The International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) provides a strong intellectual and practical foundation for students looking to practice law in a global environment. Students engage with cutting-edge international law topics in the classroom and then apply their knowledge with hands-on experience through the International Law Practice Lab, two State Department grants, independent studies, and annual externships. Our program equips students with the substantive understanding of complex issues, pragmatic skills, personalized mentorship, and professional experiences needed to launch a career that meshes with their individual needs and interests.
ILSP provides Vanderbilt students with a strong foundation for post-graduate success. Vanderbilt alumni have been employed in a wide range of international organizations, enjoy a very strong placement record in leading law firms, and found success in federal Honors Programs and the Presidential Management Fellowship Program—the Federal Government’s flagship leadership development program.
Other graduates have accepted offers from top law firms in areas related to projects undertaken as part of the International Law Practice Lab. Most recently, a Vanderbilt alumni served as a member of Covington & Burling’s Ukraine v. Russian Federation litigation team. Others are serving overseas in the Department of State, have served as judicial clerks at the District and Circuit level before making a transition into an international law field.
Many students use their international law foundation as a springboard for successful careers in international arbitration practice, environmental law, corporate practice, sanctions work, litigation, and more.
Students in Vanderbilt's unique International Law Practice Lab immerse themselves in substantial legal work for clients that include the United Nations; Departments of State and Justice; Homeland Security; and national governments. Practice Lab students also work on domestic human rights litigation around the world.
The International Legal Studies program gives students room to design their own education in international law. Vanderbilt will help you tailor your professional horizons to align with your experiences, goals, and intellectual interests. Download the Program's “Choose Your Own Adventure” guide.
“Interning with an international prosecution team served as an opportunity to gain insight into the construction of international criminal cases, to hone my international legal research skills, and to contribute to a mission I care deeply about—the pursuit of accountability and justice for atrocity crimes. This experience has shaped the way I approach all legal questions and will make me a better strategist and advocate."
Connect with the International Legal Studies Program coordinator.