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Student Organizations and Publications

In addition to the many other student organizations at Cornell Law School, law students participate in the following organizations with an international focus:

Cornell International Law Journal

Founded in 1967, the Cornell International Law Journal is one of the oldest and best-known of the professional journals devoted to international and comparative law.

Each year approximately seventy J.D. and graduate law students publish three issues with articles by leading scholars, practitioners, and government officials, and shorter pieces written by student editors on current issues of international or comparative law.

The Journal also hosts, and publishes the proceedings of, an annual symposium on current international or comparative law topics co-sponsored by the Berger International Legal Studies Program. Read more.

International Moot Court Competitions

Law Students at Cornell have many opportunities to participate in international moot court competitions. Under the auspices of the Berger Program, Cornell regularly sends teams of students to participate in competitions, including the Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, the Niagara Competition (for U.S. and Canadian schools), The ICC Mediation Competition, Paris and the Willen C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition, in Vienna.

In 2008, Cornell’s Jessup team won the Northeast Super Regional competition in New York City. Lexis/Nexis presented the Cornell team with a $500 prize, which they donated to the moot court team from the National University of Lesotho, to help pay its travel expenses to the 2008 International Round competition. At the Jessup International Round competition, competing with more than 100 teams from around the world, the team advanced to the run-off rounds (comparable to the NCAA’s “Sweet 16”) seeded number 12. They beat Oxford University before falling to Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven. Also in February 2008, another Cornell team traveled to the D.M. Harish Memorial International Moot Court Competition, held at the Government Law College in Mumbai, India, where they defeated teams from almost every continent, and advanced to the championship round, falling to the team from Washington University of St. Louis.

Herbert W. Briggs Society of International Law

Approximately sixty to eighty students participate in this student-run organization each year, which was named in honor of one of Cornell's best-known public international law teachers and scholars. In cooperation with the Berger Program, the Briggs Society is involved in the following activities:

Sponsors a number of field trips and events designed to bring J.D. and LL.M. students together throughout the year.

  • Promotes student interest in international and comparative law at Cornell Law School.
  • Co-sponsors many events in the international and comparative law speaker series.
  • Works in conjunction with the career office and the alumni office in planning special events to introduce students to career opportunities in international law.
  • Coordinates with the Moot Court Board on international moot court competitions such as the annual Jessup International Moot Court competition.

Cornell Advocates for Human Rights

Cornell Advocates for Human Rights (CAHR) provides students with an opportunity to actively promote human rights issues around the world. CAHR

  • Sponsors guest speakers and other events.
  • Builds relationships with nongovernmental organizations to provide students with pro bono research and advocacy opportunities.
  • Lobbies the CLS administration to provide more educational opportunities in the field of human rights, including the establishment of a human rights clinic.
  • Works with the careers services office to provide students with information on summer and permanent work opportunities in domestic and international human rights.
  • Publishes a CAHR Newsletter containing human rights articles written by CAHR members.

Cornell LL.M. Students Association

In 1998, the LL.M. candidates formed their own student-run association, the Cornell LL.M. Students Association. The LL.M. Students Association, in conjunction with the Berger Program, sponsors special events with the LL.M. Students, such as a field trip to the United Nations in conjunction with the Briggs Society of International Law, and other social and academic events. The association also coordinates activities and events with the Cornell Law Students Association, the principal student-run organization at the school. 

Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.)

The law school's J.S.D. degree program is for scholars who intend to pursue original research in the field of law.


  • In general, J.S.D. students will be considered for the program only after initial candidacy for the LL.M. degree at Cornell Law School, and only a very small number of highly qualified students are admitted for doctoral study.
  • A J.S.D. student is accepted only when, in the judgment of the law school faculty, the student is exceptional and the law school faculty is in a position to provide proper supervision of the student's proposed course of study.

Residency: The minimum residency for the J.S.D. degree is two semesters, although the program usually requires four to six semesters to complete.

Countries represented by J.S.D. candidates:

  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • China
  • Congo
  • India
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Korea
  • Nepal
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Uganda
  • The United States
  • Zambia

See also J.S.D. Description in Admissions.

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Juris Doctor/Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law (J.D./LL.M.)

Cornell Law School offers a J.D./LL.M. program in international and comparative law that can be earned in three years of study (including one summer at Cornell's Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law in Paris.

The program is intended for students who seek an even greater grounding in international and comparative law than that provided by the specialization degree in international legal affairs.

The J.D./LL.M. requires 20 credits of upper-class study in addition to the 84 credits required for the Cornell J.D. degree. As part of the additional 20 credits, students must take courses in international law, comparative law, and conflicts of law.

See also J.D./LL.M. Description in Admissions.

Juris Doctor with Specialization in International Legal Affairs

Since 1948, Cornell Law School has offered the J.D. with Specialization in International Legal Affairs to J.D. students who complete the degree requirements, including course work in international law, comparative law, conflict of laws, and additional courses on international or comparative law topics.

The program is designed for J.D. students who desire to be better qualified in the international aspects of private practice, government service, or multi-national business.

See also J.D./Specialization in International Legal Affairs Description in Admissions.

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Master of Science (Legal Studies) (M.S.L.S.)

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Cornell Law School will offer a Master of Science (Legal Studies) (M.S.L.S.) degree.  The M.S.L.S. is a one-year nonprofessional degree intended for Cornell University graduate Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows who have no prior legal training and seek an introduction to the foundations of legal systems, legal reasoning, argumentation and analysis, legal procedure, and substantive law in selected areas.

Admission and Requirements:  Admission information and requirements for the program can be found at the law school's M.S.L.S. admissions website.

The M.S.L.S. is not a professional law degree and it does not qualify a student to sit for the bar examination in New York or any other state.

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