Internationalism is a hallmark of Michigan Law.
Throughout its history, Michigan Law has brought a global perspective to the study of law and legal institutions. The 1837 statute that established the University specifically provided that the "law department" include a professor of international law, a rarity at the time. In the mid-twentieth century, Michigan's scholarship in international and comparative law under the leadership of Professors Hessel E. Yntema, William Bishop, and Eric Stein, became world-renowned. Their view of the law—as a discipline that must transcend international and cultural boundaries—was the foundation on which the Law School's reputation as a major center of global legal studies was built.
Today, Michigan Law's internationalism is reflected in its leadership in international, comparative, and foreign law, as well as in the global perspective that the faculty bring to their teaching and scholarship regardless of their fields of specialization. Our focus on global issues and perspectives is pervasive and imbues the entire curriculum and our comprehensive law library collection.
In this era of global interconnectedness, virtually every area of the law is being—or has been—internationalized. Michigan ensures that its students explore the fluidity of the boundaries between domestic and international law and the foundations of law at the international level. Students can then choose from a tremendous range of international, comparative, and foreign courses, externships and internships, student activities, and clinical experience involving cross-border issues. Michigan's global law library collection supports every aspect of the curriculum and scholarship.
At the heart of Michigan’s commitment to internationalism is a distinguished group of faculty members, whose collective breadth of scholarship places Michigan Law among the leaders in international legal education. The faculty's legal expertise includes the fields of international tax, investment and trade, environmental, asylum and refugee, and human rights law, and covers the world's major economies outside the United States, including: China, India, Japan, and the European Union.