Cornell Law School offers many opportunities to make a meaningful international experience a part of students’ legal education. These include international fellowships, international clerkships, international clinical opportunities, and more. In doing so, Cornell recognizes the fundamental value of an international component to legal education.

Studying abroad at a law school in another country is one of our most robust international programs at Cornell Law School. As with our other international opportunities, the primary educational objectives that the Law School seeks to achieve in permitting its J.D. students to study abroad and earn credit toward the J.D. degree are: (1) exposure to the laws and legal systems of jurisdictions outside the United States, as well as international legal systems, in order to to better prepare students for law practice that will increasingly include international and transnational components, (2) to learn about the law and legal culture of foreign jurisdictions in which students may have a particular interest or focus, and (3) to learn and experience a foreign culture (including language) to build empathy and prepare students for dealing with new situations and counseling diverse clients.

By studying abroad, Cornell Law School hopes students will achieve some or all of the following Learning Outcomes:

Legal Knowledge

  • Synthesize legal concepts with real world phenomena
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Gain an international perspective of law and their career in law
  • Gain an ability to translate theory into practice

Personal Growth

  • Develop self-awareness
  • Develop empathy
  • Develop an increased tolerance for ambiguity
  • Demonstrate a respect for the cultural differences that exist between the cultural values of the student and the local culture

Global Awareness

  • Develop awareness of the social, political and economic state of the local community
  • Increase awareness of transportation, housing, employment, health care, education, climate and other realities beyond the U.S.
  • Increase tolerance for living in regions of the world that have different physical environments

Cultural Consciousness

  • Understand the nature of culture in general
  • Understand their specific culture
  • Become conscious of their own cultural perspective
  • Engage diverse expressions of culture and belief
  • Develop International goodwill and global citizenship
  • Adapt effectively to cross-cultural settings