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international law- chances?
« on: July 21, 2007, 01:10:40 AM »
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Dr. Miles

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Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2007, 11:25:13 AM »
do not pick a school based on it's 'international law' program. hoenestly, i don't think their really is such a thing; it's just politics. if the us wants to break a treaty, there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it, other than female dog about how bad the us is and hope the political backlash will be great enough to chage our position.

furthermore, many agreements between/among nations are not 'self-executing,' which means they don't become part of our domestic law unless and until ratified by an act of congress; and even where such agreements are ratified, congress may always overrule them with a subsequent statute. even where a treaty or other agreement is self-executing, the president doesn't have to abide by it. the president has plenary power over foreign affairs, and there has never been a case where a president was compelled to abide by a treaty or other international agreement.

Lindbergh

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Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 11:30:09 AM »
do not pick a school based on it's 'international law' program. hoenestly, i don't think their really is such a thing; it's just politics. if the us (or any other country) wants to break a treaty, there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it, other than female dog about how bad the country is and hope the political backlash will be great enough to chage our position.



Fixed.

Generally agreed, though.  There's not a whole lot of actual practice in this area, although the concept is obviously attractive to poli sci students.

International trade is another matter. 

Lindbergh

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Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2007, 11:36:10 AM »

What kind of work do you specifically want to do?  Much "international" work can best be pursued outside the legal field. 

In terms of your numbers, you have no real shot at Harvard or Yale without better grades.  With a 159 diagnostic, you should have a good shot at high 160's, and may even break 170, so that gives you a shot at the remaining schools on the list.

If you really want to be a lawyer, and international law is just one area of interest, I'd ignore the specialty rankings, which are are generally meaningless anyway.  Attend a T14 if possible, and if not, attend the best school possible in your desired region (which here, is New York).

You should have a good shot at getting into a T14 (top 14 law school), and if you don't, you should be able to get into Fordham or GW, either of which should place decently in NYC. 

Dr. Miles

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Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 11:45:21 AM »
do not pick a school based on it's 'international law' program. hoenestly, i don't think their really is such a thing; it's just politics. if the us (or any other country) wants to break a treaty, there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it, other than female dog about how bad the country is and hope the political backlash will be great enough to chage our position.



Fixed.

Generally agreed, though.  There's not a whole lot of actual practice in this area, although the concept is obviously attractive to poli sci students.

International trade is another matter. 

honestly, w/r/t international trade, i don't think there is much 'international law' that matters. i can almost guarantee that any cross-border transaction you actually see in practice will have a choice of law clause stating that the contract is to be governed under NY law. So again, it's really domestic law that matters; i.e., the NY law of contracts, enforcement of judgments, etc. if a foreign firm wants to breach all of it's contracts, there's really not much else the courts can do other than levy on the firm's assets in the us. american courts can't levy on assets in foreign countries unless the other country lets us; and if they do, it's because they want to trade with the us. so, that's not really 'international law' in the sense of any truly binding obligations. (and is probably not what you're going to learn in any international law course; which i can only assume focuses on the laws of war, international human rights, etc.)

the only area i can think of where true international law is important to an american practitioner would be antitrust, where you need to work with foreign competition law and regulatory agencies. that is, when a us firm merges with a european firm, the firms will have to convince the european competition commission that it's ok. even then, the us firm will most likely retain european counsel to deal with those issues; it's probably good for the us attys to know european competition law so they can keep abreast of what's going on and help make arguments, if necessary.

but at the end of the day, where foreign law is in play, forein counsel will be handling it.

there is such a thing as international arbitration, but i don't think that's taught much in schools.

Lindbergh

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Re: international law- chances?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 12:22:39 PM »
do not pick a school based on it's 'international law' program. hoenestly, i don't think their really is such a thing; it's just politics. if the us (or any other country) wants to break a treaty, there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it, other than female dog about how bad the country is and hope the political backlash will be great enough to chage our position.



Fixed.

Generally agreed, though.  There's not a whole lot of actual practice in this area, although the concept is obviously attractive to poli sci students.

International trade is another matter. 

honestly, w/r/t international trade, i don't think there is much 'international law' that matters. i can almost guarantee that any cross-border transaction you actually see in practice will have a choice of law clause stating that the contract is to be governed under NY law. So again, it's really domestic law that matters; i.e., the NY law of contracts, enforcement of judgments, etc. if a foreign firm wants to breach all of it's contracts, there's really not much else the courts can do other than levy on the firm's assets in the us. american courts can't levy on assets in foreign countries unless the other country lets us; and if they do, it's because they want to trade with the us. so, that's not really 'international law' in the sense of any truly binding obligations. (and is probably not what you're going to learn in any international law course; which i can only assume focuses on the laws of war, international human rights, etc.)

the only area i can think of where true international law is important to an american practitioner would be antitrust, where you need to work with foreign competition law and regulatory agencies. that is, when a us firm merges with a european firm, the firms will have to convince the european competition commission that it's ok. even then, the us firm will most likely retain european counsel to deal with those issues; it's probably good for the us attys to know european competition law so they can keep abreast of what's going on and help make arguments, if necessary.

but at the end of the day, where foreign law is in play, forein counsel will be handling it.

there is such a thing as international arbitration, but i don't think that's taught much in schools.


I'm not claiming that there's much traditional "international law" (as described by you) in international trade.  What I'm saying is that International Trade is in itself a substantive field of law where people actually practice. 

Moreover, there are in fact "international" aspects to international trade law that are important, learnable, enforceable, and applicable in the real world.  For example, there is a large network of trading agreements that govern our trading relationships with other countries, and there are significant and meaningful punishments when countries violate those agreements.  And if you're directly involved with international transactions, you're going to want some understanding of the regulatory framework existing in certain countries.

For someone who wants to work with the government in this area, or just wants to do corporate work involving international transactions, you'd therefore be well advised to take courses on international trade.  And if you just want to study something related to how countries interact legally, international trade courses would be more substantive and potentially relevant than a general course on international law. 

(Interestingly, international trade is also a far greater source of global peace and conflict avoidance than all the "international law" and peace movements combined.)