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:


Hands-On Learning and Public Service

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.

Additionally, the Korea Law Center provides a platform for the knowledge transfer, exchange and collaborations between students, legal scholars, judges, prosecutors, policy makers and lawyers from South Korea and the United States.

Additional Opportunities

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. UCI Law is also home to the Long US-China Institute, established to facilitate and further develop important relationships between the U.S. and China as related to commerce and 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 International Studies program.