Thursday, December 8, 2011

Does Your Law School Require (or Offer) International Law to First Year Students?

We received an interesting question as to which law schools in the United States require an international or comparative law in the first year or offer such a course as an elective to first year law students.  If you know of such a school, please send us a message or use the comment function to share with other readers.  We'll publish the list as we receive your input.  Thanks.  We're also interested in knowing when law schools in other countries start teaching their students about international law.  Here's some of the answers we've received so far . . .

IN THE UNITED STATES

  • Jennifer Gundlach tells us that the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University requires first-year students to take a two-credit course entitled Transnational Law.
  • Colleen Medill tells us that the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has just reformed its first-year curriculum to include a two-credit mandatory International Legal Perspectives course.  You can read more about it by clicking here for a post from Professor Matt Schaefer. 

IN OTHER COUNTRIES

  • ISRAEL.  We heard from two of our readers that the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzalia, Israel has a mandatory first year course in public international law and a mandatory second year course in private international law.  Advanced international law courses are also available as electives.
  • ITALY.  Dr. Gianluca Gentili, Comparative Public Law, University of Siena,  commented that law school in Italy takes five years to complete (the "Laurea Magistrale"), wich is an undergraduate degree (students start attending Law School when they are 19).  As part of those five years, stduetns must take Comparative Law and EU Law as mandatory second-year courses, while International Law is a mandatory third-year course.  After the second year, students can choose to take elective courses in Private Comparative law, Comparative Administrative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Comparative Labor Law, Anglo-American Law, International Tax Law, Comparative Systems of Judicial Review, even if these are formally defined as fifth year courses.  He also noted that even first-year courses dealing with typical "domestic" subjects (e.g. Constitutional Law, Private Law) always include comparative references.  Here's a link to the curriculum for the University of Florence, Italy     

See the "Comments" to this post for additional entries, and please add your own contributions to this list.

(mew)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/international_law/2011/12/first-year.html

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The IDC in Israel (http://www.idc.ac.il):
Introduction to Public International Law - first year mandatory
Private International Law - Second year mandatory

Advanced courses are available as electives

Posted by: Daniel E | Dec 8, 2011 10:49:54 AM

A very interesting question. In Italy, where any law school curriculum takes 5 years to be completed (so-called "Laurea Magistrale") and is an undergraduate degree (students start attending Law School when they are 19), Comparative Law and EU Law are mandatory, second-year courses while International Law is a mandatory third-year course.
However, already since their second year, students can choose to take elective courses in Private Comparative law, Comparative Administrative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Comparative Labor Law, Anglo-American Law, International Tax Law, Comparative Systems of Judicial Review, even if these are formally defined as fifth year courses.
Finally, it should be noted that even first-year courses dealing with typical "domestic" subjects (e.g. Constitutional Law, Private Law) always include comparative references.
See, e.g. the curriculum for the University of Florence, Italy: http://www.giuris.unifi.it/index.php?module=ofform&mode=1&cmd=2&AA=2011&fac=200005&cds=1170&pds=GEN&afId=0&lan=1&regdid=2011&doc=&selAA=2011

Hope this helps!
Gianluca Gentili - Ph.D., Comparative Public Law, University of Siena.

Posted by: Gianluca Gentili | Dec 9, 2011 6:50:05 AM

At the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, we require our first-year students to take a two-credit course entitled Transnational Law.

Posted by: Jennifer Gundlach | Dec 10, 2011 5:30:00 AM

I'm a first year law student in the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlia, Israel. Here we have a mandatory course (3 credits) in Public International Law as part of our first year curriculum.

Posted by: Isaac Hammer | Dec 11, 2011 2:19:53 AM

At the civil law section of the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, Public international law is a mandatory first year class while it is an elective for the upper years at the common law section. Private international law is a mandatory third year class for the civil law section students. However, the common law section offers a concentration in international law for the JD.

Check the Licence en droit civil
http://www.droitcivil.uottawa.ca/en/etudes-de-premier-cycle/futurs-etudiants/sequence-des-cours-par-programme-d-etudes.html

http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/en/programs/international-law/news.html

Posted by: Anna | Dec 12, 2011 8:45:46 PM

At the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, we use a pervasive approach to introduce students to international law in the first year. Our Global Legal Studies course (a much upgraded legal research and writing course) required of all first and almost all second year students has a component introducing students to international law issues. Substantive first years courses introduce students to various concepts underlying international law. For example, coverage of ATS cases in torts requires students to ask what is the law of nations and thereby provides a vehicle for introducing students to the sources of international law.

Posted by: Franklin A. Gevurtz | Dec 12, 2011 9:54:31 PM

My institution, Loyola Law School Los Angeles, is implementing a three-credit elective this year as part of our 1L curriculum this coming spring. First year students will be allowed to choose from a menu of six courses, which includes "Introduction to International Law." The other choices include introductory classes in Administrative Law, Class Action Litigation, Immigration Law, Intellectual Property, and Tax.

Posted by: Dave Glazier | Dec 13, 2011 3:27:46 PM

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