International Business, Investment & Trade

Business Law: Investment, Trade & Taxation (Domestic & International)
Professor Wenger

Thomas Jefferson offers a varied business curriculum taught by faculty with experience in business, accounting, banking, taxation and related areas that enable them to bring their real world expertise into the classroom.

Few law schools can match the scope and caliber of opportunities at Thomas Jefferson for a student to pursue an interest in international commercial law. Indeed, the school's location in a bustling port city just miles from the U.S. - Mexico border makes San Diego an especially fitting place to gain exposure to the legal aspects of international business. However, students at Thomas Jefferson benefit from much more than just a great location.

The heart of the school's strength in international business is its faculty. Nearly every full-time faculty member who teaches a course in international or comparative commercial law has actually worked in the field, either in a governmental agency or in the private sector representing and advising clients. Some of them are even considered the leading experts in their fields, with books and other scholarly writings to their credit. That kind of experience and reputation permits them to provide an authoritative, real world perspective in their courses, making the classroom experience something more than just abstract theory.

An even richer learning experience is available at the law school's two summer programs, where a student can study abroad. The program in Nice, France, is a joint undertaking with the University of Nice School of Law, situated in the heart of the French Riviera. The program in Hangzhou, China, is co-sponsored by the Guangzhou College of Law at Zhejiang University, one of the most prestigious universities in China. Each program permits a student to study international business in the same classroom with law students from the home country, allowing the student to exchange ideas and forge relationships with individuals who will soon practice law in one of America's two most important trading partners.

Students who want to gain a better understanding of the commercial law that is practiced in the civil law countries of Continental Europe and Quebec, Canada have yet two other options. First, they can spend a semester in Ontario, Canada studying at the Queen's Faculty of Law, one of Canada's finest law schools. A student who is sufficiently fluent in French also has the option to spend a semester at the University of Burgundy School of Law in Dijon, France. In either case, the student will return to Thomas Jefferson with new perspectives on the world and a greater sensitivity to cultural differences, permitting them to better represent clients doing business with foreign parties.


Business Associations

Business Planning

Corporate Taxation

Federal Income Tax

Globalization and the Workplace

International Labor and Employment Law

International Business Transactions

International Investment & Arbitration

International Taxation

International Trade and Developing Countries

Securities Law

World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization Law and China

TJSL offers an LLM International Tax & Finance Services; courses in the program are open to JD Candidates – click here for more information.

IP Issues are now critical in many business areas.  TJSL’s expansive IP curriculum can be found here.  

Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp (Globalization and the Workplace, International Labor and Employment Law) is a widely cited expert on employment discrimination and international and comparative workplace law. Her scholarship, examining the effects on civil rights enforcement of employers' compliance efforts and attorneys' litigation strategies, has for more than a decade been influential not only in the legal academy but also in the disciplines of sociology and psychology. Her co-authored casebook, The Global Workplace (Cambridge University Press, 2007), is the first law school text on international and comparative employment law. Professor Bisom-Rapp is a member of the teaching faculty of the Doctoral Research School in Labour and Industrial Relations at the Marco Biagi Foundation, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. Professor Bisom-Rapp was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2007. Following law school, she practiced labor and employment law at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York City.

Distinguished Professor Richard Scott (European Union Law, International Economic Law, International Law, World Trade Organization Law) has had an illustrious career as an international lawyer, including service as Deputy General Counsel to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and for many years as the founding General Counsel to the International Energy Agency in Paris. He also served as Professor of International Law and Trustee of the American University of Paris where he is now emeritus. Professor Scott is co-author of The International Legal System, one of the most respected and widely used casebooks in the world, now in its sixth edition. He is also the acclaimed author of the three volume History of the International Energy Agency, and co-author of two European Union law casebooks: European Union Law - A New Constitutional Order and European Union Economic Law and Common Policies.

Professor William Slomanson (International Law) is editor of the American Society of International Law's section on the United Nations Decade of International Law, a position he has held since 1992. From 1995 to 2006, he served as chair of the section. In 1993, he lectured on the teaching of international law to the United Nations Sixth Committee (legal) at the U.N. in New York. In 2002, he began teaching in Kosovo each summer, where he is now a Visiting Professor at the Pristina University. In 2006-2007, he lectured in Moscow, Budapest and Istanbul. In fall 2007, he was appointed to serve as a Corresponding Editor for the American Society of International Law's International Legal Materials. Professor Slomanson is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in American Education. He has published extensively in the field international law, having written several books.

Professor Susan Tiefenbrun (European Union Law, International Business Transactions, International Intellectual Property Law) has worked in an international law firm in Paris and in the New York office of Coudert Brothers, where she handled international commercial transactions. She participated in the opening of one of the first American law offices in Moscow and is a specialist in eastern European joint venture laws, as well as the laws of the European Union, China and the former Soviet Union. She speaks ten foreign languages and is able to speak, read, write and understand Mandarin Chinese. She has written a book length study of Chinese, Russian and Eastern European joint venture laws, and numerous articles on international intellectual property, especially in China, the World Court, international human rights laws and child soldiers. She is the author of the 2010 book Decoding International Law: Semiotics and the Humanities, among many others. She is past President of the Law and Humanities Institute and is currently the Vice President of its West coast branch. In 2003, Professor Tiefenbrun was awarded the French Legion of Honor by President Jacques Chirac for fostering French-American cooperation and cultural exchanges.

Professor Kenneth J. Vandevelde (International Investment and Arbitration, International Law) is one of the nation's leading authorities on U.S. international investment law. From 1982 until 1988, he practiced international law with the State Department Legal Adviser's Office. In 1992, he published his book, United States Investment Treaties: Policy and Practice, and since that time has served as a consultant on international law to Japan, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Republic of Georgia, the United Nations and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has lectured on the subject of international investment law in some 16 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. He been recognized as one of San Diego's Top Attorneys in Academics, most recently in 2011. Oxford University Press published his third book, U.S. International Investment Agreements, in 2008 and his fourth book, Bilateral Investment Treaties: History, Policy and Interpretation, in 2009.

Associate Professor Ilene Durst (Immigration Law, Refugee & Asylum Law) joined the faculty in 1994, after extensive litigation and immigration law experience with law firms and public service organizations in New York. She now teaches a course on immigration law and has authored articles that apply language and narrative theory to immigration law.

Associate Professor Richard Winchester (International Taxation) anchors the tax program at Thomas Jefferson. Before entering law teaching, he practiced at major law firms and tax boutiques in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., developing an expertise in international tax and the taxation of financial institutions. He spent his final years in practice as an international tax attorney in the national tax office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, advising both U.S. firms investing abroad and foreign companies investing in the U.S. In 2012, Professor Winchester began a Fulbright Scholarship in Tunisia, teaching Financing International Trade at the University of Carthage.

Associate Professor Claire Wright (International Trade and Developing Countries, World Trade Organization Law, World Trade Organization Law and China) is a former partner at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where she practiced international trade law. She also was a partner at the international consulting firm of Ernst & Young LLP, where she directed the firm's World Trade Organization (WTO) Center. In that capacity, she advised governments and businesses on WTO issues. Professor Wright has special expertise in matters involving Mexico and China. She has also taught WTO law at both Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is a member of a committee of the American Law Institute, which publishes a review of the cases decided each year by the WTO. She has spoken and published widely on issues involving international trade, the WTO, U.S.-China relations, U.S. - Mexico relations, international trade in cultural products and media services, urban policies and human rights.

Associate Professor Kaimipono David Wenger (Business Associations) a graduate of Columbia Law School and an active blogger on the popular law site Concurring Opinions clerked for Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York.  Before coming to TJSL to teach business associations, practiced corporate securities law with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP, in New York City.