A series of experiential opportunities are available to third year students to complete their specialization. Because many of these experiences are only open to a limited number of students each year, early planning is encouraged.
I) International Moot Courts
Images courtesy of the United Nations
International moot courts are superior ways of earning hands-on experience in the chosen field. They are very intense experiences, requiring a substantial time commitment. Typically they culminate in final rounds that are held in other U.S. cities or abroad, dueling in advocacy with teams from other U.S. schools or foreign countries before panels of international law experts.
Each moot court competition takes place at different times during the year and has different application requirements. All have a limited number of positions available and are highly competitive. Not every moot court is offered every year. Check the school’s website and each moot court competition’s page to see whether the competition you are interested in is offered.
International Criminal and Human Rights Law:
International Economic Law:
Loyola Law School's International Arbitration Moot Court Competition (Intramural Competition)
II) Directed Research and Seminars
Students can culminate their Concentration experience by engaging in a substantial research and writing project on an approved topic under the supervision of a LLS faculty member (2+ units, also satisfying the UDWR). Students who choose this option will meet together periodically in the year to receive instruction in the art of writing publishable quality research papers. Students will also be required to present their work to student colleagues and faculty.
Students can also enroll in approved seminars on topics that fall within the purview of this Concentration. See list of "Elective Approved Courses" on the Concentration Requirements page. Note that seminars have limited enrollment.
All students choosing this option are strongly advised to take the International and Foreign Legal Research Class.
Image courtesy of the United Nations
Students enrolled in the International Criminal and Human Rights Law, as well as those enrolled in the International and Comparative Law track, have the option of capping their specialization by participating in the International Human Rights Clinic.
The International Human Rights Clinic gives students the opportunity to work on real cases of human rights violations that occur in several countries around the world. Students learn to analyze cases, consider options for submission, and draft submissions to various international human rights governing bodies. The clinic is active year-round, over three terms. Students sign up for two consecutive terms (2 units per term). Only 8 students are be able to participate in the clinic per term.
Another way of capping your specialization is through international internships and externships.
Recently, LLS students have participated in internships at the Tribunal of Justice of the Andean Community (Quito, Ecuador), No Peace Without Justice, a major international NGO in the field of international criminal justice (Brussels and New York). ; at CEJIL (in Washington DC), the leading organization representing victims in the Inter-American Human Rights system; at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (in the Hague), the UN hybrid international criminal tribunal; at the Human Rights Office of the Archbishop of Guatemala (in Guatemala City); and at the Consulate General of the United States in Belfast, Ireland; the Caribbean Court of Justice, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and the Consulate General of the United States in Naples, Italy.
Professor Romano maintains an up-to-date list of internships, externships, scholarships and fellowships.
These are by far not the only opportunities. Students are encouraged to proactively look for more opportunities. There are hundreds of organizations, around the world, that welcome volunteers. For instance, this link takes you to a very comprehensive database of non-governmental organizations all over the world that might be interested in volunteers for an internship.
You can find tips and advice on internships and careers in international and comparative law here:
- American Society of International Law, Careers in International Law: A Guide to Career Paths in International Law, (most recent edition is the 2009-2010)
- American Bar Association, Careers in International Law (most recent edition is 2008)
It is possible for students to earn units through internships and externships, and they would count towards satisfying the concentration requirements. Internships and externships need to meet some minimum requirements, established by the ABA, and our school’s criteria. Students interested in obtaining units this way should plan well ahead and talk to Prof. Barbara Blanco, Director of the Externships Office, and Prof. Romano.
Finally, consider that, while it is difficult to secure an international internship during the summer (June and July), when hundreds of other students are trying to do the same at the same organizations, it is usually much easier to land a very interesting and prestigious internship during the regular academic year, from August to May. Again, students can obtain units through internships and externships, as long as the organization meets certain minimum criteria. Students could earn up to 10 units per term and could reach the minimum of 12 units per semester required by our school by adding a directed research project (2 units) related to the internship. Students interested in this option need to start planning well ahead, as early as their first year in school, and need to talk to Prof. Romano and Prof. Blanco to identify an organization that meets the necessary criteria.
Loyola Law School
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Los Angeles, CA 90015