International and Comparative Law
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.
UCI Law is one of the few law schools in the United States that have incorporated a dedicated international law course into the first-year curriculum. The course—International Legal Analysis—helps students learn to solve international and transnational legal problems that they are increasingly likely to face in today’s globalized practice of law. Students can build on these first-year foundations with upper-division international and comparative law courses such as:
- Access to Justice in China
- Cross-Border Trade in Intellectual Property
- National Security Law
- International Business Transactions
- International Contracts
- International Environmental Law
- International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
- International Human Rights Clinic
- International Justice Clinic
At UCI Law, students can get real-world international and comparative law experience through clinics and provide public service in international law through pro bono work. In the International Justice Clinic, students work with activists, lawyers and NGOs at home and around the world to develop and implement advocacy strategies concerning accountability for major human rights abuses. In the International Human Rights Clinic, students focus on international human rights litigation in U.S. courts, participating in the litigation of pending cases at the trial court and appellate levels, including strategy discussions, evaluation of claims, discovery, briefing and preparation for oral arguments.
International pro bono projects at UCI Law have included Global Access to Medicine, the Haiti Human Rights Initiative, and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project.
UCI Law is home to the Center on Globalization, Law, and Society (GLAS), the umbrella center for the study of international, transnational and comparative law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. The Center seeks to involve and engage UCI Law students in these research, educational, and public engagement activities. The Center organizes presentations, conferences and other events, and is a focal point for cutting-edge research on the development and operation of law in a globalized world.
As a premier research center, it builds understanding of law’s roles and constraints in addressing issues that transcend national borders, including the economy, human rights, health, and the environment. The Center brings together scholars of international, transnational and comparative law with social science researchers to build understanding and spur exchange on how to address transnational problems in a more effective and just way. UC Irvine is one of the world’s leading centers for the interdisciplinary study of law and society. The Center builds on these existing strengths by expanding connections between the law school, campus, and local, state, national, and global communities of scholars and affected constituencies.
International and comparative law opportunities at UCI Law go beyond coursework, clinics and public service. Each year, UCI Law sends a team of students to compete in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world’s largest moot court competition. Students also participate in the UCI Global Justice Summit, and they work as research assistants with professors on cutting-edge research on international and transnational law. In addition, UCI Law students have established a variety of organizations with an international focus, including the International Law Society, the Immigration and International Migration Law Society, and Space Law Society. UCI Law is also home to the John S. & Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business & Law, established as a premier research entity to facilitate and further develop important relationships between the U.S. and China as related to commerce and law, and the Korea Law Center, founded to promote practical solutions to problems arising at the intersection of U.S. and Korean law.
Related interdisciplinary programs at UCI include the Center for Asian Studies, the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, and the Center for Research in Global and International Studies.
Recent international and comparative law events at UCI Law have included the John S. & Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business & Law Distinguished Scholar Speaker Series, lectures by global figures such as human rights advocate and former justice of the South African Constitutional Court Albie Sachs, and symposia with leading practitioners and scholars such as the Laguna Workshop, which brought together leading diplomats, activists, and academics to examine the relationship between the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court; Opposing the Criminalization of Homelessness: Building a Human Rights Framework; and Human Rights Litigation in State Courts and Under State Law.
UCI Law’s distinguished faculty includes experts on a wide variety of international and comparative law subjects:
Paul L. HoffmanLecturer: Human Rights, Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts
Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Director of the Center on Globalization, Law and Society: International Law and International Trade and Investment Law
John S. & Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business & Law: Chinese Law and Regulation, Comparative Law
Ray D. Weston, Jr.Lecturer: International Business Transactions