anacabana wrote:This thread seems a little old, so I hope someone will see this.
I feel like Yale is lacking in regards to international opportunities. For example, it doesn't have any semester/quarter abroad programs like Stanford and Harvard; doesn't seem like there are a lot of opportunities to travel internationally and do field work like with Harvard's winter term abroad etc.
I found that Yale does have some interesting opportunities at the Hague and ICJ, but they're for post-grads.
As someone interested in international law/development would Harvard be the better choice?
What if I'm interested in foreign policy/exploring a career with the state department?
Sorry, It is a bit of an old thread, and while I've done a lot of the answering in here, I'm not the OP so am not alerted about new questions. I will check it out over the next few weeks while we're enjoying Christmas bank, and if you have a question afterward, just quote me (or PM me, as most people do). I'm always happy to help if possible.
So I'm not really interested in international law and haven't researched it, so take all of this with a grain of salt. I definitely could see the other schools having more formal structures in place for international law. Yale is not about structure and formalities. That's why it's called a "choose your own adventure book." We don't have any requirements after first semester outside of criminal law, so you can explore whatever interests you, and they try to give you the resources for you to do that.
After your first semester, you can feel free to take all international law classes if you want. And we have some great international law professors, like Harold Koh, Amy Chua, and Paul Gewirtz (he's also the director of the Paul Tsai China Center, which is probably the best program for Chinese law and policy in the country). Ackerman, Amar, and Steve Calabresi (he visits every fall) offer comparative constitution classes regularly. Dieter Grimm, retired judge on the German Constitutional Court, regularly teaches classes on Constitutional Courts around the world. I'd guess you could end up having 12 hours of international classes every semester if you wanted. This last semester we offered like 10 different international classes, which I can say from talking to my HLS friends, are much easier to get into here. We also have three great international opportunities: the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, IRAP, and the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women's Rights. These projects are highly regarded and offer travel opportunities. IRAP does a really cool trip to the middle east every Spring.
There are also a lot of informal opportunities. We have more lunch talks than you could ever go to, and many of them deal with international law. Every year, Judith Resnik leads the Global Constitutionalism Seminar, where the top justices from Supreme Courts all over the world gather to discuss human rights and updates in Constitutional thinking. Typically, there will be a couple SCOTUS justices and then dozens of other justices. They will sit in panels and discuss these things, and then engage in discussion with the audience, who are often a mix of justices and students. I didn't go this year, but last year Justice Breyer had a really interesting back and forth with Judge Luis Barroso from Brazil's Supreme Federal Court. Haha, I was actually sitting next to him and talking to him before the talk started, and had no idea who he was until that moment. You can learn more about that seminar and the Gruber Program here: https://law.yale.edu/centers-workshops/ ... sm-seminar
. You can also visit pretty much any other country on Yale's dollar if you're willing to do a research project and write a paper while there. Yale makes it really easy to study at other schools as well, so you could take a lot of other graduate programs if they'd be helpful. And there are far more opportunities I'm forgetting.
Ultimately, that's what Yale is like for any field of law. There are never formal curricula and the school doesn't hold your hand. That freedom, as well as our grading system, basically means you can do whatever you want. I have friends that find classes that don't cold call (which is most), then bring flasks and drink in all of their classes. But if you want to take full advantage of your interests, I think you can build a more comprehensive curriculum than at any other school. I like getting into the courtroom and doing stuff, so I spend the vast majority of my time doing multiple clinics and taking mostly classes in writing and advocacy, with 1 or 2 black-letters thrown in. Other students want to do corporate law and basically take an MBA schedule with classes revolving entirely around businesses. You could take purely international classes. Or anything else you can imagine. It depends on you. If you'd rather have rigid programs of study that spoon-feed the classes to you, it might not be the best fit. But if you're serious about your interest and are willing to reach out and grab opportunities, no school is close to us.
As far as international hiring, I'm not sure as I'm going a different route. I know we have very close relations with the Hague and other justices. There are students clerking for Supreme Courts all over the world. But that's where my knowledge ends. I'd probably reach out to YLS professors if you're curious, especially the ones listed above. Explain that you're an accepted student and want to know about international law opportunities. Many would be willing to talk. I reached out to probably seven professors when I was making my decision and I think six responded, and two just asked for my phone number and talked to me for an hour or so.
As far as government hiring, Yale's pretty much the best. We have a ton of students that end up there. It seems like pretty much anyone who is interested in it, gets it. And YLS is literally the policy law school. That's where that famous line comes from "Harvard students learn what the law is, Yale students learn what the law should be." I'd be shocked if any other school has anywhere near the same number of students going into policy work. So do your research, it's one of the biggest decisions of your life. And if you're choosing between HYS, then you really can't go wrong.
Congratulations and I hope I helped a little. Merry Christmas!