Columbia Law School has been “internationalizing” American legal education since its founding prior to the Civil War. Long before global markets and instant worldwide communications required practicing attorneys to address laws outside the United Sates, Columbia faculty and students were developing the precepts and principles of public international law, international economic law, and comparative law.
Columbia's initial forays into international law were launched in the mid-1800s through such luminaries as Francis Lieber, and continued into the 20th century with the efforts of Philip C. Jessup, Wolfgang Friedman, Telford Taylor, and Oscar Schachter, among others. Over the past 10 years, Columbia's already rich programs in international and comparative law have expanded dramatically, ensuring that the Law School remains at the forefront of these significant areas of study.
Today, Columbia is home to a new generation of international law professors conducting cutting-edge research, and infusing the curriculum with new and innovative scholarship and teaching.
As part of the School's international focus, we have developed innovative double-degree and semester study-abroad programs with partner institutions around the globe. At the same time, the number of international internships has increased significantly while new technologies help bring the world around us into the classroom with innovative video-based courses, conferences, and symposia.
Columbia has focused on developing an institution that is both broad and deep by approaching globalization on multiple fronts; these include academics, exchange programs, journals, research, and prominent international visitors, as well as an international faculty and student body. Together, these elements comprise a program that is solid, distinct, and diverse in scope.
The activities of our students, faculty, and centers extend far beyond Jerome Greene Hall, and continue to significantly impact the international community. On an institutional level, the Law School is also reaching out and collaborating with foreign academic institutions, governments and NGOs throughout the world. Law School students, faculty, centers, and programs have created a global network of alliances that touch every region, ensuring Columbia's preeminent and expanding role in promoting international law both domestically and around the world.