Michael Van Alstine Selected As Director of the Business Law Program

September 11, 2018

Michael Van Alstine

‌‌The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law is proud to announce Professor Michael Van Alstine, Francis King Carey Professor in Business Law, as the new Director of the Business Law Program. In assuming the directorship of the program, Van Alstine succeeds Professor Michelle Harner, who departed to serve on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland.

“Stepping in as Director of the Business Law program, I have important and valuable shoes to fill and it’s a very high standard to meet,” Van Alstine commented. He continues, “I'm really happy for the opportunity and I'm honored that the Dean thought of me for the directorship.”

“Michael will be a fantastic Director for our Business Law Program,” said Dean Donald Tobin, “he brings a combination of deep substantive experience, strong leadership, and tireless enthusiasm. He is a wonderful resource for the students, the program, and the entire law school.”

Hilary Hansen, the Associate Director of the Business Law Program, was also thrilled with the appointment of Van Alstine. “I think Michael’s expertise in business law and international law, along with his demonstrated leadership here at the law school and his outstanding reputation in the classroom, make him the ideal choice for this role.” She continues, “We are fortunate to have Michael assuming leadership of the Business Law Program, and I am thrilled about having the chance to work with him as the new Director. Honestly, I cannot think of better news for the Program.”

Van Alstine has been a member of the faculty at Maryland Carey Law since 2002. He holds a JD from George Washington University Law School, and received both his Masters of Comparative Law and Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Bonn, Germany. He publishes widely in both English and German. Van Alstine is also an author of many textbooks on international business transactions and international trade.

Van Alstine is also a perennial favorite amongst his students. He has won the “Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year” award, selected by Maryland Carey Law’s Student Bar Association, in both 2008 and 2016 and was selected the “Most Engaging in Class” by undergraduates in the Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, College Park during his time there teaching as part of the MPowering the State initiative.

Van Alstine believes that “with very narrow exceptions every student should have at least some level of competency with business law.” He explains further, “I think that students see the business law program and they think that it's all high finance; that you have to know about how derivatives are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In reality, business law runs the gamut from the smallest family enterprise to very large corporations. Anybody who's involved in any kind of business, whether it's selling hotdogs on the corner or Google, this is all business law and business law issues abound in our society.”

Students interested in the Program can find more information on the Business Law Program website.