Students accepted to 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 five mandatory and elective courses in the international law curriculum. In addition, students must also complete 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. The externship carries a mandatory classroom component entitled Legal Externship: Becoming a Lawyer. Participation in the Institute does not carry a scheduling priority for any course. Students must, however, plan their academic programs with care and in consultation with the program director.

Students select courses based on individual interests, which range from the private arena of business and trade to the public sector of various governmental and nongovernmental organizations focused on diplomacy, constitutionalism, human rights and other areas of public interest. Typically, students enrolled in the certificate program dedicate 16 of the 87 credits required for graduation to the study of comparative and international law. Students plan their academic programs by selecting from the following mandatory and elective courses:



  • Public International Law (Fall 2020)
  • One Externship: Legal Externship & Becoming a Lawyer [classroom component of externship requirement] (Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021);

ONE of two required

  • Comparative Law (Fall 2020)
  • Law of the European Union (Cracow-Summer 2021)

*ONE of two required

  • Comparative and International Trade (Cracow-Summer 2021)
  • International Business Transactions (Cracow-Summer 2019/taught on rotating basis)

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


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

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods (Cracow-Summer 2019/taught on rotating basis)
  • Art Law (Spring 2020/taught on rotating basis)
  • Conflict of Laws [course taught by Professor Perez, ONLY] (taught on rotating basis)
  • Entertainment Law [course taught by Professor Fischer only] (Spring 2020/taught on rotating basis)
  • Human Trafficking Seminar (Spring 2019/taught on rotating basis)
  • Immigration Law: Deportation and Asylum (Fall 2020)
  • Immigration Law: Employment, Family and Naturalization (Spring 2021)
  • International Corruption and Compliance (Spring 2021)
  • International Criminal Law (Spring 2020//taught on rotating basis)
  • International Legal Issues in Protection of Cultural Heritage & Sacred Space (Fall 2020)
  • International Religious Liberty (Fall 2020)
  • Law and the Holocaust  (taught on rotating basis)
  • Music Law (Fall 2020) 
  • National Security Law and Policy Seminar (Fall 2020)
  • Space Law (Spring 2021/taught on rotation basis)
  • Statutory and Regulatory Interpretation in the Administrative State (Spring 2021)
On a rotating basis, courses on comparative and international law are offered through the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Cracow, Poland, and the International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, Italy. Students should refer to the summer abroad program course schedule for new course offerings.

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 Institute director and the associate dean for academic affairs, substitute a graduate level course in international economics or political science for an elective course. A grade of B- or better is required for a course to be counted toward the certificate requirement. Detailed descriptions of all courses appear in the law school Announcements.