International Law

International Law

International Law

Students can choose from an extensive selection of courses that cover all major areas of international law, and have the flexibility to construct a curriculum of broad-based instruction in the field or to concentrate on a specialized area of interest such as international trade and investment, international litigation and dispute resolution, international human rights, or national security and the use of force.

Core Course

The core course is International Law.  It introduces the fundamental notions of the field, such as how treaties are made and applied, how international law rules are identified and interpreted, the legal status of states, governments and international organizations, the circumstances in which international law is applied in U.S. courts, and the role and functioning of international courts and tribunals. 

Because these notions apply across all areas of international law, it is a required or recommended prerequisite for many specialized courses. Students are encouraged to take it in the spring of their first year or the fall of their second year, before moving on to more advanced courses, seminars and clinics.

Specialized Courses

These courses provide surveys of specialized areas of international law, covering the main rules, treaties and organizations that govern them. The aim of these courses is to equip students with the fundamental substantive knowledge in their subfield of international law.

As such, they also serve to bridge the gap between the core International Law course and more advanced practical or research-oriented offerings. For example, the International Human Rights Law course lays the substantive groundwork for students wishing to take the Human Rights Study Project and/or the International Human Rights Law Clinic.

Examples of such courses include: Admiralty, Conflict of Laws, European Union Law, Immigration Law, International Arbitration, International Environmental Law, International Finance, International Human Rights Law, International Investment Arbitration, International Law and the Use of Force, International Taxation, International Trade, Law of Armed Conflict, National Security Law, and Oceans Law and Policy

Advanced Courses and Seminars

These courses provide students with the opportunity to reflect on, and sometimes conduct independent research in, specialized areas of international law. They often take the form of small seminars in which students and faculty tackle the broader policy questions that arise in an area, how they are addressed under existing arrangements, how they relate to broader theoretical ideas or empirical research, and how reform proposals should be developed or evaluated.

This category also includes advanced courses that examine specific aspects of an area of international law, and comparative and foreign law courses that examine the laws of a specific foreign jurisdiction or the laws on a given topic across several foreign jurisdictions.

Examples of such courses include: An American Half-Century, Antitrust in the Global Economy, Building the Rule of Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Emerging Markets: Principles and Practice, EU Taxation, European Company Law, French Public and Private Law, Globalization and Private Dispute Resolution, International Banking Transactions, Legal and Policy Issues of the Indochina War, Topics in International Tax, Unconventional Warfare, War and Peace: New Thinking about the Causes of War and War Avoidance, and World War I.

Clinics, Field Research and Professional Skills

These clinics and courses offer opportunities for students to develop their practical skills in a specialized area of international law. As such, students interested in these offerings are strongly encouraged to first take the core International Law course and the basic subfield course in the relevant area (e.g., International Human Rights Law, Immigration Law or International Tax).

Examples of such courses include: Human Rights Study Project, Immigration Law Clinic, International Business Negotiation, International Civil Litigation, International Human Rights Law Clinic, International and Foreign Legal Research, and International Tax Practicum.

Sample International Law Course Sequences

The following sample course sequences are meant to assist students interested in each of the areas listed in selecting courses and the order in which to take them.

These sequences are not complete curricula; they leave substantial room for students to select additional courses based on their other interests.  In doing so, students should take into account that some advanced international law courses have prerequisites outside the international law field (e.g., Antitrust for Antitrust in the Global Economy; Securities Regulation and/or Banking and Financial Institutions for International Finance; Federal Income Tax for International Tax; etc.)

International Trade, Finance and Investment

Spring 1L or Fall 2L
International Law; Corporations

2L
Antitrust in the Global Economy
International Finance
International Trade (alongside other fundamental business courses: Securities Regulation, Accounting and Corporate Finance, Antitrust, Federal Income Tax, Commercial Sales, etc.)

3L
Emerging Markets: Principles and Practice
International Business Negotiation
International Banking Transactions
International Tax
International Investment Arbitration

International Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Spring 1L or Fall 2L
International Law

2L
Conflict of Laws
International Arbitration
Globalization and Private Dispute Resolution (alongside other fundamental litigation and arbitration courses: Evidence, Federal Courts, Remedies, etc.)

3L
International Investment Arbitration
International Civil Litigation

International Human Rights

Spring 1L or Fall 2L
International Law

2L
International Human Rights Law
Law of Armed Conflict
Building the Rule of Law
Immigration Law (alongside other civil rights, public service and related courses, e.g., Civil Rights Litigation, Employment Discrimination, Racial Justice and Law)

3L
International Human Rights Law Clinic
Human Rights Study Project
Immigration Law Clinic

National Security and Use of Force

Spring 1L or Fall 2L
International Law

2L
National Security Law
Law of Armed Conflict
International Law and the Use of Force

3L
Unconventional Warfare
War and Peace: New Thinking about the Causes of War and War Avoidance
World War I
Terrorism, Human Rights and Rule of Law: Comparative Approach
Legal and Policy Issues of the Indochina War

All International Law Courses and Seminars

Mila Versteeg

Academics