In the Admissions Office, we have the opportunity to speak with many prospective students about their interests in the law. International law is one area of interest that we hear mentioned very frequently. Accordingly, we thought you may be interested in this update from Curtis Strong, Vice President of the Law School’s International Law Society, discussing the study of international law at U of C.
The Law School has been well known for its reputation in many things: outstanding faculty scholarship, high clerkship placement with federal judges, law and economics, and more recently, President Barack Obama. Historically, international law has not made that "well known" list. However, that has recently changed with some of the exciting new developments at the Law School in the international law arena.
Faculty: The Law School has added some amazingly bright new international law scholars to its faculty in recent years. They include Thomas Ginsburg, Daniel Abebe, Rosalind Dixon, and Anu Bradford (among others). This new team of international law scholars has helped catapult the University of Chicago to the forefront of international legal studies.
Classes: With the influx of outstanding international law professors, the Law School now offers a wealth of classroom opportunities for international law study. The international curriculum includes enough courses to keep zealous international law enthusiasts busy through law school. These classes include International Human Rights, International Organizations, Law of the European Union, East Asian Law, Women living under Muslim Law, International Arbitration, and Comparative Constitutional Law (just to name a few).
Student Publications and Organizations: The Law School is home to Chicago Journal of International Law, one of the most respected and cutting-edge international law journals in the world. This student-run journal began in 2000 and has quickly come to the forefront of international scholarship. Recent publications discuss the reconstruction of failing states, global trade, and the link between Islam and international law.
In addition, the International Law Society has seen a tremendous resurgence in the past two years and is currently laying the groundwork for a very ambitious future, including possible participation in international moot court competitions. The International Human Rights Society has also organized, and has already begun to facilitate discussion about international human rights problems and solutions among the Law School community.
Other student organizations help foster an international culture at the law school and maintain awareness of international legal issues. These organizations include the Japan Law Society, Latino Law Students Association, Middle Eastern Law Association, South Asian Law Students Association, and Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.
Employment Opportunities: Approximately five percent of our students accepted summer positions in foreign countries last summer with foreign businesses, law firms, and public interest organizations.
In addition, a new International Human Rights Summer program was announced this year at the Law School. Students in this program will be linked with Professors Martha Nussbaum, Rosalind Dixon, and Thomas Ginsburg to assist with their research. Students will also have an opportunity to work during the summer with human rights organizations in various locations, including South Korea, England, South Africa, Australia, and India. On a related note, the Law School also offers generous summer funding and a loan repayment program to assist students who pursue public interest employment.
The Law School has also offered the opportunity for one student to work during the summer at the law office of Nagashima Ohno in Tokyo, Japan. This student will work in a paid summer associate position in Tokyo with one of the top law firms in Japan. By all accounts, former participants have absolutely loved the experience.
Lastly, the Office of Career Services ("OCS") is an excellent resource for students interested in pursuing international law careers in foreign countries, or even just for a summer. OCS continually updates the international opportunities that are available for students, and has had tremendous success putting students in touch with contacts who are willing to help students find job opportunities abroad.
With these developments, the University of Chicago Law School has become one of the premier international law institutions in the country and we plan to get even better!
If you have questions about studying international law at the University of Chicago Law School, the International Law Society can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.