Building on Strength - Part 1

Building on Strength - Part 1

Since its founding 150 years ago, Columbia Law School has believed that students need to understand the international context of law if they are to become lawyers who can provide solutions to problems that face the world community. While Columbia has always offered a wide range of courses in international and comparative law, it has sustained its leadership by doing much more than adding classes to its international curriculum. In the past decade, the Law School has established new centers for the study of foreign and international law, created multiple exchange programs for faculty and students, hosted visiting scholars from every region of the world, and increased the enrollment in both the J.D. and LL.M. programs of foreign students, whose perspectives enrich every classroom discussion. These programs are set in motion by the endeavors of faculty members working with the Office of International Programs and Graduate Legal Studies, under the leadership of Assistant Dean Alice Haemmerli '90.

The foundation of Columbia's extraordinary reputation in these fields is a faculty unrivaled in the breadth and depth in its engagement with international and comparative perspectives on law. By conservative estimate, at least 30 professors - more than a quarter of the faculty - devote a substantial portion of their teaching and scholarship to international law. Their specialties include the laws of war, peacekeeping, international organizations, trade, corporate governance and financial markets, human rights, labor, intellectual property, constitutional, criminal, and administrative law. With the range of international visitors, conferences, and exchanges, it is the rare Columbia faculty member who has not incorporated some international or comparative dimension into his or her recent work.

The importance of international law has increased substantially in the half century since the end of World War II. Today there is hardly a class at any law school where some aspect of international law is not relevant. The front-burner issues of terrorism, population migration, and trade have made the teaching of international law all the more urgent today. Thus, even with its pre-eminent strength, Columbia continues to enhance its international programs and appoint faculty members who specialize to a significant degree in international law.

They are: Michael Doyle (international relations theory and international security);

Merritt Fox (international capital market regulation);

Petros Mavroidis (international trade and antitrust);

and Peter Rosenblum (human rights clinic).

(All photos by Dustin Ross)

In addition, University Professor and world renowned trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati is co-teaching courses in international trade and migration law and has created a new center on global migration, which will be affiliated with the Law School. Each of these faculty members will not only teach, but will add to the full range of programs and activities that together with Columbia's curriculum make it the school of choice for students who seek an international dimension to their legal education.