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Globalization has increased competition in the international legal market and has led to the regular interaction between foreign and U.S. lawyers. Northwestern has developed the International Team Project (ITP) course to prepare students for both public and private practice in the worldwide legal market. Offering a unique and exciting approach to legal education, students not only study the legal system of another country in a semester-long course, they develop their own research proposals and spend two weeks in the country conducting field research.
Begun in 1999, with students studying legal issues in Ghana and Tanzania, the program has significantly expanded. Today, over 125 students participate in ITP each year. ITP research has been conducted in: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Greece, India, Italy, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Vietnam.
Globalization and the Law
In this comparative law course, students learn about the role of law and legal institutions, as well as political, economic and cultural systems in a foreign country.
Each ITP course is designed by students and combines an intensive semester-long course with group research and two weeks of field research in the foreign country. Teams of students, along with a faculty advisor, develop a comprehensive semester-long curriculum and a two week international field experience. Research teams prepare a paper of publishable quality detailing their research and findings.
ITP courses provide a unique opportunity for students to explore various issues of comparative law and to develop a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues faced by a globalized legal profession. Many of the countries selected for ITP study are in the midst of great change struggling with the development and implementation of new laws to meet the needs of their changing societies. ITP not only provides students with an understanding of these difficult issues but, because of its comparative nature, also solidifies students understanding of U.S. law.
ITP projects have covered a wide range of issues and have been published in legal journals. Past topics include:
A comprehensive list of past ITP projects can be viewed here.