International & Comparative Law

The law school offers a robust and exciting International & Comparative Law Program, complete with specialized degree programs, course offerings, activities, student opportunities and more.

Overview

KU Law offers a first-class program in international and comparative law. At its core is a menu of courses in the areas most relevant to practice around the world, including international business and commercial law, intellectual property law, environmental law and dispute resolution. 

Our professors are scholars and lawyers recognized nationally and abroad as leaders in their fields. With decades of experience in practice and in the classroom, faculty challenge and engage students in small classes. 

Conferences and guest lectures, study abroad opportunities, international moot court programs, active student organizations and a friendly, cosmopolitan environment round out the experience.

J.D. students interesting in pursuing a career in this area of the law can pursue the International Trade & Finance Certificate. The certificate program is designed to prepare students for the increasingly global practice of law and to give KU Law graduates a competitive advance in the job market.

KU Law graduates practicing in this area have found positions around the world in fields including international trade, academia, business management, government and international nonprofit work.

International & Comparative Law Curriculum Guide

Course tracks within the program include public international law, private international business law and comparative law.

Recommended Upper-Level Courses:

  • Advanced International Trade Law
  • Asylum and Refugee Law
  • Chinese Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability & the Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Global Challenges in Law, Agriculture, Development, and Ecology
  • Human Rights Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Business Law Drafting
  • International Commerce and Investment
  • International Law and Literature
  • International Moot Court Competitions
  • International Trade Law
  • Islamic Law
  • Public International Law
  • The Law of War

Course descriptions

The International Trade & Finance Certificate permits KU Law students to specialize their studies in the areas of international trade, international business, and international finance and to obtain a certificate reflecting that specialization.

Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

Each fall, a moot court competition is conducted within the law school, coordinated by professors John Head and Lua Yuille, on a topic relating to international law. The competition includes both brief writing and oral arguments. All students, including first-year students, are eligible to compete. At the conclusion of the competition, cash awards are given for the best briefs and the best oral arguments, and a team of students is chosen to represent KU at the regional level of the Jessup International Moot Court Competition. Team members receive 2 credit hours in the spring semester. For the regional competition, which is held at a law school in the area in January/February, the KU team prepares two briefs and presents several oral arguments. The KU team has won the regional competition several times in recent years. The 2018-19 team advanced to the international round held in Washington, D.C. For details, contact Professor Head.

Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

Each spring, a three-person moot court team is selected to represent the school in a competition sponsored by Stetson University law school. The competition, which attracts more than two dozen law school teams from half a dozen or so countries, focuses on international environmental law and provides students an opportunity to study, write about and hone their oral advocacy skills on a hypothetical problem, before internationally known judges. The oral argument phase of the competition involves a trip to Florida in late October. For details, contact Professor Head or Professor Keller.

KU Law Partnership with United Nations Institute for Training and Research

Students enrolled in the Mediation Clinic and Tribal Judicial Support Clinic may have the opportunity to train diplomats on indigenous issues and conflict resolution as part of a partnership between KU Law and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

International Law Society

The Dwight D. Eisenhower International Law Society, formed more than three decades ago, sponsors visiting speakers to discuss current topics in international and comparative law; gathers and disseminates information about job opportunities in international law and business, including group participation in career workshops in Kansas City and elsewhere; provides support for the Jessup moot court competition; and helps publish an occasional newsletter titled International Law at KU, designed to inform the law school community of recent developments and coming events. The ILS faculty advisers are Professor Head and Professor Bhala.

Asian Law Students Association

ALSA embodies the bond and support of the Asian community within the legal profession. Its main goals include educating and advising society, and in particular the legal profession, of Asian culture, difficulties, and prospects within this field. The ALSA faculty advisers are Professor Harper Ho and Professor Bhala.

Other Speakers and Events

The law school hosts numerous workshops, colloquia and speakers each year, many on topics of current interest in the areas of international and comparative law. In the past few years, these have included a research workshop on international business and finance sponsored by the American Society of Comparative Law. The school has hosted speakers on the legal system in Tanzania; recent political and economic developments in India, China and the European Union; comparative constitutional reform; and international dispute resolution. Opportunity for student discussion of such topics has also come in the form of debates over U.S. participation in the United Nations and in regional trade pacts.

As a supplement to the work of the ILS and the Career Services Office, Professor Head regularly presents a noon forum on this topic. The presentation is based on an outline of career opportunities, classified by types of career paths and types of employers. It is structured around an annotated handout designed to give guidance on where to obtain current information on internships, permanent jobs, graduate study opportunities, and so on.

To view a video of a past presentation or receive a printable copy of the handout, please contact the Career Services Office at carservlaw@ku.edu.

Outstanding faculty members with expertise in key areas of international and comparative law teach and advise students. Beyond the classroom, faculty frequently publish books, law review articles and news pieces on international trade, comparative law and other related topics. 

Full faculty list

International & Comparative Law News

Learn more about KU Law's program in international and comparative law by reading the latest edition of the International & Comparative Law newsletter.

International & Comparative Law Program News & Scholarship

International & Comparative Law Program Brochures

Printable versions of the International & Comparative Law program brochure and degree information flyers are available by request. Please email kulawnews@ku.edu to request a printable copy of:

  • International & Comparative Law multilingual program brochure (PDF)
  • International & Comparative Law Program Flier (PDF)
  • International & Comparative Law Program Flier - Spanish translation (PDF)
  • International & Comparative Law Program Flier - Hindi translation (PDF)
  • LL.M. Degree Program Flier (PDF)
  • S.J.D. Degree Program Flier (PDF)

Questions?

Andrew Torrance
Associate Dean, International and Comparative Law
Paul E. Wilson Distinguished Professor of Law
torrance@ku.edu
785-864-9222