Kish Parella Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law


Office: 483 Lewis Hall 

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Area of Expertise

International Economic Law, Organizational Theory, Corporate Social Responsibility


BA, University of Western Ontario

MPhil, University of Cambridge

JD, Duke Law School

LLM, Duke Law School


Professor Kish Parella teaches courses at the intersection of law and business, including contracts, international business transactions, and corporate social responsibility. One area of her research focuses on the transnational regulation of corporate conduct, with a particular focus on corporate human rights compliance in global supply chains.  Another area of her research explores the idea of "negligent contracts" and the responsibilities of contracting parties for negative externalities that harm third parties.

Professor Parella's scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in Cornell Law Review, Duke Law JournalBoston University School of Law, Vanderbilt Law ReviewNotre Dame Law ReviewWashington Law Review, the American Business Law Journal, and the Journal of International Economic Law, among others. Three of her recent papers ("Reputational Regulation," "Public Relations Litigation," and "Improving Social Compliance in Supply Chains,") have been selected for presentation at the Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019). In addition, “Protecting Third Parties in Contracts” was awarded the Ralph Hoeber Award for Excellence in Research by the American Business Law Journal and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.  She has also been invited to present her research at the Annual Research Forum of the American Society of International Law, and the annual meetings of the American Law & Economics Association and the Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics. She has been awarded the Law School's Ethan Allen Faculty Fellowship for Scholarship and Lewis Prize for Excellence in Legal Scholarship by the Francis Lewis Center.

Professor Parella is a leading expert on business and human rights.  She has advised government officials, corporate executives, and UN working groups on various issues of business and human rights. She serves on the Board of Directors for Corporate Accountability Lab, a non-profit organization dedicated to using legal strategies to hold corporations accountable for human rights abuses.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Global Business & Human Rights Scholars Association and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Business & Human Rights Journal (Cambridge University Press).  Professor Parella also served as a Co-Chair of the 2022 annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.

Before joining the faculty of Washington and Lee, Professor Parella was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Villanova University School of Law where she taught contracts and international arbitration. Prior to entering the legal academy, Professor Parella practiced international litigation and arbitration at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP where her clients were multinational and sovereign entities engaged in complex disputes before U.S. courts and international tribunals. Professor Parella graduated from Duke Law School and specialized in international law with a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, England and a LL.M. in International & Comparative Law from Duke Law School. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Podcasts and Media

• "Corporate Foreign Policy in War" on the Business Scholarship Podcast (February 20, 2023)
• "Negligent Contracts" on the Private Law Podcast (June 8, 2021)
• "Business and Human Rights" on the Business Scholarship Podcast (January 28, 2021)

Recent Scholarship

"International Law in the Boardroom," 108 Cornell Law Review (forthcoming 2023)

"Contractual Stakeholderism," 102 Boston University Law Review 865 (2022)

"Protecting Third Parties in Contracts," 58 American Business Law Journal 327 (2021)

"Improving Social Compliance in Supply Chains," Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 95, Issue 2 (2019)

"Public Relations Litigation," Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 72, Issue 4 (2019)  

"Reputational Regulation," Duke Law Journal, Vol. 67, Issue 5 (2018)  

"Treaty Penumbras," 38 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 275 (2017)  

"The Stewardship of Trust in the Global Value Chain," 56 Virginia Journal of International Law 585 (2017)  

"Outsourcing Corporate Accountability," 89 Washington Law Review 747 (2014)

- See Prof. Parella's full list of publications at her Scholarly Commons page.