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8 Best International Law School Programs

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8 Best International Law School Programs
RankSchoolLocation
1Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts
2Yale UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut
3Columbia University In The City Of New YorkNew York, NY
4University of California, BerkeleyBerkeley, CA
5New York UniversityNew York, NY
6University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA
7The University of Texas at AustinAustin, TX
8The George Washington UniversityWashington, D.C.

This is a ranking of the 8 Best International Law School Programs in the United States.

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We rank schools and degree programs for students. This ranking is designed for students to make informed college and degree choices for studying International Law.

Best International Law School Programs | Ranking Guidelines

Studying International Law allows budding lawyers to understand the law globally.

International Law pertains to any cross-border legal matters, like international business or human rights. Graduates with a JD in International Law may work in any number of legal domains, such as human trafficking, international business and trade, and foreign affairs.


8 Best International Law School Programs

1.Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

As one of the premier law school’s in the world, Harvard Law offers a vast array of JD specializations, including a JD in International and Comparative Law. There are over 100 related courses and reading groups available to students, as well as several research programs and centers, and specialized international opportunities for cultural immersion in foreign legal cultures.

The curriculum for the program maintains an ‘integrated internationalism’ which blends the study of both domestic and international law into each class. This allows students a measure of flexibility within their studies. In addition to ‘classical’ legal subjects’ students can also pursue specialization in areas such as human rights, global trade, or development finances. The program does not require a set course of study, but rather allows students to pursue what best fits their career goals.

Credit requirements: Varies

Selection of courses offered:

  • Comparative Digital Property
  • Poverty, Human Rights, and Development
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic
  • International Counterterrorism Law
  • Laws, Markets, and Religions

Admissions and transfer credit information: Potential law students must submit all prior transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement and resume, and LSAT or GRE scores. Students must also register for the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service.

Admissions does accept transfer students with a minimum of one year of full-time study in a JD program.

Accreditation: Harvard University receives accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

2.Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale Law School offers JD programs, graduate degrees including LLM, MSL, and PhD programs, and a joint JD-MBA program. Students may choose from a variety of areas of interests within each degree program such as Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Law and Health, and Law Teaching.

This particular review focuses on the J.D. with area of interest in International Law. In addition to the traditional class room experience, the curriculum encourages students to participate in experiential opportunities such as international legal exchanges. Related research centers and institutes include the Paul Tsai China Center, the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Woman’s Rights, and the Yale Law School Center for Global Legal Challenges.

Credit requirements: 83 units

Selection of courses offered:

  • International Human Rights Clinic
  • Comparative Law
  • Introduction to Transnational Law
  • International Trade Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • Public Order of the World Community
  • Comparative Constitutional Law

Program length: Three years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must submit previous academic transcripts showing an undergraduate degree from an accredited university along with a personal statement, 250-word essay, a minimum of two letters of recommendation, and LSAT scores.

Accreditation: Yale Law School receives accreditation from the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association.

3.Columbia University In The City Of New York

New York, NY

Columbia Law offers the full array of legal studies for aspiring students. The J.D. with a focus on International Business Law is just one of many excellent programs. The specialization in International Business Law allows students to focus on law and the global economy. One highlighted program of the specialization is the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership. This program brings research and academics together to help improve the long-term financing of public corporations.

Additionally, students have access to several research facilities such as the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration and the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy. Both the Law School and the Columbia Business School co-host the Richman Center which offers interdisciplinary research opportunities and events such as the Global Business Forum.

Other international opportunities and programs include study abroad and international dual degrees, social justice externships and fellowships, international journals, advanced graduate legal studies, and the visiting scholars’ program.

Credit requirements: Varies

Selection of courses offered:

  • Civil Procedure
  • International and Comparative Law
  • National Security Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Administrative Law and Public Policy
  • Human Rights
  • Transnational Litigation
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • Investor-State Law and Arbitration

Admissions and transfer credit information: Traditional JD applicants must submit a personal statement/essay, two letters of recommendation, a resume, previous transcripts, and the Dean’s Appraisal Certification form. Admissions may contact students for interviews.

Admissions accepts transfer students who have 28 to 32 completed law school credits.

Accreditation: Columbia University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

4.University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Berkeley Law School offers a Certification of Specialization in International Law that students can complete as part of a JD or LLM program. As an area of study, International and Comparative Law courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are available through other departments including the School of Business, Economics Department, and the Political-Science Department.

Students also have access to cutting-edge research programs such as the Miller Institute for Global Challenges, the Law and the International Human Rights Law Clinic, and the Human Rights Center. Students may also participate in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition which simulates a dispute between countries in front of the International Court of Justice. Competitive teams come from all over the world to participate.

Credit requirements: Varies

Selection of courses offered:

  • Advanced Human Rights Investigation Practicum
  • Anticorruption Compliance
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Disputes with Sovereigns
  • International Trade
  • Law of the Sea
  • Refugee Law and Processes

Admissions and transfer credit information: Traditional JD applicants must submit prior academic transcripts, two to four letters of recommendation, a personal statement of approximately four double-spaced pages, a resume, LSAT scores, and a Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report. Admissions also recommends, but does not require, that students complete a supplemental socio-economic questionnaire.

Admissions accepts transfer students with one year of full-time law school credit already complete.

Accreditation: UC Berkeley receives accreditation from the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC).

5.New York University

New York, NY

NYU School of Law offers a unique JD-LLM dual degree in International Law for current NYU JD students seeking specialist academic expertise in international law.

In addition to the traditional classes in the history and theory behind international law, the curriculum also encourages students to participate in hands-on clinics and internship opportunities.

Student have access to plentiful resources through facilities such as the Institute for International Law and Justice, the Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, and the US-Asia Law Institute, among others.

Credit requirements: 14 credits of specialized International Law classes

Selection of courses offered:

  • History and Theory of International Law Seminar
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice Seminar
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Intellectual Property Law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Global Data Law

Program length: Four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Potential students for the JD program must submit LSAT or GRE scores, at least two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and resume. Admissions encourages students to also submit any additional information that supports the student’s application.

JD students seeking the dual JD-LLM in International Law degree must apply to the IILJ during their second year and again to the full-time LLM in International Studies during their third year.

Accreditation: NYU School of Law receives accreditation from the Council and the Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

6.University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Students may take International Law as an area of study within the degrees offered through the School of Law, such as the traditional JD program. As an area of study, there are numerous classes and research opportunities for students to engage in. Classes cover topics such as human rights, immigration, environmental law, comparative constitutional law, and more. Students also have the option to take additional classes through the neighboring Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. Students may gain hands-on experience through semester-long exchanges, short courses in Paris and Tel Aviv, fellowships, grants, and several other opportunities.

The University of Virginia is proud to be the home of the Virginia Journal of International Law, the leading student-run international law journal in the nation.

Credit requirements: JD students must complete a minimum of 86 semester credits

Selection of courses offered:

  • International Finance
  • Emerging Markets: Principles and Practice
  • Globalization and Private Dispute Resolution
  • International Civil Litigation
  • Law of Armed Conflict
  • International Law and the Use of Force

Admissions and transfer credit information: Potential JD students must submit LSAT, GMAT, or GRE test scores, prior academic transcripts, two to four letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and resume.

Admissions accepts transfer students with a minimum of one-year law school experience.

Accreditation: The School of Law receives accreditation from the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools.

7.The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

The University of Texas School of Law offers a comprehensive LLM with concentration in Latin American and International Law. Students have the further option to specialize in Civil Rights, Human Rights, Immigration, and Transnational Worker Rights through various clinics. The diverse curriculum includes topics such as human rights, immigration, tax, arbitration, and much more. Students may tailor their academic experience towards their career goals with flexible class options.

Students have access to several research and networking opportunities such as the Law School’s Institute for Transnational Law and the Texas International Law Journal.

Credit requirements: 24 total credit hours, including 12 concentration-specific credit hours

Selection of courses offered:

  • Introduction to Domestic and International Arbitration
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Trade
  • Public International Law
  • Seminar: Maritime Law: Commercial Problems
  • Seminar: Citizenship
  • Terror & Consent: Constitutional and International Law

Program length: One year

Admissions and transfer credit information: Applicants must have a prior JD or other foreign law degree and must demonstrate proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese. Additionally, students applying to the LLM must submit previous transcripts, personal statement, resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Accreditation: UT Austin receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

8.The George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

Students in the JD program offered through GW Law have several areas of study to choose from such as Animal Law, Intellectual Property, National Security, and International and Comparative Law. Professional students may also pursue these areas within an LLM, SJD, or dual degree program.

As an area of study, the International and Comparative Law curriculum is by nature diverse and interdisciplinary. Students are equally likely to address antitrust law, civil procedure, and environmental law as they are patent law or securities regulations.

Students have access to research opportunities through initiative such as the Institute for International Corporate Governance and Accountability and the Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies.

Credit requirements: 84 credit hours for the JD program, a minimum of 12 credits for the area of study

Selection of courses offered:

  • Trade and Sustainable Development
  • Procurement in International Development
  • International Money Laundering, Corruption, and Terrorism
  • International Family Law
  • Refugee and Asylum Law
  • Law of War
  • International Human Rights of Women

Learning enrollment options: Full or part-time

Admissions and transfer credit information: Applicants must submit prior transcripts and LSAT scores. Additional material includes a resume, two-page personal statement, and a minimum of one letter of recommendation.

Admissions accepts up to 28 transfer credit towards a law school degree.

Accreditation: GW University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

8 Best International Law School Programs | Ranking Guidelines

SuccessfulStudent.org ranks programs by factors most beneficial to students. As such we strive to be a guide to students, helping students navigate education. In this ranking, we looked at our partner site AcademicInfluence.com*, which ranks schools by the influence that their alumni and faculty have had in the field of International Law, by way of publications and citations. We then considered each program on its own merits, and rank ordered the schools for degrees offered, variety of coursework, and academic reputation. *AcademicInfluence.com ranking methodology.