International Legal Studies

International Legal Studies

Photos courtesy of Kaycie Rupp, Lindsay Henson, and Brian Kelly.   

At Harvard Law School, "international" is not just something we teach. It is something we are. 

The HLS community includes students from more than 85 countries. In 2013-14, hundreds of students worked, studied, and conducted research in 52 countries. More than half of the Harvard Law faculty incorporate international and comparative perspectives in their teaching, scholarship, and public service in a significant way. This year, they offered more than 90 HLS courses and reading groups focusing on international, foreign or comparative law. The scores of visitors and scholars from abroad, and over 4,500 alumni who live outside the United States, help make HLS truly international. Our research centers host hundreds of talks, workshops, and conferences with an international focus. And all of this activity draws on the world's foremost academic law library.

At HLS an international perspective is foundational, rather than peripheral, to legal inquiry. And this forms the basis for scholarship and action that have tangible impact in the world. These pages detail how integral international, foreign and comparative legal studies — or ILS — have become to HLS and what a difference they make.

Just as Harvard originated much that is now commonplace in American approaches to international legal education — including specialized courses in international law, a student-edited international law journal, and an international law library — Harvard Law School today is reshaping international legal studies for the 21st century.

Recent ILS News

  • Faculty Books In Brief — Spring 2015

    As far back as Aristotle, people have been touting the benefits of group decision-making. Yet, as Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 and and Reid Hastie note in their new book, history suggests that groups are often unwise or downright foolish.
  • A conversation with Bart Winokur

    From London to Iran and beyond, Barton J. “Bart” Winokur ’64 has had a robust career as an international deal-maker and expert in mergers and acquisitions.
  • A Voice for Accountability

    Sareta Ashraph documents violations of international law for the U.N.
  • Legacies of Selfless Scholarship

    In July, HLS Professor Daniel Halperin, will retire after after more than a half-century as a tax lawyer, professor and government official as will Duncan Kennedy who in 30 of his years on the faculty has taught one-fourth of every HLS entering class contracts, property or torts.
  • Power–and Peril–to the People

    In a new world of technology, Gabriella Blum and Benjamin Wittes argue, we are more powerful and more vulnerable than ever
  • LL.M.s for LGBT Rights

    Childhood friends train together to fight Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws
  • Articulating Integrity

    Students write about corruption for an international audience
  • Feldman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, and an expert in constitutional studies, international law, and the history of legal theory, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, humanities, and the arts.
  • What’s So Bad About a 10-Mile Walk to School? Two views of educational challenges in South Africa

    In recent blog posts, two students from the Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic shared their experiences working on education and transport-related issues in rural South Africa.
  • Two from HLS awarded 2015 Soros Fellowships for New Americans

    Two Harvard Law School students, Amal Elbakhar and Ledina Gocaj, were among 30 recipients selected to receive the Paul and Daisy Soros New American Fellowship, the premier graduate school fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants.

Last modified: January 20, 2015

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