Law

International and Comparative Law Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is International and Comparative Law?

International Law is the term used to describe the legal system governing the relationships between countries and other participants in international relations, such as international organizations and individuals. International law includes treaties, international agreements and the laws as applied to jurisdictions across national borders.

Comparative Law is the study of the similarities and differences between the legal systems of different jurisdictions.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in International and Comparative Law in the following subject areas:

  • International and Comparative Law (LL.M.) – The LL.M. (International and Comparative Law) aims to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of international law and comparative law.
  • MSc in International Business and Law – Combine the core operational and organizational aspects of international business management with advanced theoretical and practical legal knowledge.
  • LL.M. in International Law – Gain a firm understanding of the key principles of international law such as Public International Law, International Human Rights Law and International Commercial Law.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in International Business and Law – This course is specially designed to prepare graduates for the world of international business.
  • LL.M. in International Commercial Law – The LL.M. in International Commercial Law offers students the opportunity to specialise in International Commercial Law in order to facilitate enhanced career opportunities and/or to lay the foundations for a PhD. study.

Studying International and Comparative Law

There are many courses in International and Comparative Law that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Getting plenty of law work experience is vital if you want to become a lawyer – it’ll help you to develop the required skills and learn whether it’s the right career for you. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing an International and Comparative Law course you will have a better understanding of International Laws and how they compare from nation to nation. You will be able to get started in a wide range of career options within the legal field, such as:

  • Solicitor

A confidential adviser that has direct contact with clients, you’ll combine expertise and people skills to provide legal guidance and assistance. Once qualified, you can work in private practice, in-house for a commercial or industrial organisation, in local or central government or in the court service.

  • Barrister

Passion, dedication and hard work are just three of the qualities needed for this legal job.

From providing specialist legal advice to representing clients in court, tasks vary depending on your area of expertise.

  • Barristers’ clerk

Also known as practice assistants or assistant practice managers, barristers’ clerks are responsible for running the administration and business activities of a barrister’s chambers. You need to be familiar with court procedures and etiquette and develop expertise in the type of law undertaken by your chambers.

  • Chartered legal executive

As a qualified lawyer, you’ll have your own client files and, as a fee-earner in private practice, your work is charged directly to the client. This is an important difference between chartered legal executives and other legal support staff.

  • Judge

It’s up to you to control trials and hearings in your courtroom. You need to look at the evidence, interpret the law and make an impartial decision in favour of one of the parties. In criminal cases, you’ll also decide what sentence to give a defendant if they’re convicted.

To become a judge you need significant experience as a solicitor or barrister first. This is followed by some part-time work supervised by an experienced judge.

  • Lecturer of law

You can use your law degree and experience in the field to teach law at a further or higher education level. This will involve additional study to qualify as a teacher or lecturer where you’ll plan lessons, research new topics, take classes explaining the complexities of the legal system, monitor and assess students work and set and mark exams among other duties.

  • Paralegal

You can offer legal services but aren’t qualified as a solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive.

Paralegals don’t just work for solicitors, but if they do then larger firms expect solid work experience, especially if you haven’t completed a law degree.

Working hours in the field of Law will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. Working hours depend on the role and nature of work. Your official working hours may be between 9 am and 5 pm. However, you’ll be expected to work longer hours during busy periods. Working for an in-house legal team or public sector organization could mean more stable working hours.

Related jobs include:

  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Barristers’ clerk
  • Chartered legal executive
  • Company secretary
  • Judge
  • Lecturer of law
  • Legal secretary
  • Licensed conveyancer
  • Mediator
  • Paralegal
  • Patent attorney
  • Trademark attorney
  • Investment banking
  • Legal publishing
  • Management consultancy
  • Politics

Further study

After completing a course in International and Comparative Law you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as history, geography, modern languages, science or maths.

FAQ

What is the importance of International and Comparative Law?

International law supports order in the world and the attainment of humanity’s fundamental goals of advancing peace, prosperity, human rights, and environmental protection.

What skills could be helpful for a career in International and Comparative Law?

In addition to strong academic grades, there are certain skills you’ll need to demonstrate to become a lawyer such as:

  • Verbal and written reasoning skills
  • Ability to understand and interpret information
  • Inductive and deductive reasoning abilities
  • Ability to analyze information and draw conclusions.

Where can I study International and Comparative Law?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • In Victoria, Australia changing a light bulb without a valid license to do so was against the law. Taking your light into your own hands brought a fine of 10 Australian dollars.
  • Milan in Italy states that it is a legal requirement to smile at all times except at funerals or hospitals. It is prescribed by a city regulation from Austro-Hungarian times that was never repealed.
  • In Florida, it is illegal to pass wind in a public place after 6 pm on Thursdays
  • By law in Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter
  • The French town of Sarpourenx makes it a legal requirement to have bought a burial plot before dying

Mariza Halliday

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