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International Legal Studies

At Harvard Law School, we consider an international perspective foundational to legal inquiry.

A student visits a landmark during her time abroad
Student Voices: A Lawyer's Limits
A student conducts an interview during an internship

HLS’ commitment to the world of law — and law all over the world — is exceptional. Our community includes students from more than 70 countries and jurisdictions, teaching and learning that engages with multiple legal systems, renowned visitors and scholars from abroad, and an extraordinary global alumni network. We offer more than 100 courses and reading groups that focus on international, foreign, or comparative law, and students can engage in supervised projects spanning the globe through HLS clinical offerings. Every J.D. student takes an international or comparative law class during their time at HLS. In a typical year, more than 170 HLS students work, study, or conduct research abroad in more than 45 countries, supported by an array of resources including research centers and the world’s largest academic law library, and utilizing specialized frameworks and fellowship programs. The International Legal Studies office is dedicated to facilitating these opportunities.

“As part of my work for the International Commission of Jurists, I’m most excited about learning how diplomacy and international law are intertwined and how the law can — and cannot — help enforce international human rights standards. I’m likewise looking forward to popping down to Paris to attend an Olympic event or two.”

Mason Barnard JD/Ph.D. ’26
2024 Chayes International Public Service Fellow, International Commission of Jurists, Belgium

This summer, sixteen Harvard Law School students are working with organizations based in 11 countries as 2024 Chayes International Public Service Fellows. Meet them here.