International and Comparative Law Course Suggestions

To practice law at the highest levels of the profession, lawyers need to have a global perspective on law, ethics and strategy, and they need to be able to solve a wide range of legal problems that cross borders. Therefore, international and comparative law has been a focus of teaching, scholarship and public service at UCI Law since the law school’s founding.

The foundational course in international law is the required first-year course in International Legal Analysis. In virtually all fields of practice—from criminal law to family law, business law to immigration, intellectual property to human rights—lawyers increasingly face legal problems that cross international borders. This course focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to analyze and solve these problems, thus providing essential foundations for practicing law in today’s globalized world.

Other highly recommended foundational courses for students interested in international practice include Conflict of Laws and courses on dispute resolution (such as Alternative Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, or the Multi-Party Dispute Resolution Workshop).

In addition, students interested in international litigation will benefit from courses in Evidence, Trial Advocacy and Appellate Litigation; and students interested in international business should not only take Business Associations and International Business Transactions, but also consider Representing Business Clients and Advanced Legal Writing: Business Drafting.

Students should also consider specialized international law courses such as the following:

  • Access to Justice in China
  • African Legal Systems
  • Comparative Aspects of the Right to Free Expression
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Contracts
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • International Trade Law
  • Introduction to Chinese Law and Politics
  • Sociology of Legal Globalization
  • Spanish for Lawyers

UCI Law emphasizes experiential learning, including through its excellent law clinics. Students interested in international practice should consider the International Justice Clinic, the International Human Rights Clinic, or the Immigrant Rights Clinic.

In addition, the law school fields a Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team each year. The competition exposes participants to cutting-edge issues in public international law, and offers an opportunity for intensive work on international legal research and advocacy, both written and oral. UC Irvine students have won awards in the competition for both oral and written advocacy. Each year, the law school also holds a Global Justice Summit, which is a day and a half exercise in comparative constitutional drafting.

Many areas of international practice involve substantive problems covered in upper division courses. These include Antitrust, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Immigration Law, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property (including Copyright and Patent), and Tax. Some of these courses—including Environmental Law—include international law topics. If you are interested in an international practice focusing on one of these areas of law, you should seriously consider taking one or more of the corresponding courses or clinics.

For more information about international law courses, contact:

More information is also available on the International and Comparative Law Faculty Scholarship page.