Kish Parella Associate Professor of Law

Phone: 540-458-8331


Office: 465 Lewis Hall 

CV  •  Scholarly Commons  •  High Res Photo

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


Kish Parella teaches courses at the intersection of law and business, including contracts, international business transactions, and corporate social responsibility. Her research is in international economic law, with a focus on the cross-border regulation of corporations and other non-state actors.  She explores the information functions of domestic and international legal institutions and the effects of information on organizational conduct and private ordering. Her current research examines the different types of reputational costs imposed on organizations (public and private) by civil litigation, government investigation, and international dispute resolution, including how those costs incentivize organizations to improve their practices.

Professor Parella's scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in Duke Law Journal, Vanderbilt Law Review, Washington Law Review, and leading international law journals, among others.  Two of her recent papers ("Reputational Regulation" and "Public Relations Litigation") have been selected for presentation at the Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in consecutive years (2017, 2018).  She has also been invited to present her research at the Annual Research Forum of the American Society of International Law (2014, 2015, 2016), and the annual meetings of the American Law & Economics Association (2018) and the Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics (2018). 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 member of the Board of Directors for the Global Business & Human Rights Scholars Association and a member of the Editorial Board for the Business & Human Rights Journal (Cambridge University Press). She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Scholarship and the Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law Southeast Interest Group.  

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 in the Washington, D.C. office of 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, where she served as an articles editor of Duke Law Journal. She 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.

Recent Scholarship

Public Relations Litigation, VANDERBILT L. REV., VOL. 72, ISSUE 4 (2019) 

Reputational Regulation, 67 Duke L. J., Vol. 67, Issue 5 (2018)

Outsourcing Corporate Accountability, 89 Washington L. Rev. 747 (2014)

Treaty Penumbras, 38 U. PA. J. INT'L L. 275 (2017)

The Stewardship of Trust in the Global Value Chain, 56 Va. J. Int'L 585 (2017)

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