Virtually every important area of legal practice involves an international dimension – commerce, corporations, telecommunications, trade, tax, investments, finance, intellectual property, product liability, environmental, crimes, constitutions, and human rights. Increasing globalization has enhanced the speed that products and information flow around the world. Events in one country quickly affect circumstances in other countries, whether they are ecological disasters or trade disputes. Law is also important in facilitating the relationship between countries, transactions across national boundaries, and the immigration of people to homes in new countries.
Even general practitioners need to understand when an international legal question arises. Actions in purely local disputes may require taking evidence abroad, enforcing a local judgment in a foreign jurisdiction, or enforcing a foreign judgment in a domestic court.
International law courses frequently expose student to different fields of law that are inevitably related. A core course in this area of study is Public International Law, which focuses on the international legal process and the integration of the private and public aspects of international law. For students interested in international law opportunities, this course is recommended for the first semester of the second year.
Courses with specific subject matter focus, such as Immigration Law and Policy or International Business Transactions, can then be taken as one’s schedule permits during the second and third years. Professors also may offer a research seminar on advanced problems in international law for in-depth directed research in a small group that can also be taken during the second or third years. Individual research projects may be arranged with professors for those with special interests.
Selected Course Electives
- Conflict of Laws
- Current Problems in International Women’s Human Rights
- Human Rights Seminar
- Immigration Law and Policy
- International Business Transactions
- International Business Transactions: Practice One
- International Commercial Arbitration
- International Criminal Law
- International Environmental Law
- International Human Rights Law
- International Intellectual Property Law
UC Law offers many opportunities for students to complement their classroom knowledge and build skills in international law and international human rights.
For over three decades, the Urban Morgan Institute (UMI) has educated and trained human rights lawyers to promote and protect human rights in the international arena. The UMI serves as a model for many other human rights programs and emphasizes three areas: teaching, research, and service.
Since the founding of the Urban Morgan Institute, Arthur Russell Morgan fellowships have been offered to outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to international human rights. Another vital component of the UMI is the summer externship program. After the first year, law students interested in international law and human rights are given the opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience by spending the summer working with human rights organizations, international judges, governmental agencies, or UN bodies.
At the core of the Institute’s success is the Human Rights Quarterly, recognized as the leading academic journal in the human rights field. The Quarterly covers the range of human rights issues encompassed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Published by The Johns Hopkins Press, the Human Rights Quarterly is edited by UC Law students overseen by Professor Bert Lockwood, Editor-in-Chief and Director of the Institute.
Cincinnati Law also offers two other journal opportunities that routinely address matters related to international law and human rights. The Immigration and Nationality law Review is an internationally recognized annual law journal and one of only two major student-edited American law journals focusing on the increasingly important field of immigration law. The Freedom Center Journal is a scholarly publication published jointly with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center that explores legacies of historic struggles for freedom in order to provide a better understanding of ongoing forms of subordination and to craft strategies for social change.
Students have worked in Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Switzerland, for organizations such as:
- United National Development Program
- Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- Global Rights
- The Climate Institute
- International Center for Transitional Justice
Students who develop a more specialized background in international law will be well positioned for professional practice. The types of practice settings vary widely. Lawyers with a keen interest and knowledge in international law could counsel international corporate clients, provide guidance to individuals and families on immigration matters, advise high net-worth individuals on issues related to international tax law, or monitor legislative developments.
Our graduates work on diverse legal matters around the world. They work at organizations such as:
- Baker & McKenzie (Switzerland)
- United Nations Development Programme (Sudan)
- Proskauer Rose (China)
- Private Client Bank (Switzerland)
- Essex University Children’s Law Centre (United Kingdom)
- Occidental Oil & Gas Corporation (Qatar/Pakistan)
Attorneys work for international corporations and financial institutions, law firms, and other organizations around the world, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the International Criminal Court. You also will find attorneys working on international issues in many U.S. Government agencies, including the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, and the Environment Protection Agency.