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Clinical, Exchange and Joint Degree Programs

international law program

In addition to our classroom courses, our international clinical programs give students hands-on experience in international legal practice, whether at home or abroad. These offerings help students "learn by doing" in the area of international law, and may lead to long-term academic and career options in the field. Other study abroad programs provide immersion experiences in other legal systems through traditional classroom training. Current opportunities include the following:

Semester in Practice: London. In London, students are placed 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.

Semester in Practice: International Human Rights. Students have a unique opportunity to work on-site at an international human rights organization in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world. Students will work with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) or the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, or the Jesuit Refugee Service. Typical work will include research and writing about human rights issues, investigation of pending cases, and, where possible, representation of clients before tribunals. The program is an evolutionary outgrowth of our long-standing program at the ICTY in The Hague, Netherlands.

Boston College 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.

Foreign study at BC partner universities abroad. Boston College has exchange and partnership arrangements with more than 60 foreign universities, many of which have law programs. These programs offer law students (typically in their third year) classroom instruction in a range of fields, while affording an immersion experience in another legal culture. Recommended programs include the following:

  • Bucerius Law School Program (Hamburg, Germany). Bucerius Law School, the first private law school in Germany, offers a program in International and Comparative Business Law during the fall semester. The program is taught in English to a group of 90 students from all over the world. In addition, students whose knowledge of German is sufficient may take courses in the school's regular curriculum. The school also offers a joint JD/LLM program with Bucerius (see below)
  • ESADE (Barcelona, Spain). Founded in 1957 by Jesuit scholars and Catalan entrepreneurs, ESADE's business school is now recognized as one of Europe's strongest. Its law faculty (founded in 1992) offers one of Spain's strongest law teaching programs. The school's exchange program hosts students (primarily from the U.S. and Western Europe) during the fall semester. Students take an Introduction to Spanish Law course taught in Spanish, and otherwise pursue elective courses in Spanish, English, or a combination of the two.
  • Paris HEAD ExchangeStudents participate in an exchange program with HEAD law school in Paris, France and work at placements with businesses and law firms, as well as participate in a seminar. The Program provides students with a critical insight into comparative legal institutions, and prepares them for a number of aspects of international law practice. Students develop further understandings of the similarities and differences between European and American law and institutions. The classroom and externship experience combined with the daily aspects of life in a foreign environment broadens students’ legal education in a unique way.
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentine (UCA) (Buenos Aires, Argentina). One of the largest private universities in Argentina, UCA is located in Puerto Madero, a popular area near the old port of Buenos Aires. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in many disciplines, and its law faculty is one of the country's strongest. During the fall semester, BC Law students may take courses of their choice in the regular curriculum, in Spanish, along side their Argentinean counterparts.

Joint Degree Programs. BC Law offers the following programs in partnerships with international law schools:

  • JD/LLM program with Bucerius. Students who successfully complete the program 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. More on the Bucerius 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. More on the Sorbonne Program