So you’re thinking you want to practice international law?
I have a question for you then. Well, maybe more than one.
What kind of international law do you want to practice? Do you want to focus on public or private international law? If you’ve gotten that far, you’re one step up on a bunch of other law students out there.
It can get more specific, though. There are literally hundreds of flavors of international law out there. You could do economic law, security law, criminal law, environmental law, human rights law, and even war law.
Luckily for you, you don’t have to have that part figured out before you get to law school. But, if you want to practice international law, you should know that not all law schools are created equal. While all of them probably have one or two classes on international law, some won’t have any more than that.
On top of that, some law schools have much more extensive resources than others, which allows them to offer things like clinics and internships, and even study abroad opportunities, in the area of international law.
So, without any more rambling, here are five of the best international law programs in the US:
Harvard Law School
I know what you’re thinking. It’s Harvard. Well … it is Harvard. But, when you have one of the world’s largest endowments, you can do whatever you want.
That aside, Harvard’s International law program is a pretty big deal. They offer around 100 classes that touch on substantive areas in international law. On top of that they offer a study abroad program and have some world renowned international law scholars.
Students recently went and studied international law in Geneva, Switzerland, took a trip to Ethiopia, and participated in their International Human Rights Clinic.
Georgetown Law School
Georgetown Law School is lucky enough to be in the U.S. capital, where it is frequented by visitors from all over the world. Currently, there are law students there from over 70 countries, and like Harvard and the rest of the schools on this list, Georgetown has access to quite a bit of resources.
Georgetown has numerous study abroad programs, including a summer program in London. On top of that, Georgetown Law School has four clinics that focus on international law issues.
Columbia Law School
Next on the list is Columbia Law school. On top of having a bunch of international law classes, they also offer three international moot court programs, which allow students to compete against other students across the country, and possibly across the world, in various international law issues.
Columbia law school also has six law journals that emphasize international law issues.
New York Law School
New York Law School’s International law program is also very well known. Depending on who you talk to, some people have it ranked above Harvard’s, and for good reason. They host numerous symposia and conferences throughout the year, which include speakers from the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the International Criminal Court.
The school has projects with organizations all over the world. Currently, the school is working on setting up a tribunal for Disability Rights in Asia and the Pacific .
American University, in Washington D.C. has one of the oldest international law programs in the U.S. They offer students the ability to connect with some of the most well known international law faculty and practitioners in the the world. Its alumni are very well connected, and the school offers students a vast network at their fingertips.
Wherever you decide to go, if international law is what you really want to do, you’ve got options, and if you can get into one of these five schools, you will be well on your way to doing what you really want to do.