Students enrolled in CILI are required to complete course work and gain practical experience through externships in the field of international law. The Institute's basic curricular requirements include successful completion of three mandatory and two elective courses in the international law curriculum. In addition, students must also complete a practical training requirement, which can be satisfied by an externship for at least one semester, for a minimum of 120 hours, in a Washington-area law firm, organization or governmental agency that focuses on international law, or by the CCLS Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic, or by the Human Rights Practicum. Participation in the Institute does not carry a scheduling priority for any course. Students should plan their coursework and externship as far ahead as possible in consultation with the program director.

Students plan their academic programs by selecting from the following mandatory and elective courses:



Public International Law (next offered in Spring 2024)

  • One Externship (minimum of 3 credits; see options below)

ONE of two required

  • Comparative Law (next offered in Spring 2024)
  • *Law of the European Union (next offered Kraków-Summer 2024)

ONE of two required

*Comparative and International Trade (offered on a rotating basis)

*International Business Transactions (offered on rotating basis)

*With the permission of the Director, students may substitute another course to satisfy this


Minimum of TWO required
Students may choose from all international course offerings to fulfill the elective course requirement.

  • Advanced Issues in Corporate Law - Corporations and Human Rights (offered on a rotating basis)
  • Advanced Issues in Corporate Law – Human Rights Compliance (offered on a rotating basis) 
  • Administrative Law and Human Rights (Rome- Summer 2024)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques (Kraków-Summer - offered on rotating basis)
  • Art, Cultural Property and Human Rights (Rome – Summer 2024)
  • Art Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • Conflict of Laws (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024)
  • Cyberlaw (Fall 2023)
  • Entertainment Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • Ethical and Philosophical Approaches to Human Rights (offered on rotating basis)
  • Forced Labor in the Global Workplace (Kraków-Summer – offered on rotating basis)
  • Foreign Relations and National Security (offered on rotating basis)
  • History of Canon Law (Fall 2023)
  • Human Trafficking Seminar (offered on rotating basis)
  • Immigration and Human Rights Seminar (Rome- offered on rotating basis)
  • Immigration Law: Deportation and Asylum (Spring 2024)
  • Immigration Law: Employment, Family and Naturalization (Fall 2023)
  • International Communications Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • International Corruption and Compliance (Spring 2024)
  • International Criminal Law (Spring 2024)
  • International Environmental Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • International Human Rights Law (Fall 2023)
  • International Intellectual Property Law (Kraków-Summer - offered on rotating basis)
  • International Investment Law (Kraków-Summer - offered on rotating basis)
  • International Legal Issues in the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Sacred Space (offered on rotating
  • International Religious Liberty (Spring 2024)
  • Legal Issues in Online Child Exploitation (offered on rotating basis)
  • Music Law (Fall 2023)
  • National Security Law and Policy Seminar (Fall 2023)
  • Space Law (Spring 2024)
Statutory and Regulatory Interpretation in the Administrative State (offered on rotating basis)

*EXTERNSHIP - One Required

Practical training is a required component of the certificate program. Students may fulfill the externship
requirement in one of three ways.

1. Externship: Students must complete one externship in the areas of comparative and/or international law for academic credit. To earn academic credit, students must be enrolled contemporaneously in the courses:
Becoming a Lawyer (1 cr.) (classroom component) and Legal Externship (2 or 3 cr.):
                i. 2 credit hours = 120 hours of work at placement, or
                ii. 3 credit hours = 180 hours of work at placement

Each student must consult with the CILI Director before undertaking to select an externship and must obtain approval from the Director for the field placement proposed to satisfy the experiential learning requirement. Additionally, students interested in pursuing a legal externship for academic credit should review the handbook on the Legal Externship Program; 2023_ Legal_Externship_Handbook.pdf ( The contact for Legal Externship is Bryan McDermott, Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Support, Email: and Phone: 202-319-5996.

2. CCLS: Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic (3 to 6 crs.) may be taken in lieu of an externship. This clinical program offers students the opportunity to advocate for immigrants and refugees in courts, administrative proceedings, and policy forums. Students, under the supervision of a clinic attorney, represent low income clients living in D.C., Maryland and Virginia who have experienced political persecution, violence or humanitarian crisis in their home countries. The Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic (IRAC) assists clients with immigration matters as well as related civil matters that affect, or relate to, the client's immigration status. Our clients include adults as well as unaccompanied minors. The caseload of the clinic consists primarily of immigration matters with involvement in related family law, employment, and public benefits matters as needed. Students eligible for certification under the Student Practice Rule may have the opportunity to present their clients' cases in court and all students are eligible to advocate on behalf of clients with local and federal administrative agencies. Students also participate in limited legal assistance projects or policy reform initiatives. The classroom component of the course includes participatory exercises in interviewing, fact investigation, counseling, trial skills and structured discussion of legal ethics, case law and statutory developments. Students enrolled for six credits are expected to spend a minimum of 20 hours weekly on clinic work. Continuing students may enroll for 3 credits, but only with the prior approval of Professor Dyer. The course is graded, with a pass/fail option, with permission of the course professor. A student may request to complete a writing portfolio which fulfills a portion of the upper-level writing requirement. Prof. Dyer

NOTE: To satisfy the CILI requirement for experiential learning, the student must enroll in three credits. In the event the student elects to enroll in the six-credit option, three of the six credits will satisfy one CILI elective.

3. Human Rights Practicum (3 or 4 crs.) (Fall 2023): This course is designed to educate and prepare law students, through both classroom instruction and placement in a human rights law office, on how to properly represent and advocate for clients via legislative and policy solutions. Students will attend a weekly two-hour seminar addressing the practical realities of engaging in human rights issues and the ethical considerations surrounding this form of representation. Students will then be placed in a law office to work alongside a practicing attorney on human rights cases. This course will expose students to the practice of international human rights and advocacy. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible for a paid fellowship the following summer in the human rights field. Part-time (evening) students are eligible, and welcome, to take this course. Students choosing the three-credit option must complete at least 60 hours of work time within the placement portion of the course. Students choosing the four- credit option must complete at least 120 hours of work time within the placement portion of the course. Prof. Destro.

CUA Law: Summer Abroad Law Programs - Optional

Students may satisfy CILI curricular and externship requirements by participating in the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Kraków, Poland, and/or the International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, Italy.

PLEASE NOTE: The CILI Director has the authority to revise the curriculum, make any adaptations or grant exceptions to the current requirements. Additional courses with a comparative or international focus may be introduced into the law school curriculum on a rotating basis and may also count toward the certificate requirements. Students are advised to check the current semester’s course offerings for additions or changes to the curriculum. In special circumstances, students may, with the permission of the director and the associate dean for academic affairs, substitute a graduate level course in international economics or political science for an elective course. Detailed descriptions of all courses appear in the law school Announcements and on the law school website at

Updated -2023-September 7