The Catholic University of America
CILI Co-Curricular and Professional Activities

Institutes and Special Programs | Comparative and International Law Institute 


The Institute sponsors lectures and symposia on current topics related to international law. Lecturers have included justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, representatives from USAID, the World Bank and various federal agencies, and practicing lawyers from distinguished law firms, who have shared their perspectives on issues including economic development, terrorism and international trade.

Students also have the opportunity to conduct research with CUA faculty members engaged in projects all over the world and with faculty members from non-U.S. academic institutions. This unique outreach provides students with research opportunities within and outside of the United States with experts in many areas of the law. Projects have included the development of human rights laws and policies in transitional countries and clinical legal education in Central and Eastern Europe.


The Institute conducts a summer law program each summer at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. The program in Cracow was established in 1991, and the inaugural classes began in 1992.

Cracow is an ancient royal city famous for its architectural beauty and cultural heritage, and was almost entirely spared the destruction wrought upon many urban cities of Europe during World War II. The city center is by far the largest city plaza in Europe. Avenues teeming with cafes, clubs, restaurants, antique shops and endless curiosities to be discovered and explored surround the square.

Students earn up to 6 credits, while studying and living side by side with law students from Poland and other European countries. Many students participate in non-credit externships in Warsaw before or after the program. 


The student-run International Law Students Association provides an important complement to the Institute. Although the Institute does not administer ILSA, the group provides students with opportunities to become acquainted with Institute programs and the broad scope of international law through lectures and conferences, including panels on career opportunities in international law. The society also has a critical role in the management of the Jessup Cup International Moot Court Competition. 



Hosted by the Institute, Ibrahim F. I. Shihata, senior vice president and former general counsel of The World Bank, delivered a Brendan Brown Lecture to the law school community on the creative role of lawyers in international development.

Ambassador Harriet C. Babbitt, deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, shared her expertise with members of the Institute about legal and institutional reform of law programs sponsored by USAID and other foreign affairs agencies. She also highlighted opportunities for lawyers to work for the federal government in foreign agencies.

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