The practice of the law is rarely contained by national boundaries. In a world where social systems, politics, economic development, human rights, and environmental protection present global challenges, international legal practice requires expertise in international law and in legal systems outside the U.S.—as well as cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity.
The International and Comparative Law Program at Vermont Law School prepares students for these challenges by equipping them with knowledge and understanding of international and foreign law, an awareness of underlying issues and the necessary skills to navigate the global legal environment. More than 30 courses and a wide choice of study experiences broaden knowledge and skills, add new perspective, and open opportunities. Students interested in demonstrating committed focus to international law can earn a Certificate in International and Comparative Law. Students who have already earned a law degree outside the U.S. increase their global perspective through an LLM in American Legal Studies. Designed to enhance their career options, students develop a solid foundation in U.S. law and legal systems.
Our partnerships with leading universities in Canada, China, England, France, Italy and Spain allow students to study abroad for a semester or earn a specialized dual degree. On-campus courses include a study abroad component in such subjects as European Union Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, and International Climate Change Law.
International Semester in Practice (SiP) Externships allow students to engage in research and real world projects with organizations like the World Health Organization, Geneva; International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague; the U.S. Department of State; and the United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi. Students specifically interested in human rights law and policy can engage in experiential learning opportunities through the Center for Applied Human Rights. Students gain exposure to real-world issues of human rights theory and practice, interact with grassroots rights advocates and international organizations, contribute to solutions, and build their professional network through hands-on learning experiences with NGOs and inter-governmental organizations.
Engaging the Community
The student-run International Law Society extends international issues and career information to the entire Vermont Law School community through speaker panels, discussion workshops, conferences and guest speakers, and professional skills mentoring.
Ashlee Stetser, ’15, studied at Singapore Management University and interned with the Documentation Center of Cambodia the summer after her 1L year. As an intern, Ashlee edited articles for the inaugural Cambodia Law & Policy Journal and monitored trial proceedings at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Ashlee also participated in educational sessions and trainings with DC-Cam’s Trial Monitoring Committee and co-authored a newspaper article on these trainings. At the end of her internship, she travelled to Myanmar with DC-Cam’s Director to finalize a partnership to develop a documentation center in Yangon. Her 1L internship led her to publish an article on environmental impact assessment laws in Cambodia and to return to Myanamar and Cambodia as a delegate on behalf of the United States. Ashlee will attend the University of Oxford in October 2015, as a student in the Foreign Service Programme.