International Law at Temple Law

International law is a crucial part of American legal education. Practicing law at home and abroad requires a firm grasp of international and comparative law, and a rich understanding of distinct cultures and contrasting legal systems across the globe.

Temple is a global leader in the field and has long recognized the importance of providing a global legal education to our law students. At Temple, students enjoy a wealth of curricular choices in international law. We have a strong core of faculty members focused on teaching international law subjects, and our curriculum is both diverse and deep, offering multiple sections of introductory courses in international law as well as electives that introduce students to the comparative nature of international law studies.

Temple has traditionally ranked among the top international law programs at U.S. law schools. Our faculty enjoys deep connections with the world’s leading academics and practitioners. These relationships open up a world of opportunities for Temple law graduates.

Temple Law’s outstanding international law curriculum includes coursework in international litigation & arbitration, international criminal law, international tax law, human rights law, immigration law, Chinese law, refugee law and policy, European Union law, international public health law, and many more.

Unique to Temple

At Temple, you do more than just read about legal practice around the world — you live it. We have a longstanding summer study abroad program at our campus in Rome, Italy, and the only semester-long U.S. study abroad program at our campus in Tokyo, Japan. Temple also offers the longest-running U.S. law degree program in Beijing, China. In addition, many of our students pursue study abroad opportunities at our partner law schools around the world.

Our students share common interests and a commitment to the rule of law, and these interests often generate lasting professional and personal relationships. Temple provides you with the opportunity to study and experience our increasingly globalized legal community – one that requires lawyers to understand not only U.S. federal and state rules and regulations, but also international legal systems and cultures.

Learn More About Temple’s Study Abroad Programs

The international law program at Temple Law has consistently been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Temple Law delivers a truly global legal education, with opportunities for international study that are unavailable at many other schools and coursework to help you gain a deeper understanding of how international issues impact daily practice in almost every other field of law.

  • Temple has the first and only ABA-approved law program in Japan.
  • Many law students study at Temple’s Rome and Tokyo campuses or at partner law schools around the world through our extensive study abroad options.
  • Most of our students participate in at least one international law class during their time at Temple Law.
  • Temple Law offers many opportunities for students interested in international and comparative law; interested students can:
    • Edit and publish the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, which contains both student and outside scholarship,
    • Compete in the prestigious IBA International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition and the Jessup International Moot Court Competition, and
    • Become members of the International Law Society and similar student-run organizations with a focus on global law.
  • The Institute for International Law and Public Policy sits at the core of Temple Law’s growing international law community, engaging students in interactive panels, lectures, colloquia, and workshops.
  • The Center for Compliance and Ethics offers Temple Law students with unique opportunities to become immersed in compliance law across various disciplines and industries at both the domestic and international levels.
  • A course titled “Spanish for Lawyers” offers Spanish-speaking law students the unusual opportunity to engage in reading, writing, and oral discussions exclusively in the Spanish language.

International Law Curriculum

WATCH: Professor Ramji-Nogales Discusses International Law at Temple

At Temple, the broad scope of the international law curriculum reflects the interdisciplinary nature of international law and the international dimensions of traditionally “domestic” areas of law. Temple offers courses in a number of traditional areas, such as human rights, commercial, and treaty law. Temple also offers an expanding selection of courses in emerging and interdisciplinary fields like compliance, cybersecurity, and health law.

Fundamental Coursesinterdisciplinary courses
International LawAsylum at the US-Mexico Border: Resistance and the Rule of Law
International Trade LawImmigration Law
International Law ColloquiumCitizenship in Constitutional Perspective
International ComplianceChinese Law
International Investment & ArbitrationConflict of Laws
International Litigation & ArbitrationLaw and Global Development
International OrganizationsRefugee Law and Policy
International TaxationConstitutional Law and Foreign Policy
International Commercial TransactionsCrimes and Immigration
International Criminal LawBusiness Immigration Law
International Law and Public HealthLaw of the European Union
International Protection of Human RightsSpanish for Lawyers
Law and Justice: International Literary PerspectivesTax Treaties

Faculty and Leadership

Faculty excellence is at the core of our international law program, as our instructors are experts in U.S. and foreign law. Many Temple Law faculty members have either taught or worked abroad, making them uniquely qualified to incorporate discussions of comparative and international law into the curriculum.

The Temple Law faculty includes many prolific scholars who have published extensively on international and comparative law topics ranging from citizenship to comparative treaty law to Chinese contracts. Their expertise is varied and includes immigration and refugee law, public international law, Japanese copyright law, the globalization of intellectual property law, terrorism, and global public health.

Temple’s international law faculty members are world-renowned in the field. For example:

Margaret M. deGuzman

James E. Beasley Professor of Law
Co-Director, Institute for International Law and Public Policy

Co-Director for the Institute for International Law and Public Policy at Temple Law School, Professor Margaret M. deGuzman lectures on her area of expertise—international criminal law—while offering students a unique insight into international human rights law and leading engaging discussions related to her scholarship regarding the International Criminal Court. In recognition of her expertise in the field, the United Nations Secretary General appointed her to the roster of Judges of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague, Netherlands and Arusha, Tanzania.


Jeffrey Dunoff

Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law
Director of LL.M. in Transnational Law Program

An expert in constitutional law and various interdisciplinary fields of international law, Professor Jeffrey Dunoff takes students along a comparative law journey by teaching the fundamental global law courses of International Law, International Commercial Transactions, and International Trade Law.


J. Benton Heath

Associate Professor of Law

Assistant Professor J. Benton Heath focuses on international trade, international business transactions, and alternative dispute resolution. He instructs law students in an International Investment and Arbitration course, leading engaging discussions on pressing policy issues like national security and various human rights protections.


Duncan B. Hollis

Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law
Co-Faculty Director, Institute for Law, Innovation & Technology
Director, LL.M. and J.D./LL.M. in Transnational Law

Professor Hollis served a four year term on the OAS’s Inter-American Juridical Committee, to which he was elected by the OAS General Assembly, and formerly served in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. Professor Duncan Hollis shares his extensive legal knowledge with students by teaching Property and International Law. Professor Hollis’s recent publications and media appearances provide unparalleled insight into his various areas of expertise—cybersecurity, international law, and international regulation of treaties.


Trang (Mae) Nguyen

Associate Professor of Law

With prior experience practicing corporate law in Silicon Valley, Assistant Professor Trang (Mae) Nguyen offers a business law approach to her teaching and research areas of focus in Contract Law, Corporations, and Law and Global Development—a unique course at Temple Law that exposes students to the impact that both law and legal institutions have on subsequent international development.


Peter J. Spiro

Charles R. Weiner Professor of Law
Co-Director, Institute for International Law and Public Policy

Professor Peter J. Spiro is Co-Director for the Institute for International Law and Public Policy and has contributed comprehensive publications in his area of research on dual citizenship. As an instructor of Immigration Law at Temple, Professor Spiro also engages students in a seminar-style class dedicated to Citizenship in Constitutional Perspective.


Institute for International Law and Public Policy (IILPP)

Temple’s Institute for International Law & Public Policy (IILPP) provides rich opportunities for students, professors, and members of the legal and policy-making communities to interact with one other in a robust exploration of the relationship between international law and public policy.

Founded in 2002, the Institute offers abundant opportunities for students to pursue research experience and fellowships. Significant attention is paid to emergent public policy and global law issues, as the Institute hosts premier events, conferences, roundtables, seminars, and lectures to engage students in unique and invaluable collaborations with leading scholars and policymakers in the field.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Summer Session in Italy | Temple University Rome

Our four-week summer program in Rome is led by full-time Temple Law professors, visiting professors, and prominent Italian jurists who have taught in Temple’s program for many years. Typically taught from mid-May to mid-June, this program gives students the flexibility to study abroad in the beginning of the summer, thus allowing sufficient time for summer employment in the U.S. or abroad before the start of the fall semester.

Semester Abroad in Japan | Temple University Japan

Our spring semester abroad in Japan program offers second- and third-year J.D. students from Temple and other U.S. law schools a truly unique study abroad experience. Classes are taught in English by expert Temple Law faculty and practicing U.S., Japanese, and international attorneys. J.D. students join LL.M. students from Japan and all over the world.

This interaction with Japanese peers is an extremely important aspect of the program, as it promotes cultural understanding and provides students with long-term professional contacts. With a Temple-sponsored student visa, students may work in legal or non-legal capacities while in Tokyo.

Temple Law’s Extensive International Study Offerings

We also offer study abroad opportunities at our partner schools in China, Colombia, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Switzerland. Please visit our study abroad page for more information.

Temple Law also attracts students from all over the world. Even if J.D. students do not study abroad during law school, they will study with international students in their classes, providing opportunities to discuss global law and perspectives without leaving Philadelphia.

Partner schools where our students can study abroad also send students to Temple, and this inbound and outbound mobility has enriched American and international students alike.

J.D. / LL.M. in Transnational Law

The Transnational Law LL.M. program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the 21st century. Graduates are knowledgeable about international legal doctrines, adept at dealing with multiple legal systems, and familiar with other cultures.

Transnational Law LL.M. candidates must have a first degree in law from an English-language law school in a common law country. They must complete the three-credit International Law course plus 24 credits of elective international and comparative law courses, including at least one course in which a scholarly paper is produced. Some of these credits must be earned at one or more of Temple’s international campuses.

Current Temple J.D. students who have completed their second year of law studies may apply for entry into the J.D./LL.M. program. Students who apply before graduation from the J.D. program may apply up to 12 credits of international course work from their J.D. studies toward the Transnational Law LL.M. Students have the option to complete the remaining credits in one additional full-semester or multiple part-time semesters in Philadelphia, Rome, or Tokyo.

J.D. / LL.M. in Asian Law

Our LL.M. in Asian Law enables students to use Temple’s curricular strengths and historic ties to Asia as a bridge to launch or expand their careers in this area.
LL.M. in Asian Law candidates must have a first degree in law from an English-language law school in a common law country. Students study one semester of Asian and international law on main campus in Philadelphia, and then complete a second semester at our Japan campus, or with our partner schools in Beijing, China or Delhi, India.

A Temple J.D. student may qualify for entry into the LL.M. program before graduation and may apply up to 12 of the required 24 credits for the LL.M. while still enrolled as Temple J.D. a student. The remaining credits required for the LL.M. degree can then be completed in one additional semester thereafter.

China Programs

Temple Law has unparalleled expertise in Chinese law and the Chinese legal system. Temple Law’s initiatives in China are premised on a collaborative relationship with our Chinese partners, and since 1999, we have educated a wide range of legal professionals who will make significant contributions to the rule of law in China.

Temple primarily accomplishes this goal through our Beijing Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program in collaboration with Tsinghua University. Additionally, J.D. students may spend a semester in Beijing to learn about the legal system and culture of China at Tsinghua University School of Law’s study abroad program for international law students.