Studying for an LL.M. in Public International Law can be quite an undertaking, because the field is so broad. Indeed, public international law addresses the relationships—and the conflicts that arise between—nations. This often includes issues and laws that cross borders, such as climate change, war, and human rights issues, or example. This means that lawyers and others working in the field of public international law often need to understand not only international laws, but the individual laws of various nation-states as well.
Graduates of LL.M. programs in Public International Law can often find work in a range of organizations, such as law firms working internationally, international courts, and NGOs, to name a few.
See below for the Top 10 LL.M. programs in Public International Law. Those interested in this topic might also want to see the Top 10 LL.M.s in Human Rights Law.
Columbia’s LL.M. students have the opportunity to study many aspects of public international law, including environmental law, human rights law, and international law, as well as related institutions such as the World Trade Organization. The school is staffed with well-known scholars in the field of international law, such as Lori Damrosch and has several related research centers, including the Human Rights Institute.View School Profile
Leiden is home to the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, which serves as a hub for students interested in public international law and publishes a range of relevant research. The school offers a well-regarded Public International Law LL.M.; students in the program have quick access to The Hague, home to many relevant international organizations.View School Profile
Another Netherlands-based law school that’s strong for public international law is Amsterdam Law School, which offers a Public International Law track as part of its International and European Law LL.M. The school is notable for its research focus on public European Law and governance across the EU, and indeed, students generally can take classes in topics like EU migration law and EU foreign relations law, as part of the LL.M. The school also offers a research-based Public International Law LL.M., which takes two years to complete.View School Profile
Many students interested in public international law gravitate to Geneva, home to many international organizations. Founded in 1927, the Graduate Institute Geneva has been on the forefront of research in the public international law area. The Graduate Institute’s LL.M. in International Law leverages the school’s location and research background to help students understand the nuances of public international law.View School Profile
Cambridge hosts the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, which is one of the leading institutions worldwide for the study of public international law. Although the school does not offer a specialized LL.M. in Public International Law, it does offer a series of related courses as part of its general program, covering topics like international human rights law, international environmental law, and international law of global governance, among others.View School Profile
For public international law enthusiasts, NYU is home to several LL.M. programs that are of interest, covering topics like International Legal Studies and Environmental and Energy Law. NYU also hosts several relevant centers, such as the Institute for International Law and Justice, which infuse the programs’ curriculums with up-to-date research. LL.M. students also have opportunities to take part in various clinics, such as the Global Justice Clinic and the United Nations Diplomacy Clinic.View School Profile
Georgetown’s Washington, DC location puts it in close proximity to many international organizations as well as important US decision-makers. In addition to offering an International Legal Studies LL.M., the school also offers a Global Health Law & International Institutions LL.M., which it runs in partnership with the Graduate Institute Geneva.View School Profile
Harvard, which is current ranked highly for international law by US News, produces a range of public international law research through its relevant research centers and programs. Harvard LL.M. students can take a range of classes related to public international law.View School Profile
Although the school does not offer an LL.M. in Public International Law, its core LL.M. program covers many aspects of the field. Many of Yale Law’s faculty members, such as Harold Koh and Oona Hathaway, have had a strong influence of the development of the field of public international law.View School Profile
The school is currently ranked highly for international law by the Dutch publication Keuzegids, which assesses master’s programs in the Netherlands. The school offers an LL.M. in Public International Law, which covers topics in international human rights law, international institutional law, and others; as well as other related LL.M.s such as an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law.View School Profile
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