Deciding Where to Go > Choosing the Right Law School

Anybody has the full ranking for International Law Programs?

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I am really interested in international law such as international business, trade, etc. U.S. News only gives up the top 10 schools that have strong international law programs. I was wondering if anybody has the full list, or anybody has a better idea than I do about nice interntaional law programs. The description of Fordham excites me, too, but it is not in the top ten ranking, so I wonder if there are other good international law programs that are not widely noticed.

Thank you, thank you!

I think that most ABA schools have international programs.

If you want to go to a specific place that may matter. Which places interest you the most for a semester overseas?

Maintain FL 350:
Be careful about putting too much stock in sub-genre rankings, I'm not convinced that they carry much weight. A few schools might have an awesome reputation for international law, but outside of those top few programs the rankings really don't mean too much. International law is an incredibly competitive  field and is mostly controlled by megafirms and federal/international agencies. Those places tend to be very conscious of academic pedigrees, and your best bet is to simply attend the highest ranked school you can get into, period.

I usually advise people not to get too caught up in the rankings scheme, but there are exceptions, and international law is one. An attorney with a J.D. from Columbia, for example, will probably have a much better chance getting hired by one of those agencies versus a J.D. from a non-elite school with a higher ranked international law program. In part this is because such "programs" usually only consist of five or six classes, and maybe some internship opportunities.

Here's a real world example of what I'm talking about: Lewis & Clark and Vermont Law School both have ranked programs in envrironmental law. Do you think that biglaw environmental sections in NY and LA therefore consider Lewis & Clark/Vermont grads on an equal footing with, say, Duke or Penn grads?

I think lots of people attend a school based on a specialty ranking an end up not working in that field at all. It's a complex decision and involves lots of different aspects of your life: long term goals, short term goals, finances, etc. Do some research on the international law field, get a feel for what's required, and go from there.

Good Luck!

Roald's advice is spot on law school is a life-altering choice and making a life-altering decision on what a for profit, unregulated, magazine (i.e.) U.S. News thinks particularly about a specialty ranking is not a good idea. Having gone through law school myself I still don't really know what "International Law" really is. Is it treaties? international tax? corporate transactions? It is such a broad category that it cannot even really be defined.  The reality is very few people end up doing what they thought out of law school unless it is something specific i.e. Public Defender, D.A., or something like that.

As Roald there are many things to consider in making your law school choice the most important being location since South Dakota may have the "best" International law program according to some magazine, but I don't think many treaties, international transactions etc are happening there. If you want to do international work then your best bet would be to go to school in New York or D.C. Just as if you wanted to do entertainment law go to school in L.A. or New York. Maritime law go to a school on the coast not Nebraska so on and so forth. Many intelligent people leave their common sense at the door when choosing what law school to attend so use yours and don't make life altering choice based on what a magazine says unless you think moving to North Dakota in 2032 is a good idea because you will have easy  access to dental visits, which is according to U.S. News North Dakota is the place to be in 2032 and I am not making this up here is the link. . You should also move to Albuquerque New Mexico in the meantime because that is the best place to live now according to U.S. News. .

I doubt you will strive to move to New Mexico in the next few months or set yourself on retiring in North Dakota because U.S. News says to. Use the same common sense when choosing your law school and remember whatever you decide is going to be three years of YOUR life, 100,000 of YOUR money, and YOUR legal career, some magazine editor in Pennsylvania does not know what is better for you than yourself. The reality is very few employers know the difference between the 49th and 128th best school and they certainly don't know or care whether a school is 7th or unranked in international law.

Also remember me and anyone else positing on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster who could be shooting up heroin while typing so take it all with a grain of salt and talk to people face to face so you can gauge the credibility. Although the internet is the easiest place to access information it is usually the most unreliable and Michael Scott explains why in this video. a little humor for you. Well good luck whatever you decide.

If they made a top ten, it means they are the best (just stating the obvious). Why don't you want to apply to one of those?


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