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Professor Laura Spitz

Laura Spitz

Associate Professor of Law
J.S.D. 2006, Cornell University
J.D. 1993, University of British Columbia
B.A. 1989, University of Toronto

  Curriculum Vitae  SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-1772
 Office: 3216


Laura Spitz teaches contracts, commercial law and business law. Her research focuses on laws’ role(s) in the construction of personal, community, national and regional borders and identities. Within this broader context, she is especially interested in examples at the intersection of economic law, global capitalism and social justice, putting economic regulation in conversation with other bodies of law—local, regional, Indigenous, international, trans-systemic and supranational—for the purpose of advancing contemporary policies aimed at alleviating the lived effects of social and economic inequality.

Immediately prior to joining the UNM faculty, Professor Spitz was a vice provost and associate dean at Cornell University, and before that, a lawyer in the corporate commercial group at Miller Thomson LLP (Vancouver Office). Her practice experience includes both domestic and international business transactions, commercial transactions (including secured transactions), tax law, social purpose and non-profit business law, banking law and Indigenous economic development law. Professor Spitz has also taught at the Sorbonne, Cornell University, Emory University, the University of Colorado and the University of Ottawa.

Professor Spitz is also active in the community. She has served on the boards of directors of several theater companies, presented as part of continuing legal education programs, joined several Amici Curiae briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, taught as a volunteer art teacher in Albuquerque public schools, participated in panels before the 10th Circuit Judicial Conference and testified before a Georgia senate committee on proposed changes to state exemptions for the purposes of the Bankruptcy Code. Outside of work, Professor Spitz loves rock climbing, reading, hiking, cooking and biking!

In the News


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Business Associations

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More or less human: colonialism, law, and the social construction of humanity on Vancouver Island, 1849-1866, in Peter Cook et al., eds., FIRST NATIONS, LAND, AND JAMES DOUGLAS [working title] (under review, University of British Columbia Press)

Rendering Beings Human: the Law and the Human, Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences Podcast Series (essay and podcast episode available here, 2017)

U.S. Nonprofit Activity in Cuba: Challenges in Cuban Law and Practice, 50 CORNELL INT’L L. J. 199 (2017), with Elizabeth Brundige, Lucía Domínguez Cisneros and Eduardo Peñalver

Theorizing the More Responsive State: The Radical Potential for Constitutional Pluralism in North America, in Martha Albertson Fineman, ed., TRANSCENDING THE BOUNDARIES OF LAW 305 (New York: Routledge, 2010)

Book Review, Responsible Business: Self-governance and Law in Transnational Economic Transactions, Olaf Dilling, Martin Herberg and Gerd Winter (eds.), 44 LAW & SOCIETY REV. 413 (2010)

The Evolving Architecture of North American Integration, 80 COL. L. REV. 735 (2009)

Wands Away (or Preaching to Infidels Who Wear Earplugs), 41 LAW TEACHER: INT’L J. OF LEGAL ED. 314 (2007)

When Constitutions Collide: North American Free Trade, Economic Globalization and Transnational Integration, CORNELL UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL DOCTORAL DISSERTATION (2006)

The Gift of Enron: An Opportunity to Talk About Capitalism, Equality and the Promise of a North American Charter of Fundamental Rights, 66 OHIO STATE L. J. 315 (2005)

I Think, Therefore I Am; I Feel, Therefore I Am Taxed: Descartes, Tort Reform, and the Civil Rights Tax Relief Act, 35 N.M. L. REV. 429 (2005)

At the Intersection of North American Free Trade and Same-Sex Marriage, 9 U.C.L.A. J. OF INT'L L. 163 (2004)

The Jurisprudence of the Military Industrial Complex, 1 SEATTLE J. FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE 541-565 (2003), with Ann Scales

Perhaps Divided But Never Conquered: Taking Back Our Differences” N.A.W.L. Pub. (Toronto: 1994)

  • First Prize, Canadian National Association of Women and the Law 1993 National Research and Essay Competition

R. v. Parks: Automatism and Murder, 72 CAN. BAR. REV. 224 (1993), with Isabel Grant

  • Cited with approval, R. v. Stone, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 290 (Supreme Court of Canada), at paras. 216-217, per Bastarache J.
  • Reprinted in Jennie Abell and Elizabeth Sheehy, eds., CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE: PROOF, DEFENSES AND BEYOND (Toronto: Captus Press, 1998 (2d) and 2003 (3d)).

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

Brief of Amici Curiae Professors, Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. R. Scott Appling

(No. 16-1215, U.S. Supreme Court, March 29, 2018), with Richard Aaron, Laura Bartell, Jagdeep S. Bhandari, Susan Block-Lieb, Vincent Buccola, Jessica Gabel Cino, Linda Coco, Laura Napoli Coordes, Robert, D’Agostino, Irina Fox, Bruce Grohsgal, George Kuney, Lois Pulica, Nancy B. Rapoport, Keith Sharfman, Michael Sousa and Adrien Walters, in support of Respondent

Brief of Amici Curiae Professors, In re Jevic Holding Corp.

(No. 15-649, U. S. Supreme Court, October 17, 2016), with Jagdeep S. Bhandari, Susan Block-Lieb, Jessica Gabel Cino, Linda E. Coco, Robert, D’Agostino, Irma J. Fox, C. Scott Pryor, Theresa J. Pulley Radwan, Nancy B. Rapoport and Michael Sousa, in support of Respondents

Brief of Amici Curiae Professors, Husky International Electronics Inc. v. Daniel Lee Ritz Jr.

(No. 15-145, U.S. Supreme Ct., January 22, 2016), with Richard Aaron, Jagdeep S. Bhandari, Susan Block-Lieb, Jessica Gabel Cino, Linda E. Coco, Bruce Grohsgal, Edward Janger, George W. Kuney, C. Scott Pryor, Theresa J. Pulley Radwan and Michael D. Sousa, in support of Respondent


Laura Spitz from Songhees UVic on Vimeo.


Spitz, L. Vice Provost for International Affairs and a Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean at Cornell Law School, "The Law and the Human." What Makes Us Human. October 23, 2017.

Law School News