Washburn Law Launches International and Comparative Law Center

Washburn University School of Law announces the launch of its International and Comparative Law Center, which will be the law school’s sixth Center for Excellence. The new Center was approved at the December 6 meeting of the Washburn Board of Regents. Director of International Legal Programs Nancy Maxwell and Associate Professor Craig Martin will be the Center’s co-directors.

"The establishment of the Washburn Law International and Comparative Law Center recognizes the significant international and comparative law achievements of Washburn Law's faculty and students, from diverse scholarship interests of its faculty, to Washburn Law students being challenged in study abroad programs in Barbados and Maastricht, the Netherlands," said Nancy Maxwell.

International and comparative law programs are increasingly important to modern law school curriculum. Washburn Law is already part of a broader trend toward the development of a more international curriculum and greater global involvement. Currently at least nine faculty members engage in international or comparative law scholarship. Several of these faculty members predominantly publish in or teach international and comparative law. Currently, Washburn Law offers an International and Comparative Law Certificate as one of the several specialized certificates available to students.

"In an increasingly globalized world there are international and comparative law aspects to virtually any practice of law -- be it international trade, human rights, transnational transactions, trans-border elements of family law, right through to ensuring client compliance with foreign anti-corruption laws or U.S. regulations on international economic sanctions and arms embargoes,” said Professor Martin. “Whether practicing in New York City, Kansas City, or Western Kansas, or working on public policy in Topeka or Washington D.C., an understanding of international law, and some familiarity with foreign legal systems, is becoming essential."

In addition to the standard curriculum, Washburn Law offers a robust study abroad program, conducted through Maastricht University and the University of the West Indies. Washburn Law faculty members teach international and comparative law courses as part of the study abroad program in Barbados and work with law schools and legal educators in the Republic of Georgia on a project to enhance legal education in that country. The law school at Free University of Tbilisi is Washburn Law’s primary partner for the Georgian project.

Washburn Law is increasingly involved in teaching and legal education training abroad at the institutional level, and is in the forefront of international and comparative educational reform. The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning has engaged in transnational legal education with legal faculty in Chile and Turkey.

Additionally, a number of faculty members engage in ongoing but independent teaching abroad activity in a broad array of countries, including Japan, Cambodia, India, and Bosnia. The growth of this international development effort will create a meaningful faculty exchange across legal cultures, and provide greater international and comparative exposure to our students, including international opportunities for students.

The School of Law has five additional Centers for Excellence: the Business and Transactional Law Center, the Children and Family Law Center, the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, the Center for Law and Government, and the Oil and Gas Law Center.

Washburn in Georgia
Washburn Law faculty in Georgia.
With the help of funding from a United States Department of State grant, Washburn has worked with Free University of Tbilisi and the Judicial Empowerment and Legal Independence Project on efforts to enhance legal education in Georgia.


Study Abroad - Maastricht, the Netherlands
Photograph: Maastricht University.

Washburn University School of Law and the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University, the Netherlands, participate in a student exchange program involving 4-5 students a year. 


Study Abroad - University of the West Indies, Barbados
Photograph: Students in Barbados in front of parliament building.

Professor Nancy G. Maxwell oversees the Summer Law Program in Barbados, which is held on the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and includes students and faculty from both schools.