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Where can International Legal Studies take you?

Welcome to HLS! The International Legal Studies team is looking forward to meeting you and helping you discover all of the resources that HLS offers for studying and working with international, comparative and foreign law. There is a lot to explore, both on campus and abroad. Here are some of the highlights.

First things first

  • Join our mailing list. We’ll send you updates about info sessions, ILS programs, deadlines, and more, as well as our weekly calendar of internationally-focused events at HLS and around the University.
  • Visit our web pages. They offer detailed information about ILS programs and many other resources at HLS and around the university.
  • Follow our Roadmaps. These stories describe the amazing ways that some HLS students have explored international, comparative and foreign law during law school and after graduation.

In your 1L year

  • Join a student organization or journal. HLS has a wealth of student orgs and journals, including many with an international focus. Student practice organizations (SPOs) provide opportunities for students to gain concrete legal experience; projects undertaken by members of HLS Advocates for Human Rights, HLS Negotiators, and the HLS Immigration Project often address international issues. (See “Making connections—and a difference—through Student Practice Organizations” on Harvard Law Today.)
  • Explore international, comparative or foreign law through your spring term elective. This upper-level course can provide a solid foundation for summer work and future studies. In recent years, 1L students have studied asylum, refugee and immigration law; the international law of the sea; international arbitration; international humanitarian law; public international law, and other topics.
  • Consider how to spend your 1L summer. Summer offers HLS students the opportunity to acquire full-time, hands-on experience in public or private sector work in countries all over the world. The Office of Career Services (OCS) and the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA) offer resources for finding a summer job abroad, and ILS can be a resource and a sounding board as well. Summer Public Interest Funding supports students pursuing substantive law-related public service summer employment, and the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship can also be an especially beneficial opportunity for 1Ls.
  • Look ahead to your 2L and 3L years. Find advice from the International and Comparative Law Program of Study on pursuing deepening knowledge and a potential career in this field. Learn about resources at HLS and around the university, join us for information sessions this fall on ILS programs — including spending a semester abroad, pursuing an independent clinical or research/writing project during a Winter Term abroad, and earning a joint J.D./LL.M. degree from HLS and the University of Cambridge — that you can participate in later, and begin thinking about fitting these elements into your time at HLS.

Connect with ILS

  • Meet the ILS staff. We’re looking forward to working with you.
  • Come to office hours. Sara Zucker, Director of International Legal Studies, and Andre Barbic, Program Officer, are available to answer questions and help you plan your participation in our internationally focused programs. During the academic year, Sara holds office hours on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 am and Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in Wasserstein 5005.  Office hours are a chance for students to ask questions or consult about their plans, and are held on a drop-in basis; no appointment is needed.  In addition, Sara is happy to meet with students at other mutually convenient times, either in person or over Zoom.  To schedule a meeting outside of regular office hours, please email her at szucker@law.harvard.edu.
  • Contact ILS. Send an email to ils@law.harvard.edu if you have any questions about our programs.