International and Comparative Law Specialization


From human rights law to trade and IP, the International and Comparative Law Specialization prepares students for rich, cutting-edge legal careers.

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.

Centers of Excellence

International & Comparative Law Program

Situated at a major global crossroads and with an expert faculty, this program rivals any in the nation.

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Areas of Focus

International Law

International legal authorities play an essential role in enforcing human rights in an increasingly connected world.

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Admissions

  • Information Sessions

    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.

  • Admissions Process

    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.

Curriculum

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.

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