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William P. Johnson, J.D.

Center for International and Comparative Law

Courses Taught

Commercial Transactions, International Business Transactions, International Law, International Sale of Goods, Sales, Secured Transactions, Seminar: Advanced International Business Transactions, Doing Business in Emerging Markets


B.A., University of Minnesota, 1995
J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2001

Practice Areas

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Higher Education
  • International Legal Education
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Contracts
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Law
  • International Product Distribution
  • UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)

Research Interests

William P. Johnson’s research is generally focused on domestic and transnational commercial law and international business law. His scholarship specifically aims to address challenging questions that result from different bodies of law being relevant for the same international commercial transaction. He has developed deep expertise on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, or CISG, focusing on common misunderstanding of the CISG and the challenges that that misunderstanding can create. He has written extensively about the CISG, publishing his work in the United States, Turkey, and Brazil. Johnson also frequently speaks and occasionally writes about international legal education, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the legal profession and higher education.

Publications and Media Placements

SSRN Publications List

Professional Organizations and Associations

Johnson has remained engaged with the law practice community and the international bar through active involvement in the American Bar Association International Law Section (ABA ILS) and other international professional organizations. He has held numerous leadership positions in ABA ILS since 2009, including as a member of the Section Council, the policy-making body of the Section. He served as a member of the Section Council in his capacity as chair of the Section’s Africa/Eurasia Division and currently serves as an

at-large member of the Section Council. He has held leadership roles in ABA ILS committees as well, including, among other leadership roles, chair or co-chair of the International Contracts Committee, the International Commercial Transactions, Franchising and Distribution Committee, and the International Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee. In addition to the ABA, he is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Mound City Bar Association, and the Hispanic Bar Association of St. Louis.

Community Work and Service

Johnson’s service as dean of SLU LAW began in January 2017. Before being appointed dean, he served as director for the Center for International and Comparative Law and as program director for the SLU LAW Summer Law Program in Madrid. He joined the SLU LAW faculty in 2012 after holding an appointment on the law faculty of the University of North Dakota. He has been a visiting professor at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, Université Paris-Dauphine in Paris, France, and Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, and has been a guest lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary. Prior to becoming a law professor, Johnson practiced corporate and commercial law for six years in the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner LLP. He focused his practice on complex commercial arrangements, cross-border business transactions, and international product distribution. Prior to joining Foley & Lardner, Johnson served as a judicial law clerk to Justice Russell A. Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court.