William S. Dodge

Prof. William S. Dodge

John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law

Professor Dodge is a leading expert on international law, international transactions, and international dispute resolution. He served as Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State from 2011 to 2012 and as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law from 2012 to 2018. He is currently a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of the Conflict of Laws.

Professor Dodge is co-author (with Detlev Vagts, Hannah Buxbaum, and Harold Koh) of the casebook Transnational Business Problems (6th ed. Foundation Press 2019) and co-editor (with David Sloss and Michael Ramsey) of International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change (Cambridge University Press 2011), which won the American Society of International Law’s 2012 certificate of merit. He has more than 60 other publications in books and law reviews, including the Columbia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada have relied on his work, as have state courts and lower federal courts in the United States.

Professor Dodge teaches International Business Transactions, International Litigation and Arbitration, Conflict of Laws, and Contracts. He has won the Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award both at UC Davis and at UC Hastings, where he was previously Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law. 

Professor Dodge received his B.A. in History, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1986. After teaching English in Tianjin, China, he attended Yale Law School, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal, served as Director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project, and earned his J.D. in 1991. Professor Dodge clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1993 to 1995, he was an attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

He is a member of the American Law Institute.


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Click to play: Panel I: The Role of International Law in U.S. Constitutional Interpretation

Panel I: The Role of International Law in U.S. Constitutional Interpretation

2021 National Student Symposium

In 1900, the Supreme Court stated that “international law is part of our law” in...