Kish Parella Named Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law Parella, a professor in Washington and Lee's s School of Law, will hold the position for a three-year period.
Kish Parella, professor of law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law. She will succeed Barton Myers, professor of Civil War history, in the role.
The Class of 1960 professorship seeks to honor and recognize a W&L faculty member whose teaching and scholarship include ethics, honor, integrity, honesty and applications of ethical reasoning in addressing contemporary issues. Parella has written extensively on corporate accountability and ethics, particularly as those issues apply to global value chains, and served as the Mudd Center Faculty Fellow from 2016-2017, when the center explored “Markets and Morals” as its theme.
“Kish brings a dynamic, interdisciplinary approach to her teaching and research,” said Lena Hill, W&L provost. “She is eager to connect alumni to faculty and students from the Law School, College and Williams School during Institute for Honor programming. Kish thrives on engaging diverse perspectives as she explores concepts like ethics and honor in relation to corporate responsibility, and I look forward to the symposia she will organize in this role.”
The professorship, which the Class of 1960 established at its 50th reunion, stems from the Institute for Honor, which the class inaugurated for its 40th reunion. The professorship’s responsibilities include serving on the Institute for Honor Advisory Board, taking a leading role in conceiving and organizing Institute for Honor symposia, and planning and executing a number of additional programs and projects in honor and ethics for the duration of the professorship.
“I am excited about facilitating campus conversations exploring ethics in the boardroom and the responsibilities of corporations and their leaders to society at the local, national and global level,” Parella said. “I look forward to thoughtful and engaging discussions of how the values of honor, respect and integrity can guide corporate engagement on international armed conflict, human rights, climate change, economic inclusivity, racial justice and sustainable development.”
Parella has explored corporate responsibility in both her teaching and writing, and she said that she has particularly benefited from conversations with students about the topic.
“Their views reflect a generational expectation that businesses should contribute more than profit,” Parella said.
Parella’s research explores different levers for encouraging corporate responsibility such as board governance, responsible contracting, reputational risk and supply chain compliance. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in Cornell Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Vanderbilt Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review and the peer-reviewed Journal of International Economic Law and the American Business Law Journal, among others. Her research on corporate social responsibility has been widely recognized by both academic and practitioner communities. Three of her articles were selected for presentation at the prestigious Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in consecutive years. Additionally, the peer-reviewed American Business Law Journal awarded Parella its 2021 Ralph C. Hoeber Award for Excellence in Research for her article, “Protecting Third Parties in Contracts.”
Parella is a recognized expert on business and human rights, serving on the board of directors for the Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association and the editorial board of the Business and Human Rights Journal. Parella also served as a co-chair of the 2022 American Society of International Law annual meeting, which allowed her to organize a global, interdisciplinary conversation on corporate accountability for human rights violations and other harms.
“I am excited that this professorship allows me to continue these important and timely conversations with alumni, students and faculty,” she said.
Parella joined the W&L Law faculty in 2013. In addition to teaching seminars on corporate social responsibility, she teaches courses on torts, contracts, international business law and global compliance. Prior to joining the legal academy, Parella practiced international arbitration and litigation at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
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