International Legal Studies

Berkeley Law continues to be one of the leading institutions in the nation for the study of international law and politics.

With several Berkeley Law faculty, supplemented by national and international visiting scholars and a variety of courses offered each year, the International Legal Studies Program offers students at Berkeley Law the flexibility to shape a curriculum that meets their interests in both depth and breadth. The program offers a number of introductory courses, advanced seminars, and clinical programs. Students have an opportunity to work closely on advanced research projects with faculty members, including some of the leading international law scholars and practitioners in the nation.

Each year, the law school offers several courses that provide a thorough introduction to the main themes in both public and private international law. A core public international law course, open to both first-year and upper-division students, is recommended for those who wish to concentrate their studies on international affairs. Students specializing in public international law can select from various introductory courses. Recent topics have included international civil litigation, resolution of international disputes, international environmental law, human rights, the laws of war, and international organizations. The public international law curriculum is rounded out with advanced seminars on a variety of changing subjects, such as international law and international relations theory, international law and ethics, human rights and humanitarian law, the United Nations, ocean law, European Union law, and international development. In addition, students who specialize in public international law are encouraged to complete basic courses in federal courts, administrative law, and constitutional law.

Berkeley Law also provides a comprehensive curriculum in private international law subjects that prepares students interested in international economics and business. Basic courses such as international trade, international business transactions, international finance, and international tax are regularly offered. Students can continue their studies with advanced seminars. Subjects have included international intellectual property, international securities regulation, international banking, international financial markets, and international commercial law. In addition, students who specialize in private international law are encouraged to take basic corporate, securities, and tax courses. Courses offered by other Berkeley graduate schools and departments–such as the Haas School of Business, the School of International and Area Studies, the Economics Department, and the Political Science Department–give students the opportunity to examine these subjects from different viewpoints and may be taken for credit.

The International Legal Studies Program’s course offerings are supplemented by several extracurricular opportunities. Through externships in international organizations, students may travel abroad to study and conduct research. Students may also participate in a faculty-run works-in-progress series that brings leading scholars from throughout the nation to Berkeley Law to discuss their latest projects. In collaboration with faculty members, students write and edit for the Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL) and organize BJIL’s biennial symposium. Several talks, organized by students and faculty, allow students to meet with faculty, foreign visitors, prominent practitioners, and others to discuss international issues and explore career possibilities.