posted Feb 10, 2017

Inaugural Global Business Law Fellows Announced

The University of Washington School of Law is proud to announce the inaugural 2017 cohort of Global Business Law Fellows: Nyssa Chopra, Takehito Matsumoto, Anne Pfeifle, Chengyu Shi, Jonathan Shi, Natan Tubman and Binh Vong.

The fellowship program is part of the new Global Business Law Institute at UW School of Law, a cutting-edge interdisciplinary center that prepares lawyers for international practice. The fellows – both J.D. and LL.M. students studying global business law - are selected through a competitive review process based on their academic record, their prior professional background and their demonstrated interest and commitment to the study and practice of global business law.

“I am delighted to see this fellowship program launched,” said Dean Kellye Y. Testy. “It will deepen our work in global business law and provide an outstanding experience for both our J.D. and LL.M. students with our partners - the region’s leading firms and companies.”

In the program, fellows are paired with mentors from corporate and law firm partners, including Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon, Perkins Coie, Quinn Emmanuel, the Port of Seattle and Mitsubishi.

“The fellowship program will provide students with greater knowledge of the many career paths open to lawyers interested in global business,” said Professor Anita Ramasastry, who oversees the fellowship program. “It will also show students how what they learn in the classroom is used in the real world.”

Meet our 2017 Global Business Law Fellows

Nyssa Chopra is originally from southern California and has lived and worked around the world, calling Paris, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, New Delhi, London and Berlin home. For the past three years, she has worked as a consultant for hospitality and travel clients worldwide, providing insight on social media management, digital content marketing, and millennial marketing strategies. Chopra is currently a third-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. As a student, she has spearheaded the creation of a hospitality law class and an annual hospitality law conference with the goal of bridging the gap between the business and legal communities in the hospitality and travel sector. She was also selected as a FLAS Fellow to study French alongside her legal education.

Prior to law school, Chopra spent some years in diplomacy and international development at the U.S. Department of State and the Clinton Foundation. Additionally, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and received a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics.

"There is a general disconnect between the business and legal communities, and given the direction of our hyper-globalized and interconnected world, it's only to our advantage to adopt a more holistic approach to problem-solving. That's particularly true in the hospitality and travel sector. Seattle is home to some of the biggest names in the business and tech industries, and it would be a shame not to utilize those resources to help bridge that gap and create a more productive dialogue between the business and legal industries."

Takehito Matsumoto is a LL.M. student at the University of Washington School of Law. He has worked as a Japanese attorney specializing in finance and real estate law. From 2013 to 2015, he also worked as a deputy director of the Real Estate Market Division of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. His work focused on legislation of the Japanese real estate investment market. From 2015 to 2016, he worked as a banker in the project finance division of a major financial institution in Japan. Matsumoto holds a bachelor’s degree in law and a juris doctor degree from the Keio University of Japan. He also earned a qualification to practice law from the Legal Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan. He hopes to advance his knowledge and skills in business law from a global perspective.

“I have knowledge and experience of practicing law in Japan, but I hope to advance my knowledge and skill on a global scale. UW Law is strong in Asian business law because of Seattle’s geographic proximity to Asia and the Asian Law Center’s broad connection with Asian legal institutes.”

Anne Pfeifle is a second-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. She is president of Advocates for the Arts and vice president of finance for the Women’s Law Caucus. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Before law school, she worked at El Centro de la Raza in Seattle as the events coordinator. 

After her first year of law school, Pfeifle spent her summer with The Honorable Karen E. Schreier in the District of South Dakota. This year, she will be a summer associate at Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle. She is interested in technology’s role in law and business.

“As a GBL fellow, I look forward to building connections with students and professors at UW Law, the wider UW community, professionals in the Seattle area and across the world. I am eager to meet with and learn from members of the vibrant and ever-growing community of companies that do business across the world, but who call Seattle home. This fellowship is an exciting opportunity to enrich my education with the experience of practitioners and to develop the skills to practice law in an increasingly connected world.”

Chengyu Shi is a LL.M. student at the University of Washington School of Law. He was born in China and raised in Japan. He received his LL.B. from Meiji University in Tokyo. After graduating from Meiji University, he interned at the Tokyo office of Baker & McKenzie. Through this internship, he observed global business in practice, and this experience enhanced his interest in global businesses. At UW School of Law, he focuses on studying global business and tax laws. Shi is also a translator at Washington International Law Journal and works on updates of Japanese and Chinese laws. Soon, he would like to work for legal issues on cross-border businesses using his language skills; he is a native speaker in both Japanese and Chinese and fluent in English.

“UW Law has strong connections with many Seattle-based international companies, and strong ties with foreign companies and universities, especially in East Asia. This makes UW Law special because students have a chance to observe the global business law in practice, including in East Asia.”

Jonathan Shi was born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California. Jonathan attended college at Washington University in St. Louis, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and a minor in Business. At UW School of Law, where he is a second-year law student, Shi is focusing his studies on corporate law, international business and alternative dispute resolution. Outside of the classroom, Jonathan serves as a student mediator through the UW Mediation Clinic. He has also assumed leadership roles for student organizations working to promote diversity in the law school and legal profession. Shi previously clerked with the Labor and Industries Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, where he engaged with employer audits and classification issues.

“To successfully operate in the fluid and fast-developing global marketplace, one needs to have practical industry experience and knowledge. As a Global Business Law Fellow, I hope to engage with professionals who are experts in their fields to learn about how their practices are evolving and to better understand how to seek out opportunities to get hands-on experience. I also believe that as a fellow, I will have a platform to help generate interest in and support for international business law within the law school.”

Natan Tubman is a third-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to attending law school, he taught management and marketing at Nanjing Second Normal College in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, PRC.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language from the University of Oregon, where he participated in the UO Mandarin Flagship Program and studied abroad for an academic year at Nanjing University. Tubman is focused on international trade law with an emphasis on trade remedies, enforcement and compliance. 

He has clerked at the Department of Commerce’s Office of the Chief Counsel for Trade Enforcement and Compliance, the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s Interagency Trade Enforcement Center and the Federal Trade Commission. He currently works on trade enforcement and China corporate issues as a law clerk for a boutique firm based in Seattle. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and hopes to use his legal and linguistic background to help companies engage in transnational commercial transactions.

“Global business law spans an enormously broad group of practice areas that have been, and likely will remain, at the forefront of innovation and growth in the legal profession. My interest is in international trade law, which has the dubious distinction of currently being a hot-button political issue. So, in the near-term, it will be very interesting to see how this regulatory framework will affect global business.”

Binh Vong was born in Hong Kong and spent the first few years of her life in a refugee camp in a small island off Hong Kong. While Vong mostly grew up in Seattle, she has also lived in Vietnam and other regions of the US. She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Washington with a triple major in international studies, political science and Chinese. At the University of Washington School of Law, Vong is a third-year student focusing her studies on corporate, international business and intellectual property law. During college and law school, Vong has studied and researched abroad in China, Taiwan, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Canada and Spain. She is interested in a career in international trade as well as in national security and technology law.  

Prior to and during law school, Vong has interned for Microsoft, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Perkins Coie and the Washington Business Alliance.

“Because the Pacific Northwest is both a gateway to Asia and home to many multinational corporations, UW Law is in a geographically strategic location to teach global business law courses. Being in the Pacific Northwest gives students direct exposure to multinational corporations and allows us to meet people from every corner of the world.”