LLM Areas of Specialization

International Business Law | International Human Rights Law | International Environmental Law | International & Comparative Protection of Intellectual Propery | Gender and the Law | Free Trade Agreements & Regional Integration | International Organizations | International Commercial Arbitration

While a specialization is not required, many of our students at the International Legal Studies Program choose to focus their studies on one of the eight areas of international law listed below.  To earn a Specialization Certificate for the ILSP LLM degree, students must complete 12 credits of coursework within their specialization and must write a 20-25 page paper on their area of study. 

Course offerings vary by semester. For a complete listing of current and past course offerings, please visit the Online Course Schedule.

International Business Law

The International Business law curriculum is designed both to give students the technical skills and knowledge required of international business lawyers and to educate them about the responsibilities lawyers have to their clients and communities. Find more information on ILSP professors at that teach International Business Law courses.

Topics include:
  • international business transactions
  • multinational enterprises
  • international antitrust
  • international and comparative tax policy
  • national export/import regulations
  • international telecommunications
  • domestic and international banking
  • the international monetary system
  • international financial law
  • international arbitration
  • international conflicts of law
  • foreign investment in developing countries
  • development assistance

International Human Rights Law

Courses in the Human Rights law specialization focus on the continuing process of defining international human rights and the creation of global and regional supervision. International humanitarian law courses address the international principles and rules regulating the conduct of armed conflicts as well as tracing their historical development. Students interested in specializing in international human rights are strongly encouraged to take courses during the Summer Program of the Academy in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. The ILSP also works closely with the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law to provide our students with a strong curriculum prepared by leading professionals in the human rights field. Find more information on ILSP professors that teach International Human Rights Law courses.

International Environmental Law

Environmental courses address the legal aspects of sustainable development, introducing students to the work of both practitioners and policy makers in the field. The intellectual focus of the curriculum is on the development of practical legal strategies for addressing the environmental problems facing our world today. Students interested in specializing in international environmental law are strongly encouraged to take courses during the Environmental Law Summer Session. Find more information on ILSP professors that teach International Environmental Law courses.

Topics include:
  • climate change
  • ozone depletion
  • air and water pollution
  • the loss of biodiversity
  • the extinction of species
  • balancing the environmental, social and economic aspects of international transactions

International & Comparative Protection of Intellectual Property

The specialization in International and Comparative Protection of Intellectual Property is designed to expose students to the full range of legal and policy problems and conflicts that arise from domestic and international regulation of copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Increasingly, minimum protections in these areas are being established in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, including the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Accordingly, the specialization involves significant exposure to international trade law, as well as the legal history and comparative analysis of domestic intellectual property regimes. Find more information on ILSP professors that teach International and Comparative Protection of Intellectual Property courses.

Topics include:
  • relations between international intellectual property regimes
  • economic and social impacts of converting culture and information into private property
  • rights of indigenous communities to access and benefit from traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and traditional cultural expressions
  • impacts of intellectual property protection regimes on economic development
  • conflicts and balances between intellectual property protection and human and civil rights.

Gender and the Law

Students specializing in Gender and the Law can pursue a course of study that incorporates international, comparative, and domestic approaches to legal issues related to gender. The program integrates an understanding of the ways that gender permeates the structure and operation of law with the study of legal systems throughout the world. In addition, students write a thesis as part of a seminar focused on gender and legal scholarship. For more information, please click here. Find more information on ILSP professors that teach Gender and the Law courses.

Topics include:
  • feminist jurisprudence
  • comparative family law
  • sex-based discrimination
  • gender and cultural differences
  • international human rights
  • work and parenting
  • women’s legal history
  • battered women and the law
  • law and poverty
  • economic, social, and cultural rights.

Free Trade Agreements & Regional Integration

The Trade specialization is designed to train lawyers in the technical and policy aspects of negotiating, drafting and implementing international trade agreements. Classes familiarize students with the process, structure, and rationale for trade negotiations through classroom instruction and simulation exercises. In addition, courses address technical issues, using individual regional trade agreements as case studies, and also raise issues that are relevant and can be applied to all regional trading agreements. Course work is supplemented by seminars, workshops, and internships to broaden students’ experiences. Find more information on ILSP professors that teach Free Trade Agreements & Regional Integration courses.

International Organizations

Students specializing in International Organizations focus on the study of the internal processes, law-making functions, and general activities of selected regional and international organizations. The curriculum also includes the analysis of the relationship between organizations, their member states and non-state actors. Find more information on ILSP professors that teach International Organization courses.

Topics include:
  • the United Nations
  • the Organization of American States
  • the World Bank Group
  • the World Trade Organization
  • the European Union
  • the International Monetary Fund.

International Commercial Arbitration

The International Commercial Arbitration specialization is designed to educate and train students in the theory and practice of International Commercial Arbitration by focusing on procedural and substantive law issues that arise in the practice of international commercial arbitration as well as foreseeable future developments. Taught by leading practitioners in the field, the specialization will cover the theory and practice of international commercial arbitration. Students will acquire working knowledge of the legal principles underlying international commercial arbitration and international investment arbitration and their practical implications. Students will learn, among other skills, to negotiate and draft arbitration clauses and to draft arbitration claims and responses. They will also learn strategies to perform in arbitration hearings, and key aspects of the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Topics include:
  • Arbitration, litigation and other international dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Institutional and Ad-hoc Arbitration
  • Investor-State Arbitration
  • The relation between Arbitration, Human Rights, and Environmental Law
  • How to conduct arbitration hearings
  • Choice-of-Law Issues in International Commercial Arbitration
  • Construction Arbitration