Although they are rarely available, there are a couple degree programs in international law that can be completed fully online or through a blend of online and campus-based coursework. They are mainly focused on international business transaction and tax laws.
Such programs are offered at the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree level, requiring students to hold a law degree. Students often have prior experience working as a lawyer and are seeking to expand their skills and settle into a specialty. Lawyers from the U.S. as well as foreign countries can apply, provided that they hold the proper credentials.
International Law Degree
Online international law degree programs include a Master of Laws in International Business Law and Master of Laws in International Tax and Financial Services. Designed for working professionals, these programs cover corporate taxation, international business transactions, corporate accounting and contracts. In addition, students gain an understanding of specific legal topics like the antitrust law and international business arbitration. Many students who enroll in an international law LL.M. are already practicing law and wish to further their knowledge of international laws and policies to focus their practice.
Degree Program Information and Requirements
International law Master of Laws programs are available entirely online and in a hybrid format that requires students to attend campus-based classes for a specific amount of time and then complete the rest online using platforms like Blackboard for coursework. Most programs can be completed in less than a year. These online programs are administered via live Web video lectures, and students are mailed physical course materials that are designed specifically for the individual.
Students must have access to an Internet-connected computer that has memory and processing capacity for streaming audio and video.
Common Online International Law Courses
The core international business courses are the same for both the Master of Laws in International Business Law and the Master of Laws in International Taxation. Students learn the fundamental legal aspects of doing business across national jurisdictions.
International Business Transactions
Students learn about international legal problems encountered when conducting multinational business. Course topics include licensing arrangements, contract formation, partnership investments and distribution law. The course also covers licensing agreements, international business agreements and franchise agreements.
Assets and Mergers
In this course, students learn about types of mergers and acquisitions, required merger documentation and specific laws surrounding the merger or purchase of corporate assets internationally. Students learn how to negotiate legal terms and financial agreements in order to complete the transaction.
This course covers topics like the management power limitations, asset sales, formation of corporations and corporate finances. Students gain an understanding of the power that shareholders have in comparison to corporate management.
Career Information For Graduates
In 2015, lawyers held 609,930 jobs nationwide, a number expected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, lawyers' median annual salary was $115,820. Lawyers who specialize in international law are most often salaried lawyers who may work on staff for companies who do business internationally.
Lawyers in almost every state must complete mandatory or minimum continuing legal education (MCLE). States set the requirements for lawyers admitted to their bars, and the states that permit online MCLE limit the amount of continuing education that can be completed online. Lawyers admitted to the bar in some states may need additional certification to practice international law.
While earning a Master of Laws degree is not required to practice law in the United States, such degrees will enable law school graduates to continue their education and further specialize in areas such as international law. Because they can be completed online, it is likely that students could continue working while enrolled.