Lan Cao

Lan Cao

Professor, Betty Hutton Williams Professor of International Economic Law
Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Expertise: International Business; International Trade; Corporate Law; Economic Development; Rule of Law;
Office Location: Kennedy Hall 413
Phone: (714) 628-2659
Scholarly Works:
SSRN Author Page
Mount Holyoke College, Bachelor of Arts
Yale University, Juris Doctor


Professor Cao is the Betty Hutton Williams Professor of International Economic Law. She joined the Fowler School of Law in 2013 after serving for more than a decade on the faculty at William & Mary Law School, where she was the Boyd Fellow and Professor of Law. She clerked for Judge Constance Baker Motley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She practiced with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York City. Professor Cao was a Ford Foundation Scholar in 1991. She is also the author and co-author of several books and supplements, including the novels Monkey Bridge (Viking Penguin 1997); The Lotus and the Storm (Viking Penguin 2015); and Family in Six Tones (Viking Penguin 2020). Her academic monograph Culture in Law & Development: Nurturing Positive Change was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Professor Cao holds the Betty Hutton Williams Endowed Professorship in International Law and is the Director of the International Law Program.

Courses Taught:

Contracts I, Contracts II, and Corporations.

List of Scholarly Publications

View Lan Cao's website 

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Ethnic Economies, Cultural Resources, and the African American Question, 91 U. Cin. L. Rev. 303 (2022)
Weaponizing Culture to Undermine International Women's Rights, 73 Hastings L.J. 233 (2022).
Family in Six Tones (Viking Penguin 2020)
Made in America: Race, Trade, and Prison Labor, 42 N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change 1 (2019)
Made in America: Race, Trade, and Prison Labor, 43 N.Y.U. Rev. Law & Social Change 1 (2020). Reviewed in Jotwell
Charter Cities, 17 William & Mary Bill Rts J 717 (Symposium) (2019)
A Trade War the U.S. Is Actually Winning, For Now, Op Ed, New York Times, Apr. 26, 2018
Vietnam Wasn’t Just an American War, Op Ed, New York Times, March 22, 2018
Pride and Prejudice in U.S. Trade, 7 NOTRE DAME J. INT’L & COMP. L 1 (2017).
Five Myths About the Vietnam War, Op Ed, Washington Post, Sept. 29, 2017
CULTURE IN LAW AND DEVELOPMENT: NURTURING POSITIVE CHANGE (Oxford University Press May 2016) (500 page monograph) reviewed in Jane E. Stromseth, 112 Am. J. Int'l L. 798-804 (2018) (reviewing Lan Cao, Culture in Law and Development: Nurturing Positive Change (2016)
Currency Wars and the Erosion of Dollar Hegemony, 38 MICH. J. INT’L L 57 (2016).