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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  UNM-DR     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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Books & Book Chapters

Theorizing the More Responsive State: The Radical Potential for Constitutional Pluralism in North America, Transcending the Boundaries of Law (Martha Albertson Fineman ed. 2010).
Available at: SSRN


More or less human: colonialism, law, and the social construction of humanity on Vancouver Island, 1849-1866 [working title, work in progress],
Available at: SSRN

Red River, White Law, Tribal Law Journal Blog (June 19, 2019).
Available at: UNM-DR

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

The Evolving Architecture of North American Integration, 80 COL. L. REV. 735 (2009).
Available at: UNM-DR

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

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).
Available at: UNM-DR

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).
Available at: NMLR

At the Intersection of North American Free Trade and Same-Sex Marriage, 9 UCLA J. OF INT'L L. 163 (2004).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Jurisprudence of the Military Industrial Complex, 1 SEATTLE J. FOR SOC. JUST. 541 (2003) (co-authored with Ann Scales).
Available at: UNM-DR


When Constitutions Collide: North American Free Trade, Economic Globalization and Transnational Integration, DOCTORAL DISSERTATION (Cornell University 2006).
Available at: Cornell-DR

Bar & Trade Publications

Perhaps Divided But Never Conquered: Taking Back Our Differences, NAWL PUB. (Toronto 1994).

R. v. Parks: Automatism and Murder, 72 CAN. BAR REV. 224 (1993) (co-authored with Isabel Grant).
Available at: UNM-DR

Book Reviews

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



Brief for Professors as Amicus Curiae, Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. R. Scott Appling (March 29, 2018) (U.S. SUP. CT. NO. 16-1215).

Brief for Professors as Amicus Curiae, In re Jevic Holding Corp. (October 17, 2016) (U.S. SUP. CT. NO. 15-649).

Brief for Professors as Amicus Curiae, Husky International Electronics Inc. v. Daniel Lee Ritz Jr. (January 22, 2016) (U.S. SUP. CT. No. 15-145).
Available at: UNM-DR

Popular Press

Red River, White Law, Tribal Law Journal Blog (June 19, 2019).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Law and the Human, Cornell College of Arts & Sciences (October 23, 2017).
Available at: Cornell University Blog

Discussing Human Beingwith Songhees Nation, Vancouver Island Treaties Conference (2018).
Available at: UNM-DR

Laura Spitz from Songhees UVic on Vimeo.


Perhaps Divided But Never Conquered: Taking Back Our Differences, NAWL PUB. (Toronto 1994).

Canadian National Association of Women and the Law, Research & Essay Competition (1994)

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

Cited: R. v. Stone, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 290 (Supreme Court of Canada).
Reprinted: CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE: PROOF, DEFENSES AND BEYOND (Jennie Abell and Elizabeth Sheehy eds. 3rd ed. 2003).

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