NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law was recently recognized as one of the top law schools in the nation for international law by National Jurist’s preLaw Magazine. OU Law received an A grade, placing the college among the top in the country.
“At OU Law, our mission is to prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the world in which they will serve. Part of this commitment is providing our students with an abundance of opportunities that prepare them to practice law in today’s interconnected world,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “We are delighted to be recognized as a leader among law schools in this field.”
Other schools that placed in the same category in the rankings as OU Law include Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law and Yale Law School.
In its methodology for the rankings, the magazine based its findings on several factors, including course and certificate offerings, clinics, centers, real-world learning opportunities and student groups.
INTERNATIONAL LAW OFFERINGS AT OU LAW
To prepare students to be globally minded lawyers, OU Law provides a variety of international and comparative law courses and opportunities:
International Law Courses
OU Law students are offered a variety of international and comparative law courses and opportunities to engage in international affairs internships. The College of Law participates in the U.S. State Department’s Diplomacy Lab program, which allows students to research topics of interest to the State Department and brief foreign affairs officers on their findings.
For 2018-2019, OU Law offers 11 courses in international law, including International Law Foundations, International Human Rights, Comparative Indigenous Peoples Law Seminar, International Business Transactions, International Petroleum Transactions and International Criminal Court Seminar. The college also offers experiential learning through the Human Rights Practicum and international law externships.
J.D. Certificate in International Law
Students in the J.D. program can enhance their degree by earning a certificate. Whether students are interested in international business, international human rights, international criminal law, international environmental law, comparative law or other areas, this certificate will further knowledge of key international law issues. This certificate includes international interdisciplinary as well as externship opportunities.
Dual Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in International Studies Degree
This accelerated dual degree program allows students to combine into four years of study both the three-year J.D. program offered by the College of Law and the two-year MAIS offered by the OU College of International Studies.
International Human Rights Clinic
Students enrolled in the International Human Rights Clinic prepare and submit reports to the United Nations on human rights challenges facing indigenous peoples across the world. These reports are based on the students’ research and firsthand experience visiting indigenous peoples in each location studied.
Center for International Business and Human Rights
In 2016, OU Law established the first International Business and Human Rights Center at a U.S. law school. The center has a two-fold mission: 1) to provide OU Law students with academic training, networking and practical experience in this emerging field that will equip them to be leaders in this space as well as train the greater legal community and others in these issues; and 2) to provide academic think tank support on international business and human rights issues, with a particular focus on the energy/extractive sector and information and communications technology companies.
The center regularly invites guest speakers to speak to students on cutting-edge issues. To fulfill the center’s mission of outreach and training, it has begun offering continuing legal education programs on business and human rights topics, which are open to the greater legal community in Oklahoma. The center’s advisory board (composed of representatives from Kosmos Energy, ConocoPhillips, Microsoft, Cisco, the U.S. State Department, Human Rights Watch, Access Now, NATO and many more organizations) advises the center on a myriad of topics to make sure its program remains on the forefront of this field.
Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of international externships, including at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., U.S. embassies abroad, the United Nations and with international non-governmental groups.
Study Abroad Opportunities
OU Law’s established study abroad programs, the Oxford Summer Program and the Chinese Law Summer Program, take students to England and China each summer, where they live and learn with peers from other institutions. The month-long Oxford Program, now in its 45th year, gives students the opportunity to live and study in historic Worcester College at Oxford University. The Chinese Law Summer Program, hosted by Renmin University of China, is the longest-standing program of its kind. Students may take part in a two- or four-week program, where they learn about the evolution of Chinese law.
In addition to the college’s partner programs, students may also develop their own study abroad experience based on their own career goals. Students have studied in places such as Switzerland and Austria.
Oklahoma International Law Society
This student organization focuses on educating students about international law and its impact on policy, business and human rights and preparing students for careers in an inter-connected world. OILS promotes its purpose through hosting internationally recognized guest speakers, organizing awareness raising events, providing a mentorship program for foreign exchange and international students, and hosting international cultural exchange events.
Moot Court Competitions
OU Law students annually compete in two moot court competitions that focus on international law: 1) the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations; and 2) National Black Law Students Association’s Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition, in which participants negotiate complex cross-border issues that simulate real-world conflicts. This year, the OU Law team placed third in the nation, and in 2018, OU Law won the national championship.
ABOUT THE OU COLLEGE OF LAW
Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is one of the nation’s premier law schools. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 800 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu.
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What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.