the W.A. Franke Global Law Program in 2018 with a $25 million gift to the law school.

Robert Daines, associate dean for SLS’s Global Programs, explained that Global Quarter focuses on the economic, legal and human rights issues that “will equip our students to be successful and to respond to new challenges over the course of their career.”

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Stanford Law School Launches First-of-its-Kind Global Quarter