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

  • Susan Farbstein appointed Clinical Professor

    Susan Farbstein '04 has been appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she has been an assistant clinical professor at HLS since 2012.
  • New publication examines different approaches to assisting victims of armed conflict

    Acknowledge, Amend, Assist: Addressing Civilian Harm Caused by Armed Conflict and Armed Violence, a 28-page report released this week by Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program and Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), seeks to advance understanding and promote collaboration among leaders in the field.
  • Generous and Generative: Duncan Kennedy’s influence spans the globe

    A tribute to retiring Harvard Law Professor Duncan Kennedy written by former student Karen Engle '89, professor at University of Texas Austin School of Law.
  • Faculty Books In Brief — Spring 2015

    As far back as Aristotle, people have been touting the benefits of group decision-making. Yet, as Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 and and Reid Hastie note in their new book, history suggests that groups are often unwise or downright foolish.
  • A conversation with Bart Winokur

    From London to Iran and beyond, Barton J. “Bart” Winokur ’64 has had a robust career as an international deal-maker and expert in mergers and acquisitions.
  • A Voice for Accountability

    Sareta Ashraph documents violations of international law for the U.N.
  • Legacies of Selfless Scholarship

    In July, HLS Professor Daniel Halperin, will retire after after more than a half-century as a tax lawyer, professor and government official as will Duncan Kennedy who in 30 of his years on the faculty has taught one-fourth of every HLS entering class contracts, property or torts.
  • Power–and Peril–to the People

    In a new world of technology, Gabriella Blum and Benjamin Wittes argue, we are more powerful and more vulnerable than ever
  • LL.M.s for LGBT Rights

    Childhood friends train together to fight Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws
  • Articulating Integrity

    Students write about corruption for an international audience

Last modified: January 20, 2015

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