Program of Study in Global Law

Whether dealing with the regulation of securities markets, the suppression of cross-border crimes, or the resolution of family law disputes, law today is inescapably global. Given the pervasively transnational nature of legal problems in today’s world, legal professionals need to have a familiarity with the principles, sources, processes, and institutions of law that transcend the boundaries of a national legal system. For that reason the Notre Dame Law School faculty advises students to take at least one basic course in international law.

Some students, however, will come to Notre Dame specifically to take advantage of our distinctive strengths in international legal studies, or will discover in their time here an interest in acquiring deeper and broader expertise in this area beyond a basic course or two. With that in mind, and conscious of increasingly international dimension of the University’s mission, the Law School has been building on its existing strengths in international law. These strengths include the new NDLS Program on Law and Human Development, a focal point for international legal studies at the Law School, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which enables committed lawyers to gain practical experience in international human rights law in the course of earning an LL.M. Each program is a lively hub of academic and service activity that provides J.D. candidates with extensive possibilities for involvement in global legal studies both during the academic-year and during the summer months.

Moreover, each year about 30 second-year students from NDLS who have successfully completed all their first-year courses elect to study in England at Notre Dame’s London Law Center, taking course and seminar work under American and English teachers. A one-semester option is also available to second-year students and a fall semester is available to third-year students.

Now NDLS has prepared the following Program of Study in Global Law to assist J.D. students in crafting a comprehensive educational package in international, foreign, and comparative law at Notre Dame. Following the program will help prepare a student to practice law in a wide array of transnational contexts, from multijurisdictional private practice to intergovernmental institutions of public law with both technical skill and a principled dedication to the universal common good.

Experiences

Business on the Front Lines

Business on the Front Lines


In 2012, the first NDLS students participated in Business on the Front Lines. The course combines classroom learning with real, hands-on experience in a foreign country. NDLS students have previously ventured to Guatemala, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Philippines.

Notre Dame Journal of International Comparative and Human Rights Law

Notre Dame Journal of International, Comparative and Human Rights Law


JICH is unique amongst the journals at NDLS in that it actively seeks contributions from its many LL.M and J.S.D. students engaged in studying international human rights law. As the field of international law continues to evolve, JICH will provide timely and innovative commentary while preserving the invaluable tradition of law school journals that has inspired excellence among law students for generations.

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Core Faculty

The following Notre Dame Law School faculty members, whose teaching and research are almost entirely encompassed within the areas of international, foreign, and comparative legal studies, form the core faculty of the Program of Study in Global Law.

Painted Mural

Fighting for Global Justice

Our global law faculty are on the front lines fighting for human rights and against drone strikes.

Roger Alford
Professor of Law

Paolo G. Carozza
Professor of Law
Director, Kellogg Institute for International Studies
Director, Center for Civil and Human Rights

Douglass Cassel
Professor of Law and Notre Dame Presidential Fellow

Kristine Kalanges
Associate Professor of Law

Mary Ellen O’Connell
Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law
Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution

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Affiliated Faculty

In addition, a significant number of other Notre Dame Law School faculty are engaged in teaching or research that is of importance to students pursuing international, foreign, and comparative legal studies:

Colleen M. Baker
Associate Professor of Law

Patricia L. Bellia
Professor of Law and Notre Dame Presidential Fellow

Geoffrey Bennett
Director, Notre Dame London Law Program

Margaret F. Brinig
Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law
Associate Dean for Faculty Research

Barbara J. Fick
Associate Professor of Law

Richard W. Garnett
Professor of Law
Concurrent Professor of Political Science
Associate Dean

Jimmy Gurulé
Professor of Law

Michael Kirsch
Professor of Law

John Copeland Nagle
John N. Matthews Professor of Law

O. Carter Snead
Professor of Law

Avishalom Tor
Professor of Law

Christine Venter
Director, Legal Writing Program

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Foundational Courses

The program typically begins with the introductory course in International Law, which ideally would be taken in the first year as a student’s spring semester elective or at the latest in the fall semester of the 2L year.

Advanced Courses

Students following the Program of Study in Global Law should thereafter maintain a balanced curricular plan that draws from four different groups of courses.

One group of courses addresses areas pertaining principally to public international law and deals with classic problems and projects at the inter-state level.

These include, for example, International Law on the Use of Force, International Environmental Law, the Law of International Organizations, International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, and International Criminal Law.

In fact, the goal of the Program of Study in Global Law is precisely to help students integrate the various facets of international, foreign and comparative law into a balanced whole.

Another group consists of courses in areas predominantly concerned with the regulation of transnational economic activity, including International Business Transactions, International Trade, International Commercial Law, International Investment Law, and International Taxation.

A third group examines the mechanisms of international dispute resolution in greater depth. These include International Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation.

A fourth group of courses deals with foreign or comparative law, exposing students to the ways in which other national legal systems conceptualize the sources and principles of law, and how they structure their fundamental legal institutions and processes. These include, for example, Comparative Legal Traditions, Comparative Constitutional Law, and EU Law.

Naturally, this categorization is not systematic, and many courses in the Notre Dame Law School curriculum cut across two or more of the categories; they cannot be considered more than a very general but fluid arrangement of subject areas. In fact, the goal of the Program of Study in Global Law is precisely to help students integrate the various facets of international, foreign and comparative law into a balanced whole. For that reason, it is also highly recommended that students who have arrived at a more advanced curricular level of study in the program seek courses that explicitly bring together several of the course groups and which can serve as a capstone to the entire Program of Study. Such courses might include, for example, International Art Law, Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, or Law and Human Development.

Finally, students wishing to follow this program of study are strongly encouraged to satisfy their upper-level writing requirement by undertaking to research and write a paper on an international, foreign or comparative law topic, either in connection with a course or as a directed reading or journal note.

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Other Resources

Interdisciplinary Study

Interdisciplinary Study


The University of Notre Dame is home to an impressive array of scholars and courses in international studies beyond those at the Law School. Participants in the Program of Study in Global Law therefore are encouraged to attend lectures and conferences at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and to cross-register for courses in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Mendoza College of Business, and the College of Arts and Letters.

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Study Abroad

Study Abroad


Students pursuing the Program of Study in Global Law should consider spending a summer, semester or year studying abroad, in order to enrich their curricular selections and to broaden their global perspectives. As already noted, a principal opportunity is the Notre Dame London Law Center, which offers a variety of courses in international, foreign, and comparative law often not available on the South Bend campus. The Law School also has a student exchange program in place with the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, and is in the process of establishing other foreign study opportunities in Asia and South America.

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Extra-Curricular Opportunities


A student pursuing the Program of Study in Global Law has a variety of different opportunities at Notre Dame Law School to gain more practical and applied experience in the field outside of the classroom. The Jessup International Moot Court Competition provides one way to gain research, writing and oral advocacy training, for example. The International Law Student Association and International Human Rights Society sponsor speakers, symposia, and publishing opportunities.

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Contact

Roger Alfordl

For more information about this Program of Study or the field of Global Law, please contact Professor Roger Alford.