JD Admissions

Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) Lowinson Scholars Program

Program Overview

The Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) Lowinson Scholars Program identifies students with outstanding academic backgrounds and strong international law interests for this highly selective program. IILJ Scholars participate in internships, research programs and IILJ events during their time at NYU. IILJ Scholars also have the possibility in their second year to apply to enter the four-year JD-LLM in International Law, a highly selective program providing advanced specialist training in international law. IILJ Scholars in the 3-year or 4-year programs will have the opportunity to develop a substantial research agenda and publication record in international law, supported by opportunities for practical engagement and field research.

Scholars in their second year take a mixture of international law courses and other courses in individual programs designed in consultation with the program director. Courses include the core International Law course and at least one seminar involving substantial writing on an international law topic. All IILJ Scholars are required to take, in their second and third years, an IILJ seminar focused on international law writing and scholarly methodology. In addition, IILJ Scholars are required to take, in their second or third year, an IILJ Colloquium on International Law Theory. Topics explored in the IILJ seminar may include the implications for international law of globalization, global justice, democracy, and relations of these to trade, security, human rights, and social or environmental policy. Methodologies covered include rational institutionalism, normative theory, constructivism, economic analysis, historical or case study methods, and development and testing of policy. 

Beginning in their second year, Scholars are encouraged to produce one or more publishable student notes for a suitable journal, often begun as part of an internship the previous summer, and IILJ faculty are available to provide comments and advice on this work. In addition, Angelina Fisher, IILJ Program Director, works closely with IILJ Scholars in development of their research agendas, internship placement, course selection, and career plans.

All second-year and third-year Scholars participate in the IILJ Conference at which they present their academic papers for review by faculty and peers. Scholars participate in an extensive range of international law meetings and IILJ speaker sessions during the year. A review of personal goals, curricular plans, and academic performance is held with the program director near the end of the second year. Continuation of the scholarship is subject to satisfactory performance and mutual agreement.

Other special seminars open to students specializing in international law are convened from time to time by faculty members of the Institute's executive committee, and discussions sometimes lead into an informal dinner. On occasion, conferences are held for wider discussion of the research. Close mentoring is provided in these seminars with the aim of perfecting the student papers for eventual publication.

In their second year, students may apply to a JD-LLM program in International Law. The four-year JDLLM is a unique and innovative addition to NYU Law School's academic programs. It is designed for students seeking specialist academic expertise in international law. The program aims to provide close mentoring and specialist training for a small number of outstanding students who will go on to make a significant contribution to scholarship, teaching, and innovative practice in the field of international law. The three-year JD program is followed by a one-year Master of Laws degree (LLM) that combines research and writing with some course work. Throughout the program Fellows will participate in academic colloquia, including presentation of their own scholarship during the LLM year and in special seminars with leading scholars and practitioners in international law. Individual mentoring by international law faculty is a key component of the program. 

Scholars who have been accepted into the JD-LLM Program subsequently undertake the LLM year, with individually tailored course schedules, including an International Law Thesis course. By the end of the program they will have written several very substantial supervised research papers relating to international law, with publication the objective. These papers may address different aspects of the same big topic of the student's central interest, although more commonly they explore several separate topics.

Candiates for the IILJ Lowinson Scholars Program will be identified from the pool of applicants admitted to the Law School who have a demonstrated committment to scholarship and the study of international law. All IILJ Lowinson Scholars Program candidates will be invited to visit the Law School for IILJ and admitted students events. At that time they will meet with several of the Law School's international law faculty and current IILJ Scholars.