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

  • Reflections on the Digital World: Internet Monitor releases 2014 report

    Internet Monitor, a research project based at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, recently published the project’s second annual report, “Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World.” The report is a collection of roughly three dozen short contributions that highlight and discuss some of the most compelling events and trends in the […]
  • At HLS, panelists discuss the future of digital media in sports marketing

    At a December 2 event sponsored by Harvard Law School's Brazilian Studies Association and its Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law, experts convened at to discuss digital media's place in the future of the global sports business model.
  • The Lee and Li Foundation establishes a fund for the public interest at Harvard Law School

    Harvard Law School is pleased to announce that The Lee and Li Foundation, based in Taiwan, has made a generous gift to establish The Lee and Li Foundation Fund for the Public Interest at Harvard Law School.
  • At the Center of the Profession

    The legal profession is going through dramatic change, affected by factors ranging from globalization to new technology to a fragile economic recovery. And a Harvard Law School institution dedicated to studying the profession is undergoing its own big change.
  • President of a community without borders

    Every two years, the Harvard Law School Association appoints a new president to oversee an organization aimed at fostering engagement and community among the nearly 38,000 alumni living in 148 countries around the world.
  • Home Rule within Enemy Lines: Capturing life in a WWI internment camp

    During World War I, about 400,000 “enemy aliens” were imprisoned by all sides in camps on nearly every continent. During that time, Germany’s only exclusively civilian prison camp, Ruhleben Gefangenenlager, became a model of civil functionality.
  • Between Cambridge and Kiev

    The recent political turmoil in Ukraine meant that the couple worked 24/7, following the news constantly in order to give prompt advice to the minister.
  • Gallery: The 2014 Chayes International Public Service Fellows

    Since 2001, a select group of HLS students have undertaken public service internships under the auspices of the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship, dedicated to the memory of HLS Professor Abram Chayes '49.
  • Ferencz receives HLS Medal of Freedom (video)

    Benjamin B. Ferencz ’43, known for his role as chief prosecutor in the Nuremburg Trials and for his work promoting an international rule of law and the creation of an International Criminal Court, has been awarded Harvard Law School’s highest honor: the Medal of Freedom.
  • At HLS, former secretary of state Kissinger reflects on career, surveys current affairs

    Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited the Harvard Law School campus last week to share some of the lessons learned as adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Last modified: November 10, 2014

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