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International Legal Studies

Meg Fowler '18 at The Hague

The Vanderbilt International Legal Studies program provides a strong intellectual and practical foundation for students who wish to practice law in a global environment by combining substantive classroom exposure to cutting-edge topics in international law with practical experience in their application through the International Law Practice Lab and annual externships. The pathways into international legal practice are complex and variable, however, the program equips students with the substantive understanding of complex issues and the pragmatic skills needed to launch a professional career that meshes with students' individual needs and interests.

Vanderbilt alumni are currently employed in a wide range of international organizations, including the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Trade Organization; a range of U.S. governmental agencies; and international tribunals, such as the International Tribunal for Rwanda. Eight 2010 graduates were selected as Presidential Management Fellows, which permits them to seek placement in U.S. government agencies and begin a civil service career. Other graduates have accepted offers in law firms in areas related to projects undertaken as part of the International Law Practice Lab. Others have taken the Foreign Service Exam and are serving overseas in the Department of State. Some graduates choose to spend the first year or two out after graduation as judicial clerks before making a transition into an international law field. Your professional horizons will stretch from Nashville throughout the world based on your preparation, your interests and your perseverance.

The International Legal Studies Program awards a scholarship to an entering student in memory of the late Raymonde I. Paul, who developed a diverse practice in international law and participated extensively in the International Federation of Women Lawyers. Each year a rising 2L is selected to receive the Helen Strong Curry International Legal Studies Scholarship, which provides supplemental funding for each of the second and third years of law school to support study in international law. More information is available on the Program Scholarships page. In addition to the scholarship opportunities, an array of semester and summer externships are also available, including stipends that are available for students in financial need. More information is available on the Externships page.

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Upcoming Program Events

November 7th, 2022 "Technology and the Future of War" with Niloofar Razi Howe, the senior operating partner at Energy Impact Partner, and Professor Ganesh Sitaraman
November 10th, 2022 2022 Jonathan I. Charney Distinguished Lectures in International Law with United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Pramila Patten
March 20-25th, 2023 European Union Law Short Course with Adjunct Professor Peter Kerstens, advisor for the European Commission’s financial services department
April 2-6th, 2023 International Trade Law Short Course with Adjunct Professor Michael Waibel, professor of international law at the University of Vienna
May 4-5th, 2023 Second Annual Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats