School of Law and Political Sciences

Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law

25 credits


ICL650Contract Law
2 credits
This course introduces students to the sources of basic principles of contract law in the United States. The course will study contract formation, performance, breach, and available remedies under the common law, with references to parallel provisions in Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
ICL500Introduction to the American Legal System
3 credits
This course introduces LL.M. students to the judicial function in a tripartite government (judicial independence and judicial review of legislative and executive authority), the structure of the American judicial systems (organization and functions of trial and appellate courts), the role of the federal courts in the federal system (subject matter jurisdiction and allocation of power), the meaning and use of judicial precedent, and the work of lawyers in an adversary system. This is a required course in the first semester of enrollment for all students in the ALFL track. Please note: this course is not available to J.D. students.
ICL655Legal Writing
1 credits
This course introduces the International LL. M. students to the basic tenets of the American legal system, writing styles, and basic research, and an overview of the law of contracts. This course is also designed to simulate an environment that a typical American practitioner commonly encounters in early law firm practice within the American system, but will also prove instructional and valuable to any student, regardless of career goals. Its ultimate goal is to ensure that participants become competent and confident in their ability to meet the demands of practice throughout their careers, within the American legal system, as legal researchers and writers. LL. M students will work on a series of research and writing assignments which closely simulate those typically given to associates or law clerks by law firms or judges within United States jurisdictions. The course also focuses on reinforcing skills proficiency through research instruction in general, as well as intensive assignment-specific writing instruction, guidance, feedback, and individual mentoring. Ultimately, the course is designed to give students as much practical training as possible to confidently master the ability to independently research, analyze, organize, and write legal memoranda and briefs on a variety of topics in both objective and persuasive writing. The course also provides a brief survey of American contract law, and may also include an essay-style examination on that subject at the end of the course.
ICL510Bankruptcy Law
3 credits
This course examines the rights and duties of financially distressed debtors and their creditors under the Bankruptcy Code and related state laws. Topics include fraudulent transfers, property exemptions, automatic stay, the powers of a bankruptcy trustee, relative priorities among secured and unsecured creditors, liquidation vs. debtor rehabilitation, and the social and economic implications of debt forgiveness.
ICL520Closely Held Business Organizations
3 credits
This course considers the formation, management, and control of partnerships and closely held corporations, including distribution of powers within such organizations and application to them of agency and fiduciary principles.
ICL525Comparative Competition Law
3 credits
After introducing the economic rationale for antitrust or competition law and enforcement, this course analyses the rules and their interpretation in the U.S. and E.U. with regard to the three major pillars of antitrust law: cartels/collusion, abuse of dominant position/monopolization, and merger control. Some discussion of the laws of other countries will be added for illustrative purposes or in response to student interest.
ICL630Contracts and Sales (II)
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: ICL625
This course introduces students to exchange relationships in contemporary American society, with some emphasis on classic contract doctrine and introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code.
ICL625Contracts and Sales I
3 credits
This course introduces students to exchange relationships in contemporary American society, with some emphasis on classic contract doctrine and introduction to the Uniform Commercial Code.
ICL530European Union Law: Doing Business in and with the Internal Market
3 credits
This course is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the pros and cons of economic integration and the specific European model of market integration. The second part provides detailed analysis of the free movement of goods, employed people, services, capital, and the freedom of establishment in the internal market. The third part examines specific rules for U.S. and other third country businesses, in particular the customs and trade law of the EU.
ICL535European Union Law: Foundations
3 credits
This course analyzes the legal system of the European Union and its interaction with Member State law and policy in detail. There will be an emphasis on decision making, supremacy, direct effect, breaches of European law, legal remedies, the protection of human rights and procedural guarantees, as well as the challenges of widening, deepening, and enlarging the European Union.
ICL540International Business Transactions
3 credits
This course analyzes the most common issues related to international sales and other business transactions, in particular the choice of law, drafting of the main contract, methods of financing problems related to shipping, passing of property and risk, insurance, as well as related issues, such as licensing and technology transfer.
ICL545International Commercial Arbitration
3 credits
This course provides a thorough introduction to this modern method of choice for disputes arising from international commercial transactions, including the specifics of the arbitration agreement, selection of arbitrators, presentation of cases, and the effect, limits, and enforcement of arbitration awards.
ICL550International Criminal Law
3 credits
This course covers the application of domestic and international law, questions of jurisdiction over international criminal activities, granting of amnesty to persons responsible for international crimes, international cooperation in criminal matters, substantive international law as contained in multilateral treaties concerning war crimes and terrorism, and the permanent International Criminal Court.
ICL555International Environmental Law
3 credits
This course examines how international law and legal institutions are responding to transboundary and global environmental challenges. Students review prominent issues such as climate change, water scarcity, deforestation, biodiversity loss, ozone depletion, mineral extraction, and marine resource threats, in the context of international development and transboundary trade. Students then analyze selected issues in depth, looking at the science and law of specific environmental challenges as well as the political, economic, and cultural context within which solutions must be formulated.
ICL560International Human Rights Law
3 credits
This course considers selected problems in international human rights law, including problems related to U.S. law and practice. The course focuses on the growing role of human rights in international relations, emphasizing the United Nations system for the promotion and protection of human rights as well as the regional systems in Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
ICL580International Intellectual Property
3 credits
This course examines the international context of the development of copyright, patent, and trademark law, with an emphasis on multinational treaties, developments in the European Union and other jurisdictions, and enforcement of international claims.
ICL565International Law
3 credits
This course introduces basic concepts and principles such as sources of public international law, the law of treaties and international agreements, states and recognition, state liability and human rights, and jurisdiction and immunities from jurisdiction. The course also covers act of state doctrine, Law of the Sea, and resolution of transnational disputes through national and international courts, arbitration tribunals, the United Nations, and diplomatic exchanges. Course topics include terrorism and hostage-taking, U.S. executive-legislative conflict in the conduct of foreign relations, suits by and against foreign states, worldwide improvement of civil and political rights, extraction of seabed resources, and prohibition of the use of force in international relations.
ICL640International Securities Regulation
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: ICL520 And ICL615
This course addresses state and federal laws governing the offering and distribution of securities to the public by corporate issuers and others, regulation of securities markets, and the rights and liabilities of purchasers and sellers of securities under such statutes. The course emphasizes statutes administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ICL570International Tax
3 credits
This course introduces the fundamental U.S. income tax issues arising when (1) U.S. persons or entities earn income outside of the U.S. or (2) foreign persons or entities earn income inside the U.S. Depending upon the number of credit hours, specific topics may include the rules for classifying income as U.S. or foreign-source income, transfer pricing, income deferral and controlled corporations, double taxation and the foreign tax credit, foreign currency transactions, and the role of tax treaties. Although the course will not study non-U.S. tax systems in detail, it will highlight significant differences between the U.S. approach to cross-border transactions and those adopted by other taxing authorities.
ICL575International Trade Law
3 credits
This course addresses theory and practice of international business law issues likely to be encountered by attorneys representing clients engaged in international operations. Topics include foreign investment by U.S. companies, foreign investment in the U.S., international joint ventures, licenses, exporting of goods, international marketing, U.S. trade controls, customs, antidumping, and international antitrust.
ICL585Internet Law
3 credits
This course examines a wide variety of legal and policy issues raised by the internet, involving many areas of law. The questions addressed may include issues of copyright, trademark, defamation, the Communications Decency Act, cybercrime, contracts, privacy and personal jurisdiction.
ICL620Mergers and Acquisitions
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: ICL520 and ICL615
This course studies the motives for acquisitions, acquisition structures and techniques, friendly and hostile acquisitions, takeover defenses, regulation of acquisitions under federal securities law, state anti-takeover statutes, and corporate acquisitions agreements.
3 credits
This course explores the negotiation process in the context of legal problem-solving. The course may include negotiation exercises in which students participate.
ICL595Oil & Gas Law
3 credits
This course examines the law associated with oil and gas as well as the rights and responsibilities of relevant parties throughout the production process, including the origin and production of oil, gas and minerals; the nature and protection of interests in oil and gas; the oil and gas lease and important provisions; covenants implied in oil and gas leases; title and conveyance problems (transfers by fee owners and lessors); and pooling and unitization agreements.
ICL610Professional Responsibility
3 credits
This course covers the history, traditions, and responsibilities of the legal profession as well as ethics of office practice and trial practice, admission, disbarment, and disciplinary proceedings. The number of credit hours will be announced when the course is scheduled.
ICL615Publicly Traded Corporations
3 credits
This course covers the management and control of publicly held corporations, including proxy regulations, struggles for control, transactions in shares by insiders, shareholder litigation, and fundamental changes in corporate structure.
ICL590Sem. Intl. Legal Transactions
3 credits
Selected problems in international law and international legal transactions are addressed in this course. The focus is on issues representing a convergence of public and private international law, with critical analysis of international law principles and practice. This is a problem-solving course, in which students are expected to participate actively. Problems covered in this course comprise of a range of private and public international law topics, including international trade, treaty compliance, the United Nations system, environmental concerns, use of force, international investment, and mechanisms for dispute settlement.
ICL645World Trade Organization Law
3 credits
This course begins with analysis of why nations trade and the effects of free trade vs. protectionism, typical import and export rules and procedures, and various forms of trade barriers. The main focus is on establishment of GATT and WTO rules and their impact on modern trade in goods and services. The course finishes with an outlook on twenty-first century hot spots in international trade, such as intellectual property rights, environmental protection, human rights and labor standards, and the perspectives of developing countries.


The specialized LL.M. in International and Comparative Law is offered with an emphasis on corporate, business, and trade law. It provides intensive academic training in the regulation of US and global business activity. LL.M. students take all their classes with international professors, taught by some of the leading US experts in financial, corporate and transactional law.
The structure of the academic program ensures access to a broad and balanced curriculum and an exceptionally rich selection of courses in international business and trade law, various American law courses including bankruptcy, securities regulation, and numerous specialized seminars. Students are afforded a unique opportunity to earn two law degrees: a Master in Law from USEK and an American Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Program Educational Objectives

1. Gain practical and theoretical knowledge in selected areas of international and comparative law, with an emphasis in international business and commercial law.
2. Learn the skills of legal research, analysis, and communication essential to understanding and applying international law and succeeding as a professional in this area.
3. Build an international network of professional contacts.

Program Outcomes

a. Deepen their knowledge in selected areas of international and comparative law
b. Learn the skills of legal research and analysis
c. Build essential communication skills especially in English
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