International Team Project

International Team Project

Jesse Bowman, Director of the ITP Program

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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 paper topic proposals and spend time in the country conducting interviews.

Begun in 1999, with students studying legal issues in Ghana and Tanzania, the program has significantly expanded. ITP courses have focused on, and traveled to: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Haiti, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, and Vietnam. 

ITP is a comparative law course, where students learn about the role of United States law, legal institutions, as well as political, economic and cultural systems in comparison to a foreign country.

Each ITP course is designed by students with the assistance of a faculty advisor. All include a comprehensive semester-long curriculum and an international field experience. Within each course, small groups of students prepare a paper of publishable quality detailing their 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.