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Studies & Degrees in International Business Law

Choose where you would like to study International Business Law:

EcuadorGermanyIndiaIrelandItalyMexicoSpainThe United StatesUkraine

International business law relates to the practice of law in the worldwide business community. It represents a good mix of the fields of economics and law, including international business transactions, taxes, tariffs, licensing, and others. International law involves all basic business law concepts applied in an international setting.

An international business lawyer has to take into account the laws of a number of different jurisdictions in order to evaluate which jurisdiction is best for a given transaction. He or she would also need to have a very good knowledge of trade agreements, as they play an important role in international business law. In the case of trade agreements, countries normally join together to define certain aspects of trade and commerce. Another responsibility such a lawyer may have is the licensing of property rights – for example, a company may develop a specific intellectual property, but then have the product produced in another country, or license different companies to produce it in various countries. Finally, international lawyers need to possess very good knowledge of tariffs, taxes, and other similar regulators.

Personal Qualities

Personal qualities required are similar to these of a regular lawyer, but also include a great deal of flexibility and readiness to travel or live abroad. Here is a list of skills to consider:

  • Deal very well with people of all backgrounds and nationalities
  • Have excellent memory
  • Outstanding analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Good persuasion skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Adaptive to changes

Study Options

To become an international law professional, you will still need all the basic training of a lawyer whose focus is domestic. In addition, you will have to add the perspectives and insights for working with people, laws and issues from different parts of the world. The program you should look for has to enhance your understanding of the function of law, while at the same time clearly explaining to you the differences and similarities found in cross-cultural legal conflicts and collaborations.

Initially, you need to gain a bachelor’s degree, and it may not be too late to become a lawyer if you already have undergone some undergraduate education in English, History, or Economics. The next step for you would be to apply for law school, and ideally aim for one that is specializing in international, transnational, and comparative law and policy. Furthermore, there are law schools that provide students with trial or mediation experience in real-life cases supervised by lawyers. These might take place in legal aid offices or on human rights projects, and will largely contribute to your education and future career prospects.

Career Options

It is important to remember that a career in law will have to be built step by step, as jobs in international law are not very easy to secure. Most likely, you would have to specialize in an area of international law, and then look for positions within this field. Some possible options are the government, as well as employment within companies that have multinational operations. Popular employers are oil companies and communication firms, but there is also the opportunity to work for human rights organizations and environmental action groups. Often information for jobs can be found through various means. For example, The International Law Student Association is a nonprofit organization consisting of attorneys and students, organizing conferences and providing opportunities for research, study and networking in international law.