Center for Global Legal Studies

Professor Susan Tiefenbrun, Director

The Center for Global Legal Studies was established to examine the legal implications of the globalization of the world economy and the gradual erosion of national sovereignty in areas as diverse as business, the environment, criminal justice and human rights. These are trends that are transforming the foundational principles of national legal systems dating from the 17th century.

The presence of the Center at Thomas Jefferson reflects San Diego's location at the southern and western borders of the continental United States. San Diego sits adjacent to the busiest border crossing in the world and has become a leading example of the regional economic integration that typifies the globalization of the economy.

The Center for Global Legal Studies prepares students for careers in international law, but perhaps more importantly it also prepares them to address the increasingly common international dimension of more traditional areas of practice. Examples of the latter range from the business lawyer whose client has a foreign subsidiary or purchaser, to the criminal prosecutor seeking extradition of an accused, to the civil litigant who must conduct discovery in a foreign country or appear before an international arbitral tribunal.

The CGLS offers a Certificate Program in Global Legal Studies for students interested in focusing their electives in the area of international law. The CGLS sponsors two study abroad programs in China and in France; one is at  Zhejiang University Guanghua School of Law in Hangzhou, China and the other at Nice University School of Law in Nice, France. Students who sign up for TJSL study abroad programs can earn up to four credits in international law courses in each study abroad program. For more information, please visit the China Program and the Nice Program websites.

View Professor Tiefenbrun's Profile or visit Study Abroad.

Important Documents/Forms:

Certificate Requirements

Detailed Requirements and Courses

Enrollment Form

Certificate Application Form

Event Attendance Log


  • Advanced Internet Law
  • American Indian Law
  • American Legal History
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Comparative Family Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Comparative Law, Medicine & Bioethics
  • Conflict of Laws
  • eCommerce
  • European Union Law
  • Global Workplace Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Business Transaction
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Environmental law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Intellectual Property
  • International Investment Law & Arbitration
  • International Issues in U.S. Death Penalty Law
  • International Law
  • International Tax
  • Internet Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Mandarin Chinese for Lawyers
  • National Security Law
  • Military Justice
  • Refugee & Asylum Law
  • Spanish for Legal Professionals
  • Women & International Human Rights Law

Faculty Research

Current or recent faculty research relating to the work of the Center for Global Legal Studies includes topics such as:

  • environmental damage resulting from the war in Yugoslavia
  • legal protection of foreign investment in Third World countries
  • war crimes tribunals
  • piracy of intellectual property in China and the former Soviet Union
  • the legality of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia
  • tax policy under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • the role of foreign investment in economic development
  • environmental harm to international waterways
  • Sex Trafficking
  • International Law and Terrorism

Exchange Opportunities

Dijon, France Students fluent in French and interested in a Continental law practice may spend a summer or semester studying at the University of Burgundy School of Law in Dijon, France.

Pristina, Kosovo Students interested in a truly unique summer excursion can join Professor Bill Slomanson studying for a summer at the University of Pristina in Pristina, Kosovo.

Vladivostok, Russia Thomas Jefferson School of Law has an exciting exchange program with Far Eastern National University (FENU) for law students to study in Eastern Europe.

Other Programs Thomas Jefferson School of Law also shares elective courses with California Western. Because Thomas Jefferson is centrally located about ten minutes from each of the other schools, our students can conveniently take an elective class not offered at TJSL during a particular semester at either one of the other schools.