About Us

The Trade, Investment and Development Program (TID) was established in 2014, at American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) in conjunction with the Brazilian International Trade Scholars’ Institute (ABCI Institute) and Women Inside Trade & Development, an organization that empowers women through its global network of professionals, specialized training and leadership development. TID focuses on the linkage between trade and other disciplines, such as intellectual property, environment, investment, labor and human rights.

Directed by Professor Padideh Ala’i, WCL Director of International and Comparative Legal Studies and a renowned international trade law professor, TID builds upon and continues WCL’s tradition of cultivating high academic achievements, career success, and diversity.

Its objectives include:

  • Enriching the trade & investment law curriculum to meet changing needs of our students:
    • Current WCL’s extensive trade-related curriculum ranges from the law and practice of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the regional trading arrangements (RTAs), international trade policy, trade sanctions and exports control, to trade and environment, international business transactions, international investment law and policy, and international arbitration, to name a few. TID also co-organizes an intensive three-week summer course in Geneva on WTO:  Rule-Making and Dispute Settlement, taught by officials and lawyers at the WTO Headquarter and the Advisory Centre on WTO Law.
    • International students can earn an LL.M. degree with specialization in Trade & Investment, choosing a wide array of related courses from this curriculum.
  • Fostering students’ practical learning experience:
    • Students have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of WTO law and pleading skills by participating in the annual ELSA WTO Moot Court Competition. TID has consistently organized and hosted the All American Regional Round of this Moot Court Competition at WCL with teams from both North and South America.
    • TID also searches for pro bono projects, internships, and externships with international law firms in D.C. and overseas that allow our students to gain hands-on experience in practicing trade law during the school year.
  • Connecting students, faculty, alumni and the D.C. legal community through conferences and lectures, networking events, and professional development programming.
  • Increasing capacity of marginalized countries or groups within them that have not benefited from the trade rules via Customized Training and Certificate Programs.