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International law practitioners engage in a wide array of activities, from advocacy, litigation, and transactional work, to diplomacy, treaty-drafting, and policy-making. Typical employers include governments, law firms, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. As the substantive scope of international law expands, there are increasing opportunities to specialize in particular fields, such as UN Law, International Economic Law, and International Human Rights Law, among others.

International Law Career Path Resources

International Law Faculty

International Law Path View

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  • Core Course

    Public International Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Provides a basic introduction to the field of international law. Topics covered include interpretation of international agreements; international dispute resolution; international organizations; international jurisdiction over persons, property, and territory and limitations on such jurisdiction; law of the sea; international human rights law; international environmental law; and the law concerning use of force in the international system. The course is designed to expose students to the sorts of issues that arise in cases before international tribunals and organizations and in cases involving foreign parties and international legal principles in US courts.

  • Core Course

    Transitional Justice

    3 Credit (Elective)

    The course deals with legal, moral, social, and political questions that arise in countries emerging from periods of massive and systematic violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, such as armed conflict, apartheid, authoritarian, or repressive rule. The course will offer a comparative study of strategies chosen by governments to build democracy, the rule of law, and a culture of rights. The course will examine themes that include prosecutions, truth commissions, reparation programs, institutional reforms, and reconciliation programs. Cases will come from experiences as they occurred in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the issues, dilemmas, and lessons arising out of these different experiences, especially as countries seek to balance their international legal obligations with national political realities.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    Business Compliance and Human Rights

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This seminar focuses on the evolving legal framework for holding businesses to account for activities that negatively impact human rights. The course is largely structured around the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which were approved by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The UNGPs have created an evolving normative framework that aims to prevent and remedy human rights abuses committed by companies and has become an important area of legal compliance work. The seminar is designed to provide students with a general overview of the general framework established by the UNGPs and will include coverage of: the international human rights legal regime; the development of international, domestic and voluntary corporate initiatives designed to bring corporations in line with human rights norms; the best practices for corporations to incorporate measures to assure respect of human rights; the potential liability of corporations for alleged violations of international human rights law; and the available judicial and nonjudicial remedies for vindicating violations of these rights. The course focuses on both the legal, practical, and political challenges that all stakeholders face in this new area of emerging international law while building the skills needed by a professional in this field.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Recommended Course

    International Business Transactions

    3 Credit (Elective)

    The trade law of the United States, including treaties, and some law of foreign countries will be examined from the perspective of an American lawyer. Transactions examined include transnational sales licensing and other business arrangements, such as financing and insurance. Potential clients from whose perspectives the alternatives are explored include the US firm doing business abroad, the US firm seeking government assistance in protecting it from unfair foreign competition, the foreign firm doing business in the United States, and state and local governments seeking to buy foreign products, forbid the purchase of foreign products, or promote exports. Treaties and local law designed to protect special interests or to promote competition in an increasingly global market, such as the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), the European Union (EC, Common Market), and the World Trade Organization (WTO, GATT), as well as other trade arrangements concerning the so-called Third World and the Pacific Rim, are used to demonstrate the critical role of law in structuring international trade. This is an increasingly important and fast-changing field, with ample scope for individual research papers.

  • Recommended Course

    Immigration Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    The objective of the course is to provide the student with a general knowledge of immigration laws and procedures in the United States. Focus is on the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the specific procedures established for the processing of affirmative applications for status, as well as defending against removal. The course covers the constitutional authority of the federal government to legislate and regulate immigration, nonimmigrant and immigrant visas (including family and employment based), grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, and defenses against removal. It also touches on asylum law and issues impacting those present without documentation. The course is practice oriented, with theory grounding and contextualizing aspects of the course, as relevant.

  • Other Course

    Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the international law principles that have been applied to indigenous peoples and how indigenous peoples have been treated by international organizations and by the domestic laws of different nations. Topics addressed include property rights; economic development; religious and cultural preservation rights; and the right to self-determination. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Other Course

    International Women’s Issues

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Advanced International and Comparative Law course: This seminar will be devoted to exploring issues that impact the rights, livelihood, and welfare of women around the world. We will survey readings from a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on law and the impacts of war and migration on women. We will begin with an overview of feminist jurisprudence to ground our discussion in knowledge of law, governance, and economics in order to enable us to discuss each topic. Topics will include: international women's rights and international law impacting women, gender and economics, culture, health care, education, migration, war, status of refugees, asylum on the basis of gender and "social group" inheritance, property, human trafficking, reproduction, and women as caretakers of the private sphere. The first two-thirds of the course will be devoted to classroom discussion of the readings assigned. During the final one-third of the course, students will make presentations, outlining the research they have been conducting toward full development of their papers.

  • Other Course

    National Security Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course explores some of the many legal issues that implicate national security in the United States. Among the topics we will consider are: the constitutional framework for national security and separation of powers; the authority to use force abroad; the authority to conduct intelligence operations abroad; and the effort to fight terrorism. This course will be taught as a colloquium; after an initial introduction to the constitutional framework, teaching will be undertaken by students: each student (or team of students, depending upon enrollment) will be responsible for leading discussion on a topic related to national security law.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Other Course

    Business Immigration Law

    Credit (Elective)

    The world of immigration in practice can be divided into family, court, and business immigration. Business immigration addresses both temporary and long-term solutions for individuals who need permission to remain in the United States where the purpose is related to an employment opportunity, one's professional accomplishments, or investment opportunities. Business Immigration will offer detailed information regarding business immigration law and practice, with a focus on current practice and procedures in the administrative law system of the federal agencies regulating immigration. During each class, students will put their knowledge into practice by working through increasingly complex problems designed to orient them around business immigration issues and problems. Additionally, students will be assigned a short research project of immigration requirements of other countries which serve as the basis of a discussion of US immigration in the context of a global market. Students should come away with a working knowledge of representing employers and employees in Business Immigration law.

  • Other Course

    Immigration Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    The objective of the course is to provide the student with a general knowledge of immigration laws and procedures in the United States. Focus is on the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the specific procedures established for the processing of affirmative applications for status, as well as defending against removal. The course covers the constitutional authority of the federal government to legislate and regulate immigration, nonimmigrant and immigrant visas (including family and employment based), grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, and defenses against removal. It also touches on asylum law and issues impacting those present without documentation. The course is practice oriented, with theory grounding and contextualizing aspects of the course, as relevant.

  • Other Course

    Refugee and Asylum Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    The course will survey the relevant international laws and conventions governing refugees and asylum seekers, but the focus will be building the skills necessary to bring an asylum case in the United States. Each class will take students through one element of the complex categories available to asylum seekers (race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and social group) and review the points at which asylum law in the United States has intersected with politics in recent years (national security, international relations, immigration). Each class also will contain an exercise designed to prepare students to be practice-ready in preparing an asylum claim. Students should come away with understanding of the asylum law and process and be sufficiently prepared to bring an asylum claim.

    Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.