The Center for International Law invites students with a strong interest in international law to become Affiliates with the Center. Developments across the world in various fields such as criminal, environmental, human rights, immigration, securities, and tax laws have direct and indirect implications on legal practice even in the United States. To understand these cross-border developments, the Law School offers a wide variety of courses addressing the business and public dimensions of international law. Membership in the Center will help students structure their curricula and related activities in one of the most dynamic and evolving areas of law.

Joining the Center for International Law

You can apply at any time during the year to join the Center for International Law. All students (1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls) must apply through the following link:

For more information about the Center for International Law, speak to the Associate Director, Michael Rhee, in E-903 or send a message to

Students who affiliate with the Center for International Law must fulfill the following three requirements (IN ANY ORDER) by their final semester of law school.

Requirement 1: One “core” course in international law

All students who affiliate with the Center must take (and pass) at least one of the following core courses in international or comparative law:

Comparative Law seeks to uncover both similarities and significant differences in the underlying assumptions with which different legal traditions operate in regard to legal institutions and processes, individual justice, efficiency, and modes of interpretation.

International Business Transactions is a broad-based course in international business transactions, covering the topics specified in its title, the resolution of international commercial disputes, and other aspects of international business law.

International Law introduces students to the complex subject of treaty formation and implementation, and to global and regional regimes for law-making in such diverse areas as trade, human rights, and criminal law.

Requirement 2: One advanced course or seminar in international law

All students who affiliate with the Center must also take (and pass) one advanced course or seminar in international or comparative law. An advanced course or seminar is any other of the Law School’s international or comparative law offerings which do not include the core courses listed in Requirement 1. Below is a list of many of these courses. Because not all courses are offered every year, and also because the Law School offers new courses periodically, a student should check the most current list of courses. If you are not sure whether a certain course fulfills Requirement 2, please contact Michael Rhee.

Requirement 3: One “capstone” requirement

All students who affiliate with the Center must complete a “capstone” experience through ONE of the options provided in the list below. Ideally, this experience should provide students with: (1) an opportunity to engage meaningfully and rigorously with the intellectual debates central to an area of international or comparative law; or (2) additional writing experience and an opportunity to work closely with faculty or other mentors and receive feedback on their writing; or (3) the chance to develop the professional skills critical to their long-term professional development.

  • taking an advanced international or comparative law course or seminar that has a writing requirement (i.e., a research paper), and then actually completing that research paper (Final exams do not count as research papers);
  • writing a Note for Law Review on an international or comparative law component;
  • enrolling in independent study to write a research paper on an international or comparative law topic (for the independent study form itself, click here);
  • taking an advanced international or comparative law course or seminar that requires students to participate in professional activities beyond class discussion;
  • taking the International Human Rights Field Placement and Seminar;
  • taking the Immigration Law and Litigation clinic;
  • taking the Asylum clinic;
  • completing a “capstone” or “tech law” project with an international or comparative law component through the Impact Center for Public Interest Law or the Innovation Center for Law and Technology;
  • participating in and completing the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot or Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition or the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition. (The Willem C. Vis and ICC competitions are arranged through the NYLS Dispute Resolution Team under the direction of Professor F. Peter Phillips along with Adjunct Professor Barry Appleton);
  • completing an externship, summer or term-time internship, job, or volunteer work with an international or comparative law component;
  • working on international or comparative law issues as a research assistant for a professor.

You may also fulfill the capstone requirement through Requirement 2. For example, if (under Requirement 2) you successfully complete an advanced course or seminar which requires a research paper, then you will also have completed the capstone requirement. (One of the ways to complete the capstone requirement is by “taking an advanced international or comparative law course or seminar that has a writing requirement.”)