International and Comparative Law

In keeping with its educational mission of encouraging students to acquire both broad social awareness and technical professional competence, Iowa Law offers a strong program of study in the rapidly expanding fields of international and comparative law. It does so for essentially three reasons:

  1. In an era of global interdependence, one must understand international law and foreign legal systems in order to be an effective lawyer.
  2. As professionals and community leaders, lawyers familiar with international and comparative law are crucial to the formulation of public policy at all levels of our society.
  3. The study of international and comparative law provides an essential theoretical foundation for all lawyers by affording unique insight into the nature of law and legal process.

Opportunities for Students in International and Comparative Law

From speakers and symposia to a law library with an outstanding array of international resources, a variety of opportunities exist for all students to get involved in international issues without ever leaving the College of Law. Co-curricular and extracurricular activities include:  

Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems (TLCP)
International Law Society (ILS)
International Law Students Association
Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

University of Iowa Center for Human Rights

UI Center for Human Rights

Learn more about the centers and their ongoing projects

With a mission to promote and protect human rights at home and abroad through distinguished multidisciplinary leadership in human rights research, education, and public service.

Faculty

The College of Law ensures that all of its students are exposed to international perspectives. With the exception of the special LLM tutorial and writing seminar, LLM students take their courses with JD students from the school's rich offerings on US, international, and comparative law. Foreign research scholars also audit some courses. 

As a JD student, you might, for example, sit in one of your first-year classes with a Chinese judge or a young German lawyer, or take an upper-level seminar with students from Zimbabwe, Mexico, or Korea.

The following professors provide the chief teaching and research support for the International and Comparative Program at Iowa Law.

Faculty

Jonathan Carlson (1)

Jonathan C. Carlson

Title/Position
Professor of Law & International Studies and Victor and Carol Alvarez Fellow in Law
Phone
Professor Carlson focuses on international trade and commercial law, international environmental law, and the law of global climate change. He frequently lectures abroad.

Bram Elias (1)

Bram Elias

Title/Position
Clinical Professor of Law
Phone
Professor Elias has directed the Clinic’s immigration practice since 2015. His students represent clients in immigration proceedings and in state and federal judicial proceedings affecting immigrants' rights, and work with organizational clients engaged in advocacy related to immigration law and policy.

Stella Burch Elias (1)

Stella Burch Elias

Title/Position
Professor and Chancellor William Gardiner Hammond Fellow in Law
Phone
Professor Elias teaches civil procedure, international law, immigration law, and comparative law courses, and she directs Iowa’s London Law Program.  Her research involves public international and comparative law, with a focus on United States and foreign immigration and nationality laws.

Ann Estin (2)

Ann Laquer Estin

Title/Position
Associate Dean for Faculty and Aliber Family Chair in Law
Phone
Professor Estin teaches and writes primarily in family law and international family law. As a member of the International Society of Family Law, she has served as an expert observer at the Hague Conference on Private International Law in connection with several of the Hague Children’s Conventions. In addition, she teaches courses in contracts and Federal Indian Law.

Brian Farrell (2)

Brian Farrell

Title/Position
Lecturer in Law, Director, Citizen Lawyer Program and Associate Director, Center for Human Rights
Phone
Brian Farrell teaches international law, criminal law, and human rights courses. He is Director of the Citizen Lawyer Program, Associate Director of the UI Center for Human Rights, and was a co-founder of the Innocence Project of Iowa. Brian also serves as an adjunct lecturer at the National University of Ireland Galway and is a member of the Iowa Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission.

Don Ford

Title/Position
Adjunct Lecturer in Law and Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian
Phone
Don Ford is the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian and an Adjunct Lecturer in Law at Iowa Law.

Emily Hughes (3)

Emily Hughes

Title/Position
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor and Bouma Fellow in Law
Phone
Professor Hughes teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Before coming to the College, she was a professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, where she taught criminal law, criminal procedure (investigations and adjudication), and a seminar discussing mitigation and the death penalty.

Jim Leach

Jim Leach

Title/Position
Retired Chair in Public Affairs, Visiting Professor of Law and Senior Scholar
Phone

Aaron Marr Page

Title/Position
Adjunct Faculty Member

John Reitz

John C. Reitz

Title/Position
Edward Carmody Professor of Law and Director of Graduate Programs and Visiting Scholars
Phone
Professor Reitz's love of foreign languages led him to focus his professional career on comparative law and transnational transactions. Prior to joining the faculty of the College of Law in 1983, Professor Reitz served as an American Fellow to the faculty of the Salzburg Seminar on American Law and Institutions.

Lorie Schweer (3)

Lorie Schweer

Title/Position
Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing & Research
Phone
Lorie Schweer graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an accounting degree in 1984. Professor Schweer first practiced as a certified public accountant and then worked in banking for 13 years. In the banking industry, she focused on regulatory compliance, audit, loan quality, and commercial lending. After graduating from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2003, she practiced law with a focus on tax planning, estate planning, probate, and exempt organization governance.

Maya Steinitz (1)

Maya Steinitz

Title/Position
Professor and Bouma Family Fellow in Law
Phone
Professor Maya Steinitz teaches civil procedure, business associations, international business transactions, and international arbitration. Her research focuses on a wide range of topics including the intersection of civil litigation and corporate law, public and business international law, transnational dispute resolution, and the global legal profession. She is one of the nation’s leading experts on litigation finance and an international arbitrator. 

June Tai (1)

June Tai

Title/Position
Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Field Placement Programs
Phone
Professor June Tai is the Director of the Field Placement Program for the law school and supervises students in field placements. Her practice has focused on civil litigation, particularly in patent and other intellectual property disputes.  She earned her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Lea VanderVelde (2)

Lea VanderVelde

Title/Position
Josephine R. Witte Chair
Phone
Lea VanderVelde researches 19th century lives, court decisions, and other occurrences that significantly impacted the course of American law, particularly in the areas of slavery, work, property, and the Constitution. She is currently using digital research technologies to examine American national expansion in the critical years before the Civil War and the Reconstruction Congress debates that enhanced American freedom.  

Adrien Wing

Adrien Wing

Title/Position
Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor
Phone
Adrien Wing joined the faculty in 1987, and currently teaches Critical Race Theory, Sex Discrimination Law, and Law in the Muslim World. In addition to being the Associate Dean for International & Comparative Law programs, she hold two other administrative positions. She is the Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and Director of the Law School’s summer program in France.

Contact Information

By Mail

Associate Dean Adrien Wing Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law The University of Iowa College of Law Iowa City, IA 52242-1113 USA

By Telephone

800-553-4692 ext. 9095 (from within U.S.) (Admissions Office)

By E-mail

iclp@uiowa.edu

Curriculum

Iowa offers a broad range of opportunities to study international and comparative law in its curriculum. Particular specialties include comparative law, European Union law, international business law, the law of international economic institutions, international environmental law, the law of international finance, international human rights law, the law governing international organizations and the conduct of United States' foreign policy, the law of war, and legal reform in Africa and the Near East, East and Southeast Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the successor countries to the Soviet Union.

The courses listed here include all UI-approved College of Law courses in these subject areas. The College does not offer each course every year. The Guide to Courses contains a list of courses that have been offered within the past two academic years. It also lists courses the College expects to offer during the next academic year.

Curriculum

Advanced Immigration Law and Policy

Advanced Topics in International Law

Comparative Law

Cultural Property/Heritage

European Union Law

Foreign Comparative & International Legal Research

Foreign Relations Law

Foundations of International Law

The Future of Public Law

Human Rights in the World Community

Immigration Law & Policy

International and Comparative Family Law

International Business Transactions

International Commercial Arbitration

International Criminal Law

International Environmental Law

International Finance

International Humanitarian Law

International Trade Law: Basic Norms & Regulations

International Transacting Skills

Introduction to the Law of France 

Jurisprudence

Law in the Muslim World

Law of War, Peace, and Military Affairs

Select Issues in Transnational Litigation

Select Topics in International and Comparative Law