The National Jurist recently named UW Law as one of the most innovative law schools in the U.S. Considering factors such as innovative curriculum and programs, schools were selected based on how well they prepare students for practicing law in the 21st century.

UW Law was recognized in particular for one of its major initiatives, the Global Business Law Institute. Working with an advisory board that includes top executives and lawyers from industry-leading organizations, UW Law launched the institute in spring 2017 to prepare lawyers to excel in the global marketplace.

Drawing on Seattle’s vibrant business community, the institute partners with world leaders in global manufacturing, IT, retail and electronic commerce. These connections allow Global Business Law JD and LLM students to receive unique professional development opportunities.  

 “The institute makes use of these partnerships by leveraging the real-world global business experience that resides within these organizations and bringing them directly to students at the law school, formally through class study and workshops hosted and sponsored by these organizations, and informally through mentorship with executives and lawyers who practice law in global business contexts every day,” says David Zapolsky, Amazon senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.     

The industry advisory board, a key element of the institute, draws on the expertise of companies and law firms including Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks and Perkins Coie. One of the primary tasks of the board is to advise the law school on its curriculum, training and programming to ensure students build the skills and knowledge to succeed in international practice.

“We are collaborating with those on the cutting-edge, learning what training and skills are necessary for global business lawyers to succeed,” says co-director Scott Schumacher, associate dean for academic administration at UW Law.

Students in the institute’s new Global Business Law Fellows program receive additional mentorship and hands-on experience.

“For those selected into the fellows program, the benefits are further enhanced by being paired with a senior lawyer from these companies or firms and direct involvement in the Institute’s events,” says co-director Jeffrey Wool, professor of global business law.


The Institute also has a strong interdisciplinary component, partnering with Oxford University and the Jindal Global Law School in Delhi, as well as with the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and the Jackson School of International Studies.

Read the National Jurist’s Most Innovative Law Schools.