WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL LAW?
For many years international law was practiced primarily by those attorneys located in branch offices of large U.S. law firms in major financial centers, such as London, Hong King, Tokyo, or Singapore. But with the increasing globalization of the world's economies, that has changed. Now, increasing numbers of U.S.-based attorneys practice international law. Attorneys who once dealt only with domestic laws regarding taxes, securities, labor, intellectual property, and other concerns today are often required to understand the equivalent laws in other countries.
The growth of international law practice has been driven by the increased number of international corporate mergers and acquisitions and the reliance of businesses on international capital markets for their financial needs. Financial transactions have also been a primary force in the internationalization of the practices of many U.S. firms. Companies in the U.S. are increasingly turning to the international capital markets for raising capital.
Many international lawyers work in law firms that have departments specializing in international trade or international finance. Such firms tend to be located in large cities. Other international lawyers work for corporations with international interests, for accounting and consulting firms, for financial institutions, or for government agencies such as the Department of Commerce or the International Trade Commisssion (ITC).
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING PURSUING A CAREER IN INTERNATIONAL LAW...
1. Take business-related law school courses. Courses such as contracts, securities regulation, and commercial law are useful for their basic concepts and their theoretical underpinnings.
2. Take a basic international law course followed by advanced international courses related to business (as opposed to international human rights issues).
3. Moot court and appellate advocacy classes, which require you to write appellate briefs and defend them in front of a panel of judges, can be helpful in preparing for a career in international law.
4. Foreign language skills are a plus. When you learn a language, you inevitably learn about the culture.
5. Gain practical experience in a law clerk or summer associate position at a firm with an international department or a summer internship with a corporation of government office that works on international issues.
6. Get to know Loyola professors specializing in international issues - Tom Haney and Margaret Moses.
INTERNATIONAL LAW RESOURCES