International and comparative law is unique as a field of study because it is particularly diverse. Students in the International and Comparative Law Specialization can choose to structure their curriculum to focus on any number of priorities, such as public international law, comparative and foreign law, international human rights law, international criminal law, international trade law and international intellectual property law, among others. Beyond the course requirements, students have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of related extracurricular activities within the ICLP. UCLA School of Law has highly-regarded student edited journals, several international law related student organizations, and moot court opportunities for students to enhance their advocacy skills. The expansive faculty of the ICLP host a variety of prominent colloquia, symposia and speaker events throughout the year, which enhance the intellectual community of the law school.
To support the strong student interest and demand for programming, ICLP holds an Introduction to International and Comparative Law at UCLA School of Law Information Session early in the Fall of each academic year. Students interested in international and comparative law, including human rights, are strongly encouraged to attend this event. This event is designed to introduce the student body to the international and comparative law offerings at UCLA Law. All of the International and Comparative Law faculty attend this session to discuss their course offerings and research interests. This event also provides students with the opportunity to learn about the many international law related student organizations and journals to get involved with, and a calendar of events planned for that upcoming year.
In the Spring semester ICLP holds a second information session specific to the International and Comparative Law Specialization. All students interested in pursuing the Specialization should attend. This event provides an overview of the structure of the Specialization, and the requirements to complete the Specialization. The application process for the Specialization opens immediately after this session.
Those J.D. students wishing to pursue the Specialization in International and Comparative Law will generally be required to declare their intention to do so during the Spring semester of 1L year. In some circumstances a student may petition to join the Specialization track after Spring of 1L year, and at any point up to Spring of 3L year. In such cases, a student may be admitted to the Specialization if they are in good standing and can demonstrate that they have satisfied some or all of the Specialization requirements, and have sufficient time to complete all the requirements prior to graduation. The Specialization is also available to transfer students.
Prior to being admitted to the Specialization, J.D. students are required to meet with a designated International and Comparative Law faculty advisor to discuss their areas of interest. The student and faculty advisor work together to create an individualized curriculum package that meets the student’s academic and career objectives. The individualized package is then pursued by the student during their 2L and 3L year.
Any student in good standing, who complies with the requirement to meet with the faculty advisor to plan their curriculum, may be admitted into the Specialization.
LL.M. students also have the opportunity to pursue a Specialization in International and Comparative Law. Please visit the LL.M. Program website for more specifics on that program.
Please note that the J.D. Specialization is not a separate degree program. A student who completes all Specialization requirements with a “B minus” average or better in the Specialization courses will receive a transcript notation indicating successful completion of the Specialization.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the International and Comparative Law Program (ICLP) have a separate admissions track?
No. ICLP does not have a separate admission track into the law school. Students interested in UCLA School of Law and the International and Comparative Law Program and Specialization should apply through the regular admission channels.
Students can elect to pursue the Specialization in International and Comparative Law once they are enrolled. Students are encouraged to apply for the Specialization in Spring of 1L year, but may petition to join the Specialization track after Spring of 1L year, and at any point up to the Spring of 3L year. In such cases, a student may be admitted to the Specialization if they are in good standing and can demonstrate that they have satisfied some or all of the Specialization requirements, and have sufficient time to complete all the requirements prior to graduation. The Specialization is also available to transfer students.
On my application, how do I express my interest in the International and Comparative Law Specialization?
On the application for admission to the Law School you can indicate “International and Comparative Law” in response to the question regarding your potential to make a distinctive programmatic contribution. We recommend that you submit a detailed statement indicating how your admission would strengthen our program. Be sure to articulate specific past study and experience that may be relevant to the International and Comparative Law Program and Specialization. In addition, please explain how this Specialization fits in with your future career goals and plans.
May I submit a writing sample or additional materials specific to the International and Comparative Law Program (ICLP)?
Please do not send additional materials. Under the rules established by the Dean of Admissions and Law School Admissions Counsel (LSAC) only those materials that are part of the official application submitted to UCLA School of Law Office of Admissions will be considered. If a faculty member or admissions officer determines that we need more information, including a writing sample, we will request it from you.
I am a prospective LL.M. student. Can I participate in the Program?
The ICLP faculty welcomes LL.M. and S.J.D. students into our courses. The courses are not closed to anyone in the law school. Application for admission to the LL.M. Specialization in International and Comparative Law is separate to the application procedure for J.D. students. Consult the LL.M. specialization page for details about applying to the LL.M. program.
I’m particularly interested in international human rights law. Is the International and Comparative Law Program (ICLP) and Specialization right for me?
Yes. ICLP is the umbrella program at UCLA School of Law that encompasses all international and comparative law offerings, including human rights. ICLP holds many international human rights related speakers and events throughout the year, and all interested students are encouraged to attend. There are also many student organizations and journals that cater to students interested in international human rights law.
The International and Comparative Law Specialization caters to all students interested in the pursuit of international and comparative law related study, including international human rights law. Students pursuing the Specialization can structure their curriculum to focus on their particular area of interest, such as international human rights law, public international law, comparative and foreign law, international criminal law, international trade law, and international intellectual property, among others.
Prospective students should note that, while a student may elect to focus on a particular area within international and comparative law, there are no separate tracks within the Specialization. Pursing a particular interest area will result in a student being awarded the International and Comparative Law degree transcript notification.
I’m interested in a career in international law. Does the International and Comparative Law Program (ICLP) support students interested in pursuing careers in this field?
Yes. ICLP offers a Pathways to Careers in International Law event series during the Fall and Spring semesters. This series is designed to bring professionals working in international and comparative law into the Law School to give students the opportunity to be exposed to different areas of international and comparative law practice, and to network with people working in the field.
The UCLA Law Career Services Office has a wealth of resources for admitted students hoping to establish a career in international or comparative law, including human rights. Interested students are encouraged to explore those resources and to meet with their career counselor or the ICLP Program Director to discuss their interests and potential internship, externship and job opportunities in these fields of law.
J.D. students are required to take six (6) courses to complete the program. At least two (2) of those courses must be selected from Group A and four (4) additional courses from either Group A or Group B. Please note that students pursing the Specialization in International and Comparative Law do not receive priority enrollment for any course in Group A or Group B. There is no cap on enrollment in any of the core courses in Group A, other than those indicated with * below. Students are encouraged to enroll for Group B courses they are interested in as early as possible in the enrollment period to avoid disappointment.
(must choose two)
Group A consists of international and comparative law courses that are sufficiently general, or have a sufficiently general component, to introduce students to the broad fields of international and comparative law. There is no cap on enrollment in any of the core courses in Group A, other than courses 272 and 614.LAW 270
Public International LawLAW 271
International Business TransactionsLAW 272
International Trade LawLAW 273
International Human Rights LawLAW 277
Comparative Constitutional LawLAW 278
Comparative LawLAW 298
International Criminal LawLAW 438
International Environmental Law and PolicyLAW 443
Comparative Environmental LawLAW 614
Global Perspectives on Criminal Procedure
Please note that not all courses will be offered every year.
(must choose a total of six courses from Groups A and B)
Group B consists of all courses that have been identified by the relevant faculty teaching the course as having international or comparative law content. Group B also includes courses in foreign law, which is an important element of the study of comparative law. Students are encouraged to look into the specifics of the syllabi of the courses they are interested in from Group B to make sure that those courses best achieve their personal educational goals.LAW 214
Civil RightsLAW 224
U.S. International TaxationLAW 266
Critical Race TheoryLAW 267
Federal Indian LawLAW 269
National Security LawLAW 301
Art and Cultural Property LawLAW 304
International Intellectual PropertyLAW 313
Conflict of LawsLAW 318
Law, Gender, and SexualityLAW 331
Immigration LawLAW 332
Immigrants' RightsLAW 338
Islamic JurisprudenceLAW 348
European Union LawLAW 376
Law and DissentLAW 383
Political Asylum and Refugee LawLAW 389
Prison Law and PolicyLAW 432
International and Comparative Sports LawLAW 465
Prospects for International JusticeLAW 468
China and the International Legal OrderLAW 484
Information Privacy and Data ProtectionLAW 507
Labor Law and Social PolicyLAW 508
Intro to Food Law and PolicyLAW 509
Indigenous Peoples, Sustainability, and Climate ChangeLAW 511A/B
Social Media and the Future of DemocracyLAW 549
Introduction to Islamic LawLAW 566
Laws of War (International Humanitarian Law)LAW 584
Human Rights and Sexual PoliticsLAW 589
Strategies for Successful Human Rights AdvocacyLAW 611A/B
Climate Change and Energy LawLAW 614
Global Perspectives on Criminal ProcedureLAW 616
Theories of International LawLAW 636
Chinese Law & Legal InstitutionsLAW 653
Advanced Critical Race TheoryLAW 657
Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal CourtLAW 671
Comparative Education: Law and PolicyLAW 678
Comparative National Security Law and PolicyLAW 708
Civil Rights and Police Accountability ClinicLAW 717
International Human Rights ClinicLAW 728
Tribal Legal Development ClinicLAW 773
Immigrants' Rights Policy ClinicLAW 782
International Commercial Arbitration Law and AdvocacyLAW 792
Immigrant Family Legal ClinicLAW 793
Human Rights in Action: Collaborative Grassroots LawyeringLAW 794
Human Rights Litigation ClinicLAW 951
Human Rights ChallengeLAW 957
Hard Cases Make Bad (Human Rights) Law
457, 458, 467, 611A are (1) credit courses. Any one (1) credit course will only count as half a Group B course towards the specialization, i.e. you would need to take two 1 credit courses to have it count as a single Group B course.
Please note that not all courses will be offered every year.
International and Comparative Law Writing Requirement
In addition to course work, students will need to complete a supervised research paper that meets the Substantial Analytical Writing (SAW) Requirement.
Students pursuing the Specialization in International and Comparative Law are welcome to pursue externships relating to international or foreign law. A full time externship relating to international or foreign law can satisfy two (2) Group B course requirements. A part time externship relating to international or foreign law can satisfy one (1) Group B course requirement. Students wishing to use an externship as a qualifying course are required to receive the prior consent of the designated faculty advisor. Consent is discretionary, and requires a demonstration that the externship will provide exposure to substantive areas of international, foreign or comparative law.
Foreign Legal Study and Exchange Program (FLSEP)
Students pursuing the Specialization in International and Comparative Law are encouraged to pursue study abroad opportunities via FLSEP. Up to three courses taken at a Legal Study and Exchange Program partner school can be used to satisfy Group B course requirements. Students wishing to use FLSEP courses as qualifying courses for Group B are required to receive the prior consent of the faculty advisor.
LL.M. Course Requirements
The LL.M. Specialization in International and Comparative Law has a different structure to the J.D. Specialization. The main difference is that LL.M. students must complete four (4) qualifying courses, rather than six (6) required of J.D. students. Consult the LL.M. Specialization page for more information.