J.D. Program

Add a Global Dimension to Your Law Degree

Like most professions, the practice of law has become global. Add an international credential to your resume by taking advantage of one of Boston University School of Law's 21 foreign study opportunities in Asia, Europe, South America, or the Middle East. Immersed in your host country’s legal system and culture, you'll demonstrate a serious interest in international legal issues while studying a range of international and comparative law topics.

bu law study abroad locations oxford leiden hamburg frankfurt geneva beijing hong kong tel aviv geneva florence lyon singapore Paris madrid buenos aires

 

Study Abroad Programs

BU Law offers 16 study abroad programs for students wishing to spend a semester of law school overseas. Many programs are conducted in English, though there are five foreign-language options for those proficient in the native tongue of their host country.

Single-Semester Programs in English

Beijing, China—Tsinghua University

Located in China's capital city, Tsinghua Law School has long been regarded as one of the top law faculties in the country, as well as one of the top 50 universities in the world, according to Times Higher Education rankings. BU Law students participate in a single (fall) semester of Tsinghua's LLM in Chinese Law Program—an English language program focusing exclusively on Chinese law and China's legal system, and the first of its kind in mainland China. The program has a truly international perspective, as all students are from foreign countries, and many of the program's faculty, including Tsinghua's full-time faculty, adjuncts and local practitioners, have studied outside of China. Instruction is offered in English.

After earning their JD degree from BU Law, students may return to Tsinghua to earn an LLM in Chinese Law. See more

 

Frankfurt, Germany—Institute for Law and Finance

Students interested in global finance and capital markets have the opportunity to study abroad in Frankfurt, Germany, at one of Europe's leading institutions for financial law studies, the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF). In this spring semester program, students are integrated into the ILF’s LLM in Finance program, which attracts approximately 50 students from 25+ countries around the world. Specialized courses—taught by academics and experienced practitioners from Europe’s legal and financial world—cover the economic, transactional, and regulatory aspects of the global financial service industry. After their spring studies, BU Law students have an option to pursue internships arranged by the ILF at prominent firms and financial institutions in Frankfurt and elsewhere in Europe.

Third-year students have the opportunity to spend a full year in Frankfurt to receive both the JD from BU Law and an LLM in Finance from ILF. See more

 

Geneva, Switzerland—Graduate Institute

Second- and third-year students interested in international human rights and humanitarian law can study in Geneva, the city that originated some of the most important advancements in international law for humanitarian concerns. At the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, students can select from courses covering the full spectrum of international law topics at one of the leading centers for public international law research and scholarship. Classes, taught in both French and English, include United Nations law, international environmental law, WTO law, and international contracts.

Spending either the fall or spring semester abroad, students gain a unique perspective on international affairs in Geneva, which is home to over 200 international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization and the UN High Commission on Refugees.

 

Hamburg, Germany—Bucerius Law School

As Germany's first and only private law school, Bucerius Law School was founded in 2000 by Germany's ZEIT Foundation and has already developed a reputation as one of Germany's top law faculties. BU Law students participate in its International and Comparative Business Law Program—an English-language program designed primarily for the non-German visiting exchange students from Bucerius' more than 70 worldwide partner institutions.

Courses include Comparative Intellectual Property, Comparative Corporate Governance and Corporate Finance, and The Law of the World Trade Organization. Students fluent in German can also audit courses from the German language curriculum. This program is available during the fall semester.

 

Hong Kong, China—University of Hong Kong

One of Times Higher Education's top 50 universities in the world, the University of Hong Kong affords students the opportunity to study the laws and legal institutions of one of the most vital and dynamic regions in the global economy—Asia and the Pacific Rim.

As the world’s third-largest financial center after New York and London, Hong Kong's global reach makes it a particularly attractive venue for students who plan to enter transnational practice in Asia or work in corporations or firms conducting business there. During a fall or spring semester, participating students take classes (all taught in English) in such areas as Chinese commercial law, human rights law, and international corporate and financial law.

 

Leiden, Netherlands—Leiden University

Leiden University in the Netherlands is one of Europe's most highly acclaimed international universities, with a world-renowned reputation in comparative and international law subjects. BU Law students pursue such topics as public international law, European Community law, jurisprudence, legal history, canon law, and East European law, to name only a few, learning from scholars and practitioners intimately connected with one of the most significant developments of our time, the formation of the European Economic Community.

The school's close proximity to the Hague and War Crimes Tribunal allows students to observe proceedings at some of the world’s most venerable international legal institutions. The city of Leiden's rich historical tradition and active international student population also make it an ideal setting to study international topics. In either the fall of spring semester, students take four classes from among the school's expansive offerings in foreign and comparative law.

 

Madrid, Spain—Universidad Pontificia Comillas

The Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE), which has one of Spain's top law faculties, is internationally known for both its rich tradition in teaching and student involvement on campus and for its location in the heart of the political and economic life of Spain. Through this program, offered in English, students enroll in master’s-level courses through ICADE's International and European Business Law program, focusing on international and European business law. Students spend the fall semester in Madrid.

Students who prefer instruction in Spanish with a focus on international, foreign (EU and Spanish) and comparative law may enroll in the Spanish-language program. See more

Additionally, students may opt to pursue a full year of study at ICADE to receive both the JD degree from BU School of Law and an LLM in International and European Business Law from ICADE. See more

 

Oxford, England—Oxford University

The program with Harris Manchester College at Oxford University gives BU Law students the opportunity to study international and comparative law at one of the world's great academic institutions. The distinguishing feature of this program relates to how students learn the law: Oxford uses a tutorial rather than a lecture system, which means that students’ "classroom" experiences take place in one-on-one settings with an Oxford tutor. Students take two individual tutorials with Oxford dons in such areas as public international law, jurisprudence, international intellectual property, comparative contract law and British Administrative law, the British legal system, and British government and international/comparative law.

The program runs during Oxford’s "Hilary Term," which begins in January and ends in late March.

 

Paris, France—École des Hautes Études

Second- and third-year students seeking business and management training and exposure to topics that are relevant to running international commercial enterprises may spend a semester at HEC Paris, one of the world’s leading business schools. BU Law is the only US law school that has established an overseas program with a world-renowned international school of business administration.

BU Law students take business and management classes through HEC’s highly selective Master in Management (MIM) Program, ranked 4th best in the world, according to the Financial Times (2013). These include such core classes as managerial economics, corporate finance and financial accounting, as well as a range of electives, such as global risk regulation and export and project finance. The program is designed to help train BU Law students to “think like business people” and see legal issues from the client’s perspective— valuable skills in the legal marketplace.

BU Law students may participate in this program in the fall or spring semester.

 

Republic of Singapore—National University of Singapore

Ranked as one of the top 30 universities in the world by Times Higher Education, the National University of Singapore affords students the unique opportunity to study in a city, island, and country all at the same time. Within this dynamic educational environment, BU Law students can develop individualized study plans from a wide array of courses in areas such as International and Comparative law, IP and Technology, Law and Development in Asia, Chinese Law, and many more.

Students can attend the single-semester program in the fall or the spring, or opt to spend a full year of study in Singapore receive both the JD degree from BU School of Law and an LLM in Asian Legal Studies from National University of Singapore. See more

 

Tel Aviv, Israel—Tel Aviv University

BU Law students have an opportunity to study international and comparative law topics and, in particular, courses in Israeli law and politics and Jewish law at Israel’s largest and one of its most acclaimed law schools, The Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University.

Among the school’s attractions is its Cegla Institute for Comparative and Private International Law, which coordinates and supports research projects, international conferences, and teaching programs in the fields of comparative and private international law. BU Law students take five classes in either Hebrew or English during this spring semester program.

 

 

Single-Semeseter Programs in a Foreign Language

Buenos Aires, Argentina—University of Buenos Aires (in Spanish)

BU Law students who are fluent in Spanish may study international and comparative law—and, in particular, the laws of Latin America, one of the fastest growing economic regions of the world—at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina's oldest and largest law school. Argentina's capital city of Buenos Aires (the "Paris of the South") is the country's commercial and cultural center and a natural choice as one of the most desirable places to study in all of Latin America.

Students develop an individualized study plan from UBA's vast array of offerings, including such courses as International Protection of Human Rights, Introduction to the Community Law of Mercosur, Private International Law and International Contracts. This program is available in either the fall or spring semester.

 

Florence, Italy—University of Florence (in Italian)

Students with Italian language skills can immerse themselves in international and comparative law studies at the University of Florence, one of Italy's preeminent law schools. During this program, available in the fall or spring, students receive first-hand exposure to the legal environment at the heart of Europe's historic economic integration in one of Europe's most spectacular cities. Prior to their departure, participating students pursue an informal reading program in Italian law at BU Law. Each develops an individualized study plan from Florence's comparative and European law classes.

 

Lyon, France—Université Jean Moulin (in French)

Université Jean Moulin (Lyon 3) boasts one of the best law faculties in Europe and is generally recognized as having one of the most extensive course offerings in international and comparative law. Students are enmeshed in the academic and cultural perspective of Europeans, who have a direct stake in the development of the European Economic Community. Lyon, France’s second largest city, is a commercial and cultural crossroads. It's close to the borders of Italy, Switzerland, and Germany and only two hours from Paris by train.

Available to French-speaking 2Ls in the spring semester, this program allows students to take an introductory class in French public and private law and the law of obligations, and select electives from a range of European and comparative law topics.

 

Madrid, Spain—Universidad Pontificia Comillas (in Spanish)

The Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE), which has one of Spain's top law faculties, is internationally known for both its rich tradition in teaching and student involvement on campus and for its location in the heart of the political and economic life of Spain. BU Law students who are fluent in Spanish have the opportunity to choose from a wide array of courses through the Faculty of Law with a focus on international, foreign (EU and Spanish) and comparative law, including: private law, public international law, information technology and communications law, and law and management and business administration. Students may participate in the program in either the fall or spring semester.

Students who prefer to receive instruction in English may enroll in master’s-level courses offered through the International and European Business Law program, with a focus on international and European business law. See more

Additionally, students may opt to pursue a full year of study at ICADE to receive both the JD degree from BU School of Law and an LLM in International and European Business Law from ICADE. See more

 

Paris, France—Université Panthéon-Assas (in French)

French-speaking students interested in a fall semester in Paris have the opportunity to study at Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), one of the world's foremost legal institutions. Originally part of the Sorbonne Law School, Paris II is renowned for its excellence in international and comparative law.

Like the Lyon program, it offers an introductory class in French law and several courses from a broad range of electives. BU Law students can immerse themselves in European and French legal studies in one of the world's most captivating cities.

 

Dual Degree Programs with International Universities

Choose one of BU Law's five dual degree programs with foreign institutions to earn both a JD and an international LLM on an accelerated track. After two semesters of study abroad, you will earn an LLM degree from the host school in addition to your BU Law JD degree, equipping you with two powerful credentials in less time than if you pursued each degree independently.

JD/LLM in Asian Legal Studies—National University of Singapore

The dual degree in Asian legal studies enables students in the program to complete a full year of study at the National University of Singapore. Ranked as one of the top-30 universities in the world by Times Higher Education, NUS affords students the unique opportunity to study in a city, island and country all at the same time. As Southeast Asia's legal and business hub, Singapore allows students to immerse themselves in international business and finance topics that relate to the region's rapidly growing economies.

The program, taught entirely in English, allows students to study in-depth the laws, legal systems, institutions and legal traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, and to focus on particular areas of law (e.g., commercial law, constitutional law and international law) as these are treated across Asia.

A selection of specialized Asian legal studies courses offered at NUS includes:

  • Chinese Corporate and Securities Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Competition Law in Asia
  • Human Rights in Asia
  • Law and Development in China
  • Law, Governance & Development in Asia
  • Ocean Law & Policy in Asia

 

JD/LLM in Chinese Law—Tsinghua University, Beijing

Earn a JD degree from BU School of Law and an LLM in Chinese Law from Tsinghua University in just seven semesters. Students complete one fall semester in Tsinghua's LLM in Chinese Law Program—an English language program focusing exclusively on Chinese law and China's legal system—and one of the first of its kind in mainland China. After graduating from BU Law and within two years of your participation in the fall program, you can return to Tsinghua to earn your LLM degree.

Located in China's capital city, Tsinghua Law School has long been regarded as one of the top law faculties in the country, as well as one of the top 50 universities in the world, according to Times Higher Education rankings. The LLM program has a truly international feel, as all students come from foreign countries and many of the program’s faculty members have studied outside of China.

 

JD/LLM in European Law—Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris

Students can now spend their entire third year abroad in Paris to graduate with a JD degree from BU Law and an LLM in European Law from the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), renowned for its excellence in international and comparative law.

Participants will take classes taught in English from Paris II's European College of Paris. Courses may include:

  • The Institutional and Decision-making Structure of the European Union
  • History of the European idea
  • Free Movement of Goods, Capital and Services
  • Competition
  • Company Law and Financial Markets
  • Private International Law and Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Labour Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Environmental Law
  • External Relations
  • Consumer Law
  • Human Rights

 

JD/LLM in Finance—Institute for Law and Finance, Frankfurt

Third-year students seeking to gain practical experience and advanced training in international financial services law have the unique opportunity to earn an LLM in Finance from the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF), one of Europe’s leading institutions for financial law studies, in Frankfurt, Germany. At the end of a full-year of coursework, BU Law students receive the BU JD degree and, upon completing the ILF program’s thesis requirement, an LLM in Finance from Goethe University, of which the ILF is a part. Specialized courses—taught in English by academics and experienced practitioners from Europe’s legal and financial world—cover the economic, transactional, and regulatory aspects of the global financial service industry. As part of the ILF’s LLM program, all students pursue six- to eight-week internships during the spring semester, arranged by the ILF, at prominent financial institutions in Frankfurt and elsewhere in Germany.

 

JD/LLM in International & European Law—ICADE, Madrid

Since ICADE’s founding in 1956, the teaching of law at The Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE) has been closely tied to the teaching of business and economics. Today, the Faculty of Law (Facultad de Derecho) at ICADE is still known for its focus on commercial law. One of the most attractive features of ICADE is its student-centered approach. The school’s philosophy is reminiscent of BU Law’s: the faculty is accessible and the administration is supportive. All visiting exchange students meet one-on-one with the vice dean and a faculty advisor to develop a customized study plan.

The year-long program, taught entirely in English, is focused on educating and preparing highly skilled legal professionals to fully understand the rules governing international business and the internal EU market. Students enrolled in this program will study four “modules,” in-depth, throughout their year at ICADE:

  • The institutional framework for EU business affairs
  • EU and international business regulation
  • EU market regulation International
  • EU legal practice and enforcement.

The following list includes just a few of the many specialized courses offered through the International and European Business Law Program at ICADE:

  • International and EU Trade Law
  • EU Tax Law and International Tax Planning
  • International Contracts in the EU
  • EU Cross-Border Corporate and Financial Crime
  • EU Competition, IP and Trademark Law
  • Commercial Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Legal Documents in the EU