Thomas Jefferson School of Law

China ProgramChina Program

Course Descriptions (2015 Update Coming Soon)

International Business Transactions (2 Credits)
Professor Susan Tiefenbrun


This course is an introduction to the law of international trade and finance. Students consider the problems of conducting business in the global community. The approach is primarily transactional and combines the legal theory and practice of doing international business. Topics include the formation of agreements required for the international trading of goods, such as the documentary sale, the letter of credit, the contract of sale and the consequences of wars and other frustrations of contract, and the bill of lading or sale without a letter of credit. Students will study the regulation of international business by import and export controls, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and customs classification and valuation. The transfer of technology by means of franchising and licensing agreements leads to a discussion of the pirating of intellectual property. Students will study the legal framework for establishing a foreign direct investment abroad or a joint venture. Other topics include the resolution of international disputes by trial or international arbitration, the role of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the WTO, TRIPS, NAFTA, China, and the European Union in regulating international business. This course focuses on the cultural differences that influence the establishment of international business ventures.


Professor Kevin J. Greene


This course provides a basic overview of international aspects of the global entertainment industry and legal regimes governing intellectual property such as copyright, trademark and publicity rights on a global scale. The course will also explore international contract transactions and the pervasive problem of piracy in the international context.


Professor Luz Herrera


This course offers a comparative view of the laws and regulations that pertain to small businesses in the U.S. and China. We will learn about the history and current practices of micro-enterprise formation, operation and succession in both countries. Students will have an opportunity to delve into legal principles of business regulation, contracts, and the culture of entrepreneurship. It will explore the role of family-owned businesses and transactional business lawyers. The course will conclude with a look at the development of Chinese business districts throughout the United States as models of community economic development.


Professor Leah Christensen


Lawyers negotiate in international business transactions all the time but they rarely have the opportunity to practice these skills before they begin using them at the negotiating table.  In this course, American and Chinese law students will have the opportunity to improve upon their negotiating skills and approaches and, perhaps more importantly, learn to use different skills and approaches that may be more suitable for international business transactions between the U.S. and China.  This class will consist of brief lectures, large and small group discussions, demonstrations/observations, and simulations and exercises. Students will examine how to manage conflicts, evaluate opposing interests, develop options for agreement, and appreciate the differences between Western and Eastern negotiating styles.


Professors Yongxin Song, Hongdao Qian, Leslie Kuan-Hsi Wang, and Jun Zhao


This is an introduction to the Chinese legal system taught within the framework of the twenty-eight year economic reform that has brought dramatic change to the Chinese economy and to the lives of the Chinese people. Students will learn about recent legal reforms in intellectual property legislation and in several other areas of the law. This course is team-taught in English by four distinguished Chinese professors of law from Zhejiang University Guanghua School of Law. No prerequisites are needed for this course.