Sara Sánchez on Comparative Law Methodology

@IE University

Sara Sánchez is a law professor with a strong background and extensive experience. Find out her approach to teaching at IE University.

In today’s globalized economic context, future graduates need to prepare for life as effective leaders on the world stage—and it’s the responsibility of institutions of higher education to make sure that happens. At IE University, we work hard to develop dynamic learning approaches to provide talented individuals with the insights and resources to effect lasting change.

In all our law programs, our world-class faculty go beyond the confines of any single legal system to mirror the reality of international law. This high-impact methodology allows students to interact with the current trends, insights, and challenges present in key international legal jurisdictions to develop a wholly global outlook.

The current global context calls for inspirational professors to train lawyers of international renown. Below, we get the opportunity to hear from one of them.

Sara Sánchez is an Assistant Professor at IE Law School and IE University, who received her Máster en Derecho de la UE (Master in EU Law) and a PhD in Law from the Autonomous University of Madrid.

As a professor specializing in EU law, she has taught both bachelor’s and master’s classes in the Autonomous University of Madrid, as well as the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain. Outside of Europe, Sara has taught at the China-EU School of Law, part of the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, China.

Alongside her extensive teaching experience, Sara has carried out a number of research initiatives in international institutions located in London, Hamburg, and Lausanne. She has published her research in prestigious magazines, some of which she collaborates with on an ongoing basis, and often heads seminars and congresses as a guest speaker.

A member of the editorial team at the Revista Jurídica (legal magazine) at the Autonomous University of Madrid, she also collaborates with the Editorial Tecnos (Handbook of Spanish Business Law) on the “Legislación básica de Derecho internacional privado” (Basic legislation of international private law). Until 2016, she worked as a lawyer at the international law firm Uría Menéndez.

We sat down with Sara to talk about her approach to teaching at IE University.

What courses do you teach at IE University?

I teach Commercial Law & Corporations II and Conflicts and Business Law at the undergraduate level, and Conflicts of Laws at the master’s level.

How do you approach the methodology of comparative law in your course?

In Commercial Law & Corporations II I use a functional approach. I focus on the function of institutions—which problems or conflicts of interest arise and the strategies to solve them. The function of institutions is—to a large extent—similar across jurisdictions. Once students understand this function, I highlight the differences. The jurisdictions that I mainly use in my class are the US (mainly Delaware), the UK, Germany and Spain.

In Conflicts of Laws, I also follow a functional approach. Given the complexity of this field of law, I use EU rules as a reference and only subsequently make comparisons with common law rules (from the US and the UK).  

In my opinion, IE University students are better suited to deal with complex and sophisticated legal problems, which are typically cross-border in nature.

What is, in your opinion, the added value of teaching with the comparative law methodology in an international environment?

At least in my fields of expertise, understanding the function of the institution is key, as it teaches students to think about legal problems correctly.

How would you define an IE University? And how does the methodology of comparative law contribute to this profile?

In my opinion, IE University students are better suited to deal with complex and sophisticated legal problems, which are typically cross-border in nature. The fact that they are familiar with the diverse approaches of different jurisdictions, means they are better prepared to deal with new scenarios they will encounter when practising law.

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With Sara’s experience and insight into the intricacies of EU law, students are able to get a well-rounded picture of the current legal landscape during one of the EU’s most trying periods to date.