International Legal Studies

The Big Picture

NYU School of Law offers perhaps the broadest, most diverse and dynamic program in international law and global governance of any school in the world. The faculty is unsurpassed in the depth of its knowledge and engagement. The curriculum is unmatched in the strength and variety of international and related course offerings, from human rights and international humanitarian law to trade, finance and investment, from global environmental and energy law to United Nations and World Bank practice, from transnational arbitration to international legal theory.

Master’s students learn from recognized global leaders in their fields, completing a part of their coursework in advanced seminars which are offered in a small group setting and are dedicated to an in-depth exploration of topics. Direct engagement with faculty is also integral to the program, as students develop their research and writing ideas, and define the direction of their future intellectual and professional development.

Students derive great benefit from being located in New York, with its proximity to the United Nations and myriad high-level visitors coming to meet with students and work with our leading faculty, including practitioners at major law firms and NGOs who are working on the cutting edge of public international law. In addition, our premier Global Faculty and Global Visitors bring, each year, fresh perspectives from around the world.

The Program

Through courses, research and practical engagement, students are encouraged to deepen their understanding of international law, of the interconnections between its different fields, and of its relationship to domestic law.  Topics on which the Law School has particular curricular strength and which enable students with a specialized focus to hone their expertise while also building a strong foundation in public international law* include:

  • Chinese and East Asian Law
  • European Union Law and Regional Integration
  • Global Governance and Global Administrative Law
  • Global Public Law and Comparative Constitutional Law
  • History of International Law
  • Human Rights and International Criminal Law
  • International Climate, Environmental and Energy Law
  • International Legal Theory
  • International Trade
  • International/Transnational Litigation and Arbitration
  • Law and Institutions of War and Post-Conflict Reconstruction
  • Law and Development and Development Finance
  • United Nations and International Organizations Law
  • World, Regional and Bilateral Trade and Investment Law

Emerging Issues: Research and Practice

Hands-on practical experience and opportunities for substantive research and writing engage students in emerging issues.

Our renowned clinics have both a seminar and fieldwork component. Students can choose from our long-standing clinics on global justice, international organizations, and international environmental law, or the newly-established clinic on international transactions. Simulation courses, much like clinics, but without the fieldwork, also offer students practical training, such as Investment Treaty Arbitration and Oral Advocacy in International Investment and Commercial Arbitration.  

The selective Transitional Justice Leadership Program, pursued in conjunction with the LLM degree, combines research with practice. Students in the program take two of the main courses in this area and complete a related, academic-year internship with a New York international organization or NGO.

Our colloquia, each a series of workshops on a given subject, offer a unique exploration of the ideas shaping the field by inviting leading authors to discuss their recent scholarship. 

Students choose from a number of options, such as the Law and Development Colloquium, the Global and Comparative Public Law Colloquium, and the IILJ Colloquium.

Research and writing is a central part of a student's experience, whether conducted in conjunction with a colloquium or seminar, or under the supervision of a professor by completing independent research or this program's 4-credit thesis option. Student- and faculty-edited journals, the Law School's research centers, and blogs provide further space for innovative, policy-pushing projects. 

*Students principally interested in global business and commercial arbitration might consider the LLM in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration, as an alternative to the International Legal Studies program.