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Global Law

Lewis & Clark understands that in today’s global economy, even lawyers practicing exclusively in the United States encounter transactions, disputes and other matters having an international component. The international context raises unique issues and requires special skills; the Global Law Program’s mission is to give students the foundation they need to meet that challenge.  As such, the Law School provides a broad and deep global law curriculum, a focus on practical skills, and engagement with the global legal & academic community.

What Is Global Law?

Global law encompasses several different areas of the law involving an international element, including:

Public International Law governs the structure and conduct of sovereign states and analogous entities.  Courses in this area cover such topics as recognition of states, self-determination, human rights law, international criminal law, the use of force, and the international commons.

International Business Law includes international and domestic law governing commercial transactions between parties from different countries.  Courses in this area cover such topics as international sales of goods, trade law, import and export regulation, distributorships and franchising, foreign investment, international intellectual property law, and corporate social responsibility.

International Dispute Resolution concerns methods for resolving disputes between parties from different countries, and the legal frameworks governing those methods.  Courses in this area cover such topics as international civil litigation in U.S. courts, international arbitration, mediation, negotiation, and conflicts of law.

International Environmental Law involves international treaties, principles, and other norms to protect natural resources and the environment.  Courses in this area cover pollution prevention, international trade in wildlife and hazardous wastes, protection of biological diversity, ozone depletion, and climate change.

Comparative Law is the study of similarities and differences between the domestic laws of two or more countries.  Courses in this area may focus on particular countries or regions, on substantive areas such as criminal, commercial, environmental or constitutional law, or on both.

Opportunities in Global Law at Lewis & Clark

At Lewis & Clark, students can study global law in specific courses or seminars dedicated entirely to one or more of the above areas, or as an element of a course or seminar with broader coverage.  We also offer a Certificate in Global Law, which is intended to recognize students for their achievements in global law and inform prospective employers that these students have completed a rigorous course of study in these areas.  

In addition, Lewis & Clark regularly hosts colloquia and lectures on global law topics, featuring distinguished speakers from academia, practice, and the judiciary.  These are typically organized in association with Lewis & Clark’s International Law Society, a student organization dedicated to international law issues.

Finally, Lewis & Clark students have significant opportunities to study or work abroad during their time at the Law School.  These include a three-week summer program to study law in China, and other ABA-accredited study abroad programs for which credit will be granted. Opportunities also include a host of externships with law firms, companies, and nongovernmental organizations in Europe, China, India, and elsewhere, which the Law School or the student identifies, and for which qualified students may apply.