Law in a Global Context-archive-oct22

The accelerating globalization of law and legal practice places important new demands on legal education. At BC Law, we understand that globalization magnifies the scope and complexity of law and legal practice.  Our Global Law Program trains students for the needs of today, while giving them skills and perspectives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow.

BC Law offers a comprehensive program in international and comparative law delivered by a world-class faculty.

The program is holistic, yet flexible. Students may design an intensive program which can include courses and clinical programs, law review opportunities, moot court experiences, exchange and joint degree programs, and summer employment.

Our educational objective for JD students in international exchanges is exposure to foreign legal systems, appreciation for transnational and international legal frameworks, and comparative perspective on law. JD students additionally gain intercultural competence and practical knowledge of how international legal systems function.

Academic Resources

Clinical, Exchange and Joint Degree Programs

SIP Dublin/International

In our international Semester-in-Practice externship program, students are placed in Dublin in private businesses, law firms, and public organizations and participate in a weekly seminar. The program also offers externships throughout Europe, where students use videoconferencing to participate in the seminar.

More on SIP

Immigration Clinic

This clinic allows second- and third-year law students to immerse themselves in real-world immigration legal work on behalf of indigent asylum seekers, immigrants, and certain non-citizens detained by the INS. International clients include individuals from Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. First-year law students may spend spring break volunteering with front-line immigrant legal service organizations such as the Haitian Catholic Center Legal Project, the Lutheran Ministries, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Students, supervised by BC Law School faculty members, advise and counsel clients and conduct legal and factual research for public interest attorneys.

More on the Immigration Clinic

Partner Universities


Sorbonne JD/LLM Program

The Sorbonne JD/LLM Program offers law students in-depth acquaintance with the intricacies of French and European Law and a new perspective on current global legal issues while learning in the best of the French academic tradition and Civil Law methodological techniques. There is an externship opportunity during the spring term, which places students in French law firms, businesses and nonprofits and gives them an immersive real-world experience in the practice of foreign law.

The Program, taught in French, is a collaborative effort with the Sorbonne Law School of the Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Only a handful of U.S. schools have a joint degree program with the Sorbonne, putting participating students into a select group of global practitioners.

Upon completion of all requirements at the end of their third year, Boston College J.D. students who enroll in the Sorbonne Program will receive both the Boston College Law J.D. degree and the Paris I LL.M. Students may register for an additional year in Paris and join the Master I and or in some cases the Master II degrees in Law.

The program is open to Boston College law students who are fluent in French (spoken and written) and who have completed four semesters in residence at Boston College Law School. In addition, students must complete all Boston College Law School graduation requirements by the end of their second year of J.D. studies.

Bucerius JD/LLM Program

The JD/LLM degree with Bucerius Law School, the first private law school in Germany and ranked as the best in the country, is a joint program in law and business. Students who successfully complete the program will earn a JD from BC Law and an LLM master’s degree in law from Bucerius. The Bucerius degree combines English-language course work in both law and business with an integrated internship at a top business or business law placement in Germany.

Students enter the Bucerius LLM program after successful graduation from BC Law. The program offers both a tuition discount and expedited review of applications from specially selected BC Law graduates.

The Bucerius program is open to applications from both BC students in the final semester of their third year and recent BC Law graduates. Applicants to the LLM program compete for BC-Bucerius Scholarships, offering significantly discounted tuition at Bucerius. BC applicants are also able to apply for a living expenses grant and several outside funding sources.

Bucerius offers students several housing options, from dorms to private homes and a Law School villa. Students are also free to rent apartments in Hamburg. EU regulations require the student have one year’s work experience, which can be prior to or contemporaneous with their JD. Successful applicants must meet Bucerius matriculation requirements.

For more information, contact Kent Greenfield.

Law & Justice in the Americas

Students in courtyard

The Law and Justice in the Americas program brings faculty and students together to pursue law reform and justice projects. Representative projects have included assisting developing country governments in preparing for WTO negotiations; developing recommendations for area NGOs pursuing reforms to human rights law; and providing support for developing countries’ commercial law modernization efforts.

In addition to their social impact, these projects offer excellent learning opportunities for students. The partnerships that form between students, faculty, international organizations and people in need are an important way of integrating the study and practice of justice in international law, and the Law School’s mission to train future lawyers for service and effective representation in a global environment.


The BC Law-PUC Working Group on Trade & Investment Law Reform, a joint project of the BC Law & Justice in the Americas Program and the Pontifical University of Chile funded by a grant from the Luksic family, continued its current work on investment law reform by partnering with Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Investment to mount a public stakeholder session and closed-door working meeting with UNCITRAL delegates at their meeting in New York City April 23-26, 2019. UNCITRAL is considering addressing the role of third-party funding in investment arbitration as part of their overall arbitration rules reform project. TPF in the context of investment arbitration is exploitative, raises significant risks to the public and to the integrity of the investment law system, and has been a subject of concern for the Working Group since its October 2017 conference on investment law reform.

BC Law Fellows who worked on this project included Leo Gargne LLM'18, Monica Hyun Ju Cho (JD'18) Randall Scarlett (JD '19) and Tara Santosuosso '19. Link to student working papers

Professor Garcia: Third-Party Funding as Exploitation of the Investment Treaty System

The Case Against Third-Party Funding in ISDS (Executive Summary)


Reforming International Investment Law: Opportunities, Challenges, Paradigms

October 25, 2017

Keynote Address:
Dr. Eric DeBrabandere, Professor of International Dispute Settlement Law, Editor-in Chief, Leiden Journal of International Law; Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University Law Faculty

BC Law/Pontifical University of Chile Joint Working Group on Trade & Investment Law, Professor Frank J. Garcia and  Sebastian Lopez Escarcena, co-chairs

Draft Principles for Investment Law Reform (PDF)

Projects undertaken by faculty have included:

  • Consultation with the Regional Negotiating Machinery, CARICOM, concerning WTO negotiations on special and differential treatment for smaller economies
  • Consultation with area NGOs regarding habeas corpus reform in El Salvador
  • Consultation with area NGOs regarding human rights ombudsman statute for Brazil
  • Consultation through the International Law Institute to support USAID’s Bolivian Trade and Business Competitiveness Project
  • Consultation with area NGOs concerning the impact of the Central American Free Trade Agreement on exports of grassroots producer cooperatives
  • Consultation with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on social justice aspects of hemispheric trade

When program faculty undertake a project, students are invited to apply for the position of Program Fellow. Fellows work closely with faculty in a variety of capacities, assisting them in the delivery of the faculty’s project commitments.

Depending upon the nature of the project, Fellows may prepare a paper under faculty supervision for publication as part of the program’s Working Paper Series. Not all projects lend themselves to development of a working paper, but where possible, such papers offer Fellows the particular satisfaction of contributing to the literature on a subject of interest to the legal and policy communities.

For more information, please contact Professor Frank Garcia.

Project Examples

  • Leo Gargne: Third-Party Funding in Investment Arbitration and the ICCA/Queen Mary Report
  • Alex Galliani: Investment Law at the Crossroads: Reform and Opportunities
  • Monica Cho: Third-Party Funding and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules Reforms
  • Soohyun Jun: Review of WTO Special and Differential Treatment Rules
  • Regina Garrick: Impact of the EU Cotonou Agreement on CARICOM
  • Mary Holper: Proposals for Habeas Corpus Reform in El Salvador
  • Joyce Asber: Comparative Analysis of Human Rights Ombudsman Statutes
  • Laura Paioff: Review of FTAA Proposals and the Status of Bolivian Commercial Law
  • Orville Thomas, Jr.: Analysis of Impact of CAFTA Tariff-Rate Quota System on Producer Cooperatives
  • Jasmin Bin-Humami: CAFTA Negotiations and U.S. Hemispheric Trade Policy
  • Rebecca Cantu: The Rule of Law and Legal Culture in Latin America
  • Daniel Blanchard: CAFTA and U.S. Hemispheric Trade Policy
Today's clients—and not just businesses— need a lawyer who understands that they are engaged in global relationships. Family law, property, inheritance law...globalization is changing just about everything lawyers do.
Frank Garcia, Professor of Law

Visiting Scholars Program

BC Law campus

Each year, Boston College Law School hosts a small number of students from around the world. Visitors are generally Professors of Law, doctoral students or post-doctoral researchers in law at institutions overseas. They normally are in residence at the Law School for either a semester or academic year. 

Visiting scholars have access to facilities of the Law School and the rest of Boston College so that they can conduct research on an approved topic while in residence. Those appointed have full library privileges, including dedicated carrel space. They also have the privilege of attending colloquia and other scholarly presentations at the Law School, and are invited to participate in faculty social events such as the Friday lunches. Visitors may audit Law School courses on a non-credit basis with the permission of the course instructor.

Visitors must be sponsored by a faculty member who is willing to act as a consultant on the scholar’s research project. It is the responsibility of a prospective scholar to contact appropriate faculty members and arrange for such sponsorship.

Applying to the program 

To apply to the Visiting Scholars Program, applicants must complete the program’s application materials. These call for applicants to provide information about themselves and the specific research project they propose to pursue, letters of recommendation from professors and others who know their work, and (in most cases) transcripts from each university they have attended. In addition, all applicants must submit a letter from full-time member of the Boston College Law School faculty indicating his or her willingness to act as a consultant on the proposed research project. Whether or not a faculty member agrees to act as a consultant is completely within his or her discretion. In particular, some faculty members will only do so for scholars whom they know personally.

English language proficiency is essential for a Visitor to insure the most beneficial and efficient use of time at Boston College Law School. Visiting Scholar candidates whose native language is not English are required to achieve a minimum score of 100 (IBT) on the TOEFL examination, taken within the past two years. Applicants should submit evidence of comparable English language proficiency. For additional information on the TOEFL examination, check their web site or contact them at TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541, USA.

Student in Bapst

The costs of housing, food, health insurance, books and supplies, and personal and travel expenses for a single visitor are likely to total at least $12,000 per semester. Visitors accompanied by family members should expect to incur significantly higher expenses.

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