Businesses need legal advice and services that assist them in complying with the law and in pursuing their legitimate interest in enriching owners and investors. They also need legal advice and services that guide them into ethical practices that further the common good. Gonzaga's School of Law, through its Center for Law, Ethics & Commerce, helps train lawyers and law students to provide such advice and services, thereby extending the School of Law's commitment to furthering social justice in all dimensions of society.
About the Center
The Center for Law, Ethics & Commerce was established in 2006 and has been one of the nation’s leaders in providing both law students and lawyers with the skills they need to be effective business-minded advocates. Substantially expanded in 2019, the Center now offers students interdisciplinary programming in business, technology, and innovation – all with an eye toward the public good.
The Center engages in a variety of cutting-edge programs and initiatives. The Center:
- Hosts events that bring national experts to speak on law, ethics, and business topics;
- Sponsors clinical legal education, including through participation in a nationwide project to shape the law by authoring amicus curiae briefs on commercial law issues;
- Publishes The Transactional Lawyer newsletter, which informs lawyers around the country of recent legal developments that offer practical advice on how to structure transactions and document deals;
- Sponsors the Gonzaga University Wine Institute, which offers a first-of-its-kind certificate in the business and legal aspects of the wine industry;
- Coordinates interdisciplinary programming across campus, including with Gonzaga’s School of Business Administration and School of Leadership Studies;
- Supports and promotes faculty scholarship, conferences, and presentations, particularly among junior scholars;
- Serves as a research hub for faculty, students, and scholars interested in business and technology;
- Promotes curricular offerings on experimental, creative, and cutting-edge topics in business, leadership, and new technology; and
- Fosters community and alumni relationships at the intersection of law, ethics, and commerce.
The Center works closely with the Executive JD Program, the Gonzaga University Wine Institute, the Clarke Prize Program, and the Commercial Law Amicus Initiative. It is affiliated with the Tax Law Clinic and Business Innovation Clinic.
Agnieszka McPeak is an Associate Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship. She is also the Director of the Center for Law, Ethics, and Commerce. Before joining the Gonzaga Law faculty in 2020, Professor McPeak also taught at the University of Toledo College of Law and Duquesne University School of Law. She began her teaching career at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law as a Westerfield Fellow. Professor McPeak’s research and writing focus on the intersection of law and technology, particularly as it relates to social media, ethics, privacy, and the innovation and sharing economies. Her scholarship has been published in Wisconsin Law Review, Wake Forest Law Review, Connecticut Law Review, and Arizona State Law Journal, among others.
Gonzaga Law's unique Executive-in-Residence program allows faculty and students to work with and learn from an experienced business expert who will lend their specialized industry knowledge to our learning community. The Executive-in-Residence delivers and attends CLEC-related lectures, is available for student consultation, and otherwise enriches the programming and student support offered in the areas of business, technology, and innovation. The role is a part-time affiliation without a faculty designation with a one-year renewable appointment.
Paul Swegle2022 Executive-in-Residence
Paul has served as general counsel to numerous tech companies across many industries, including fintech, financial services, health and medical devices, telehealth, and marketing technology. He has helped build and sell companies to Abbott Laboratories, Capital One, ING, and Nortek. Paul has been involved in more than $13 billion of financings and M&A deals, and recently helped Porch.com through a successful SPAC IPO. After graduating from the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Paul began his legal career with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.
He is an adjunct law professor at both Gonzaga University School of Law and Seattle University School of Law and has written two best-selling books that are used widely in law and MBA schools, “Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors” and “Contract Drafting and Negotiation for Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals.” Paul recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association, and in 2019 he was elected to serve on a workgroup led by former Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst to evaluate and make recommendations on the structure, governance, and role of the Washington State Bar Association.
Paul lives in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with his wife of thirty years, Serena, and their son Matthew, who attends Bishop Blanchet High School. Their daughter Stephanie is pursuing a degree in neuroscience at the University of Notre Dame.