Asian Law Center Fosters Collaboration with Law Schools in Vietnam

Faculty members from the UW School of Law traveled this summer to eight law schools in Vietnam as part of the Asian Law Center’s work to foster open dialogue and mutual understanding via scholarly exchanges and to promote collaboration across academic, legal and business disciplines. The president and leadership team of a ninth law school visited UW Law here in Seattle on August 28.

Professor Xuan-Thao Nguyen and Elizabeth Porter, interim Toni Rembe Dean, met with leadership teams from Vietnam’s premier schools in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Two meetings were with law school deans who are former UW Law visiting scholars. Nguyen and Porter also visited with judges, lawyers, policymakers and business leaders at separate meetings and a conference. The Vietnam trip was Nguyen’s first in her new role as director of the school’s Asian Law Center and Porter’s sole international trip as interim dean.

“This trip reconnects the Asian Law Center’s global engagements,” said Nguyen following the trip. “We look forward to learning from, and collaborating with, colleagues in Vietnam and other Asian countries.”

The Asian Law Center’s teaching, research and public policy work on Asia and developing economies is one of the areas for which UW Law is known nationally and internationally. The center is part of a UW tradition of public service, providing world-class legal education for U.S. and international lawyers focused on Asia.

The center supports the legal profession and government agencies with expert research on Asian and developing legal systems. It also helps build the next generation of lawyers, scholars and policymakers in Asia and developing economies through our rigorous academic and visiting scholar programs.

Learn more about the Asian Law Center.

The trip advances UW Law’s goal to expand global partnerships and impact, while strengthening the school’s longstanding ties to Asia. It also furthers UW’s partnership with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to offer collaborative opportunities to students, faculty and researchers.

“Our meetings exemplify UW's innovation in promoting engagement and collaboration across traditional boundaries to confront global problems,” said Porter.


Hanoi Law University: With an enrollment of over 15,000 law students, Hanoi Law University (HLU) is one of the two leading universities in Vietnam. The pair’s visit centered on Nguyen’s expertise in intellectual property law to help develop the school’s IP curriculum. A translated article about the visit on Hanoi Law’s website stated the school’s wish that “after this trip, the two universities will start preparing to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),” an international agreement that is a general, non-binding statement of mutual interest in exploring opportunities for collaboration between schools. Nguyen said, “HLU leaders plan to travel to the UW for an official visit and sign the MOU later this fall quarter. HLU will send visiting scholars and students to the UW and our faculty members will have opportunities to teach and participate in conferences organized by HLU in Hanoi.”

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics Region I (Hanoi): Nguyen and Porter met with Director Tuong Duy Kien and members of the Institute of Human Rights. They presented a lecture and led discussions on the U.S. Constitution and human rights.

National Economics University Faculty of Law: Nguyen and Porter met with Dean Tran Van Nam, who was a UW Law visiting scholar in 2002–2003, as well as with NEU Vice President Bui Huy Nhuong and the leadership team. Porter gave a lecture on “U.S. Courts’ Responses to COVID-19” and Nguyen gave a lecture on “IP and Fintech Financing.”

Vietnam National University School of Law: Nguyen and Porter met with Dean Nguyen Thi Que Anh and the leadership team. Porter delivered a lecture on “U.S. Courts’ Responses to COVID-19" and Nguyen gave a lecture on “Crypto and NFT Litigation in the U.S.”  Nguyen also conducted a workshop on “Transforming an Aspirational Document to a Living Legal Document: The Vietnam Constitution” at the Department of Civil Law.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Law University: Nguyen and Porter met with President Tran Hoang Hai and the leadership team. Ho Chi Minh City Law University enrolls 22,000 law students, the highest number in Vietnam, next to Hanoi Law University, which enrolls 15,000 law students.

Saigon International University Faculty of Law: Nguyen and Porter were featured speakers at a conference titled “The Adversarial Process in Civil and Commercial Litigation.”

University of Economics and Law: Porter delivered a series of lectures on the topic of Gender and the Law. This event, which was sponsored by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, gathered law lecturers from all over Vietnam for a discussion of the power – and the limits – of law in bringing about gender equality.

Fulbright University (HCMC): Nguyen and Porter did not visit Fulbright University while in Vietnam, but Fulbright’s President Dam Thu Thuy and her leadership team visited Seattle on August 28 for an on-site lunch and tour of UW Law. They met with both Professor Nguyen and Professor Anita Ramasastry, director of the Sustainable International Development LL.M. program and Senior Advisor for Global Faculty engagement to the UW Office of Global Affairs. The group discussed the Asian Law Center and the Center for Advanced Study and Research on Innovation Policy (CASRIP).

World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC): Nguyen spoke at the Data Analytics/Data Sector Development Conference organized by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC). She trained government officials, judges and lawyers in the financial sector on the subjects of financing law, inventory financing law, accounts receivable financing law and financial data law. The week-long events were organized by the World Bank/IFC and Professor Nguyen Tan Vien, former Special Counsel and member of the Central Committee on Judicial Reform in Vietnam. Vietnamese media coverage included footage by HTV9 News and HCMC Legal News.

Ministry of Justice (MOJ): Nguyen met with Honorable Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, Vice Minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice. The Vice Minister welcomed opportunities to send MOJ lawyers to the UW Visiting Scholars program. Nguyen said, “The meeting was historic because it was the first time the MOJ expressed a desire to send their high-level attorneys and officials for training at a U.S. law school.”

Mekong Delta

Can Tho University Faculty of Law: Nguyen and Porter met with Dean Phan Trung Hien, a former UW Law visiting scholar from July to December 2021, and the leadership team.

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