International Economic Law

This general pathway in International Economic Law will include six sub pathways described below 1) International Business Law: Transactions, 2) International Business Law: Finance and Investments, 3) International Trade and Investment Law, 4) International Commercial Arbitration, 5) International Intellectual Property and 6) Law and International Economic Development.

International Business Law: Transactions

This track is designed for those interested in an international transactional practice, which might include joint ventures, sales, licensing, foreign direct investment, project finance and similar practice areas. This area is closely related to International Business law: Finance and Investment

International Business Law: International Finance and Investment

This track is designed for those with an interest in international finance. It focuses on raising money for international business ventures and on investing internationally and also covers the areas of international banking, lending and borrowing. It is closely related to the track in International Business Law: Transactions

International Trade and Investment Law

Trade and Investment courses fall under a general category of law that is sometimes called international economic law (IEL). A narrow definition of international economic law embraces trade, investment and services when they are involved in transactions that cross national borders. Trade rules cover not only trade in goods, but also services and intellectual property. Many of these transactions contain arbitration clauses in case of breach of contract. Arbitration can be between private parties or between the state and private party. The WTO and other regional and bilateral trading agreements are also rule-making bodies and are interested in domestic administrative structures of states. For that reason, students’ interests in IEL should also be familiar with domestic administrative law. The WTO has a dispute settlement mechanism that addresses conflicts between states. It has a highly developed jurisprudence those students’ interests in working in public and private sector need to be aware of. Classes that discuss dispute settlement of the WTO are useful and relevant as they address larger issues facing the global community, from environmental protection, workers rights, access to medicine, protection of traditional knowledge, to classical trade problems, such as subsidies, dumping, tariffs, quotas and other forms of non-tariff barriers and discriminatory treatment.

International Commercial Arbitration

Posing diverse and unique challenges to legal practitioners across the globe, international arbitration today is one of the fastest growing legal fields with a significant degree of application as the most frequently used dispute resolution method for international commercial and investment disputes. Another fascinating aspect of international arbitration is its practitioners: typically multicultural and multilingual lawyers who are skilled in a wide array of areas of the legal profession and bring together their expertise on different legal systems to pursue their clients’ interests. Due to this, the diversity of the student body at the American University Washington College of Law and the location of the school in a city considered the heart of investor-state dispute resolution make it the perfect place to foster a career in this area of the law.

Law and International Economic Development

This pathway aims to prepare law students to the understanding and practice of legal reforms implemented by the U.S. or a foreign government; by private multinationals and international organization operating in a global economy aiming to ameliorate the relationship between law and international economic development models. The law and economic development field revolves around important questions of globalization of property regimes, financial markets, foreign investments, sustainability, gender equality, transparency and fundamental rights in administrative regulations and constitutional regimes. These areas of law are central to understanding how legal reforms can enhance or worsen individual well-being and how is law implicated in the project of building national and transnational legal regimes that facilitate or restrict a world-integrated economy.

International Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is an umbrella term that has come to refer broadly to a range of laws that normally have as their unifying feature the grant of exclusive rights over intangible assets. Such assets include inventions, artistic and literary works, brands, trade secrets and certain kinds of data. Intellectual property law is traditionally described as having four main doctrinal fields: patent, trade secret, copyright and trademark. These fields of law are, in turn, prevalent in many traditional practice areas involving the regulation of media, science and technology.