The study of International law degree programs focus primarily on gaining understanding of the rules and regulations that dictate the proper policies and procedures though which international entities engage one another.
The field of international law is increasingly important as countries globalize, and international governments increase regulation on social, political, and economic interactions. These complex laws and regulations require professionals who can navigate, defend, and protect them.
International Law Degree Curriculum
There are three primary graduate degrees offered in the field of international law: the Master of Arts in International Law (M.A.), the Master of Science in International Law (M.S.L.), and the Master of Laws in International Law (L.L.M.). The L.L.M. enables students to practice law as attorneys. The majority of students accepted into L.L.M. programs are required to have earned their juris doctor (J.D.) prior to being accepted. The M.S.L. and the M.A. programs prepare students for a career in law, but do not allow them to practice as lawyers or attorneys. Each program takes one to two years to complete.
Master’s degrees in international law offer students important insights into international legal theory. International law graduate programs offer students the opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of particular countries or regions, or to specialize in a particular sub-field such as business law or the defense of human rights. International law graduate students may explore the following topics:
- Multinational business
- Crimes against humanity
- Property rights
International Law Career Paths
Individuals who earn a degree in international law may pursue a variety of careers. Fields of interest may include:
- Lobbyist (Political Scientists)
- Social workers
International lawyers might work with private companies such as corporations and banks. They may also work with public agencies such as non-profits and governments, or independent agencies such as the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and the World Bank.
International Law Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts demand for lawyers is expected to grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022, but competition for jobs as lawyers will be high as more and more people graduate with law degrees.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics lawyers earned a median salary of $113,530 per year. The top 10% of earners made more than $187,200 and the bottom 10% of earners made less than $54,310. The graph below provides 2012 median salary information for lawyers working in select industries.