Certificate in International Law

The Certificate in International Law (the “Certificate”), awarded to qualified Lewis & Clark Law School students at graduation, recognizes successful concentration within the International Law curriculum. A student who satisfies the requirements for the Certificate will be entitled to a certificate denominated “Certificate in International Law.” Students who believe that they will fulfill the requirements must complete an application that is available from the Registrar in order to be awarded a certificate.

This page describes the requirements to obtain a certificate in International Law and provides links to the documents that must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by February 1st for a May graduation date or October 31st for a January graduation date.

Please also visit the International Law program page for general information about International Law at Lewis & Clark Law School.



Students qualify for the Certificate by satisfying the following requirements.

A. Course Requirements

1. Students must complete four (4) core courses:

2. In addition, students must earn five (5) additional credits in classes on the following list: 

492 Climate Change: International Law

110 Adv. Civil Procedure: Conflict of Laws

240 Human Trafficking 

364 Immigration Law 

702 Individual Research *1

409 International Animal Law 

461 International Criminal Law 

534 International Environmental Law 

580 International Human Rights 

388 International Investment Law 

531 International Trade Law and Environment 

951 International Wildlife Law

465 Transformative Immigration Law

3. Students may earn a maximum of three (3) ungraded credits that count toward the five (5) additional credits from the following courses or from courses described in Other Course Considerations.

726 Moot Court: Jessup International Law Competition *2

754 International Animal and Environmental Law Clinic

Please note that new courses may be added to the International Law Curriculum, courses listed above may no longer be offered or may be offered only periodically, or credit allocations may change. Courses not on the above list may be deemed to count toward the non-core additional credit requirement in the discretion of the Certificate Administrator.

4. Other Course Considerations

Externships: Students may satisfy three (3) of the five (5) non-core additional credits required for the Certificate by the use of credits earned through an externship involving a substantial International Law element, either in a foreign country or in the United States, approved by the Certificate Administrator. The externship may be with a governmental agency, a non-governmental organization, an international organization, a corporation or other business entity, or a law firm.

Transfer Credits: Course credit may also be allowed, with the approval of the Certificate Administrator, for one course, including one of the four (4) core courses, of up to three (3) credits taken at another law school. In that event, only the credit earned for that course will be applied to the Certificate; the grade earned for the course will not be counted in determining the student’s GPA for the Certificate.    

Student Directed Reading Groups: With the approval of the Certificate Administrator, students may satisfy one (1) of the five (5) non-core additional credits required for the Certificate with a Student Directed Reading Group (“SDRG”) on an International Law topic. This would count as one (1) of the three (3) permitted ungraded credits.

Dual Certificates: Students may not use credits from a class toward satisfaction of the Certificate requirements if they are using those credits toward satisfaction of the requirements for another Certificate at Lewis & Clark. 

B. Paper Requirement

Students must complete one substantial research paper exclusively on one or more topics relating to International Law. To qualify, the paper must be a significant written product that demonstrates thorough research, the ability to synthesize and report on that research, the ability to engage in complex legal and critical analysis, and sophisticated writing skills. It must also be one of the following: (a) a paper written to fulfill course requirements in a course approved for the Certificate, (b) an Individual Research paper, for a minimum of two (2) semester hours, or (c) a paper written to fulfill course requirements in a course not specifically approved for the Certificate. Students who plan to fulfill the writing requirement with options (b) or (c) should seek the advance approval of the Certificate Administrator to confirm that the paper will qualify as sufficiently dealing with International Law. Papers not written for graded credit do not satisfy this requirement.

C. Grade Point Requirement

Students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.00 or better in courses taken and selected as qualifying for the Certificate. To obtain the Certificate “with Distinction,” a student must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.67 or better in courses that are taken and submitted to satisfy the requirements of the Certificate.

No credits transferred from another law school and accepted for use toward a Certificate, or credits for a course taken on a credit/no credit basis and approved by the Certificate Administrator, will be used in computing the grade point average.

Note: When the approval of the Certificate Administrator is needed in order for a particular course, externship, SDRG, or paper to count toward the Certificate, it is highly recommended that such approval be sought in advance (i.e., before taking the course, externship or SDRG or writing the paper).

*1 To qualify, the individual research paper would have to be on an International Law topic, to be approved by the Certificate Administrator.

*2 Students who participate in this class in successive years may count only 1 credit toward the Certificate.

Updated 9/26/23