Thirteen University of Virginia School of Law students learned firsthand about business law and entrepreneurism in Israel by traveling there last month for a January Term course led by UVA Law professors.

The weeklong, two-credit "Israeli Business Law and Innovation," led by UVA Law's Michal Barzuza, a corporate law expert, and Dotan Oliar, an intellectual property expert, allowed students to hear from high-profile speakers at a Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law classroom and through off-campus meetings.

Students met with a justice on the Supreme Court of Israel, a judge on the new business court and the head of the Israel Patent Office — as well as representatives from law firms who interact with the government's business law infrastructure.  

The group also had the opportunity to visit a number of Israeli businesses, including, an online website-building platform, and MyTheme, an incubator that assists in startup growth.

Uri Gabai teaches UVA Law students at Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael is one of the world's top business law hubs, and second-year student Yufeng Wu said meeting experts in person was a great way to learn about Israel's legal atmosphere.

“The J-Term course in Israel has been very well-designed and does open a new horizon for me in terms of learning laws in a different setting, by communicating with Israeli professors, judges and government officials,” Wu said.

Supreme Court Justice Daphne Barak-Erez, who is also an Israeli law professor, was among the experts who shared their wisdom. Third-year law student James Smith said that speaking to Barak-Erez allowed him to gain insight into the effect international relations can have on business and other aspects of law.

Although students were given an inside look at a unique business law system, Oliar said many of the lessons students learned could also be applicable elsewhere in the world.

This year marks the second time the J-Term course has been offered.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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