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eign law schools, including several universities in India. Laurence Helfer, co-director of the Duke School of Law Center for International and Comparative Law, said many Duke students decide later what to focus on. “If you’re not sure about international studies, you don’t have to commit yourself right away,” he said. “Plenty of students get interested while here at Duke. I have a network of contacts, think-tanks, and nongovernmental organizations where students can work for a semester or a summer to decide what they want to do.” According to Helfer, what makes Duke’s international programs unique is strong interaction between students and faculty in projects and seminars. “We’re trying to bridge the line between classroom and experiential activity,” Helfer said. “A group of our students recently proposed a seminar and then took a weeklong fact-finding trip to investigate an issue — land rights for indigenous groups in Brazil. Duke has had an entrepreneurial spirit — if
individuals want to start a program, they’re encouraged to do so.” The trip was underwritten by donations. Whatever the focus, most legal educators advise students to get a strong grounding in traditional law outside of international studies. “Students should take ‘core’ courses beyond the first-year curriculum such as federal courts, corporations, securities regulations, federal income tax, evidence, criminal procedure, and administrative law,” Karamanian said. “International and comparative law courses should be in addition to these core courses.” “You have to remember,” Hollis said, “you need to be good at U.S. law in order to practice somewhere else.”
WHAT ARE THE JOB PROSPECTS AFTER GRADUATING?
Job opportunities have grown over the past few decades, due to the increased
number of institutions that focus on international matters and the increased flow of goods, services, and people across borders. J.D.s who speak a foreign language or have relevant work experience may get jobs with the government, an international organization, or a law firm. But you do need patience in job seeking. “You can work for non-governmental organizations; you can work for the United Nations; you can work in business,” said Columbia Law School Professor Curtis Milhaupt. “You can do foreign studies at more places than I can count.” The Columbia student body has a very international flavor with 10 percent of its J.D. class coming from outside the United States. Many LL.M. candidates from abroad are also studying at the school. “The entire environment is an international one,” Milhaupt said. “We have an international alumni network. And what a tremendous benefit that is in your work life after you graduate.” ■
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