International law is a diverse field that covers many issues, including relationships between nation-states, immigration, international trade, and human welfare issues. Most U.S. law schools offer at least foundational coursework on the subject, but some institutions have become known for the breadth of their international law curriculum. Many of these schools offer law students the opportunity to study abroad, too.
Here are the top 10 law schools for international law (12 this year because of ties)—as ranked by U.S. News and World Report—and the median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of recently enrolled students.
Stanford Law School’s Program in International and Comparative Law trains future lawyers through an integrated curriculum that includes coursework, research, and outreach. Course offerings are interdisciplinary, taking advantage of Stanford’s many research centers, and also international. There are several opportunities to earn credit while studying abroad: 7-10 Day Intensive Overseas Field Study Trips are held annually between quarters, and students can spend a semester studying abroad at one of seven schools with which Stanford has an established relationship, including Waseda University Law School in Tokyo and the Institut D’Etudes Politiques de Paris in France. Students interested in advocacy can get real-world experience in the International Human Rights Clinic, which is full-time, giving students the opportunity to travel to areas where human rights are threatened.
The Stanford Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 171 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.93.
10. (tie) University of Virginia
In addition to its wide array of international law courses, the University of Virginia School of Law has 8 international exchange programs with schools such as Melbourne Law School in Australia or Tel Aviv University Law School in Israel—students interested in studying abroad can do so in their third year. In addition to these semester-long opportunities, the school offers shorter study trips in Tel Aviv and Paris each January term. UVA offers its law students several internship, externship, and field work opportunities, too: a student team travels annually to document human rights issues internationally with the Human Rights Study Project, and Monroe Leigh Fellowships and Public Interest Law Association grants allow students to pursue independent international law research projects over the summer. Annually, the Law School awards a fellowship to a single student to spend their year after graduation as a full-time trainee at the International Court of Justice.
Students in the UVA School of Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 169 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.89.
10. (tie) University of California – Berkeley
Berkeley Law’s extensive international law course offerings include the International Human Rights Law Clinic, where students work with faculty to represent individuals from marginalized communities. Several research centers at the law school serve as a hub for scholarship: the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, the Human Rights Center, and the Robbins Collections. Law students considering a career in international law can complete the International Law Certificate Program, which involves taking advanced classes in the subject and completing a writing project on an international or comparative law topic. Outside of class, students can get involved in various international law- and human rights-oriented groups, and represent real clients by working in Berkeley’s student-initiated legal services projects.
The Berkeley Law Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 168 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.81.
10. (tie) American University
“International and comparative law has long been central to the educational mandate of American University Washington College of Law,” according to the school. AUWCL offers students a whopping 22 semester-long study abroad programs in 17 countries across 5 continents. Additionally, students can participate in a summer study abroad program in The Hague, London, Brussels, or Geneva. Future lawyers wanting to practice internationally can obtain a dual-degree from Australia, Canada, France, Italy, or Spain, getting a JD at American University and a JD-equivalent of LLM degree from a partner school. The American University International Law Review is student-run.
AUWCL students entering in fall 2019 had a median LSAT score of 159 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.50.
Duke Law’s international law program is coordinated by its Center for International & Comparative Law, which was founded in 2006. In addition to the coursework available to students, workshops, lectures, conferences, and panels are organized by the Center annually. Duke Law offers select students the opportunity to graduate with two degrees—a JD and an LLM in International & Comparative Law—in just three years. As part of the dual-degree program, students spend the summer after their first year studying at the Institute in Global and Transnational Law in Leiden and The Hague in the Netherlands. Additionally, Duke Law has summer institutes in Hong Kong and Geneva, and also offers an International Human Rights Clinic, in which students engage with human rights issues through seminars and fieldwork.
The Duke Law Class of 2022 had a median undergraduate GPA of 3.78 and a median LSAT score of 169.
5. (tie) University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Michigan Law’s Center for International and Comparative Law “supports, promotes and creates global legal learning and engagement,” according to the University. Law students interested in international or comparative law can work with the Center to identify and apply for the various global opportunities at Michigan Law, which include international internships, study abroad, and international post-graduate clerkships. In addition to the eight established study abroad opportunities, Michigan Law students can propose to study law at other foreign universities. Course offerings include over 50 classes in international, including an International Transactions Clinic and a Human Trafficking Clinic.
The Michigan Law Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 169 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.81.
5. (tie) George Washington University
According to the university, the George Washington Law faculty are “at the forefront of shaping and implementing international law.” The university takes a unique approach and integrates international law in its full curriculum, addressing international implications for all law topics. Two major research hubs exist at the university: the Institute for International Corporate Governance and Accountability, and the Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies. JD students can graduate with a Concentration in International and Comparative Law, which involves completing a minimum of 12 credits—including an experiential learning course—and completing a writing requirement.
The fall 2019 entering class at GW Law had a median LSAT score of 166 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.73.
5. (tie) Georgetown University
Georgetown Law offers the “broadest array of courses and seminars in international and comparative law of any school in the country,” according to the school. In addition to catering to students interested in pursuing a career in international or comparative law, Georgetown Law’s broad course offerings ensure that the international implications of any field of concentration can be studied in depth. The Center for Transnational Legal Studies offers Georgetown Law students the opportunity to study transnational legal issues in London, and the school has agreements with several other global institutions that allow Georgetown students to study abroad for a semester or a year. Students can gain practical experience in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, working with NGOs to advance women’s rights globally.
The Georgetown Law Class of 2020 had a median LSAT score of 167 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.79.
In addition to its international law course offerings, Yale Law has many programs that engage with the field. There are six international law clinics in which students can get real-world experience, including the International Refugee Legal Assistance Project, the Transnational Development Clinic, and The Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. Yale supports international study—there are 14 study abroad programs—and there are several opportunities for funding. Outside of coursework, students can participate in the International Moot Court or in any of the numerous student organizations and initiatives.
The Yale Law Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 173 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.93.
Columbia Law’s international law offerings are vast. In addition to its broad curriculum, the school has more than 24 international centers and institutes conducting research and analyzing policy. Students can study abroad in more than 20 countries—in Amsterdam, Oxford, or Paris through the Global Alliance Programs—or even pursue an international dual degree by spending the 3L year abroad in the UK, France, or Germany. There are 7 student-run international law journals, including the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. Two post-graduate international clerkships are available to students and recent Columbia Law grads.
The entering 2018 class at Columbia Law had a median LSAT score of 172 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.75.
Harvard Law’s student body is international, with students from over 70 countries, bringing a global perspective to every classroom, regardless of the course topic. Many study abroad opportunities exist, with recent students traveling to Geneva for a semester, conducting independent research in China, and engaging in summer research with the development and Peace Project in Colombia. There are many Harvard Law School fellowships that help fund international travel both during school, and after graduation, and the department of International Legal Studies awards discretionary grants, too. Several clinicals give students experiential training, including the International Human Rights Clinic, and the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program.
The Harvard Law JD Class of 2022 had a median LSAT score of 173 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.89.
NYU’s international law program is centered in the Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, which was founded in 2018 to raise the international law programs and initiatives at NYU Law “to a new level,” according to the school. Students can study abroad in Shanghai, Buenos Aires, and Paris as part of existing partnerships, or take courses at 11 universities across four continents as part of an exchange. NYU Law also has two international summer internship programs. About 10 graduate law students are awarded full scholarships each year from the Hauser Global Law School Program.
The NYU Law Class of 2021 had a median LSAT score of 170 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.80.
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