The American Bar Association (ABA) regulates law school education by accrediting law schools using strict criteria. Because the law is extremely country specific, the ABA does not accredit international universities. They do, however, approve study abroad programs that may last up to one year. The association puts restrictions on how many credits can be given during study abroad and how many students may attend. The result is a list of approved study abroad programs run by ABA-accredited Law Schools.


London is the most popular destination for semester- and year-long study programs. Many universities including Boston College, Georgetown University, Pace University and Pepperdine University have ABA accredited semester and year-long study abroad programs in London. Many of the programs are aimed at preparing students for a career in international law. Georgetown University maintains a Center for Transnational Legal Studies which welcomes students from the top law schools from all over the world to study at the center. Professors and lectures also come from participating universities to create a curriculum that meets the needs of tomorrows lawyers in a globalized economy. Boston University sends students to Kings College to study the European Union and British law and provides internship experiences for students.

Asia and the Pacific

The other ABA approved semester- and year-long programs abroad are located in Asia and the Pacific. Temple University runs a fully accredited law school in Tokyo for international students. U.S. law students may opt for a spring semester abroad at the facility. Students take class in international, U.S. and Japanese law in English. American University has a similar program at City University of Hong Kong. Students study International trade, commerce and Chinese law in English. Thomas Cooley School of Law runs an Australian study abroad program that takes student to Melbourne, Australia for half a semester and to Christchurch, New Zealand for the other half while studying international law in the countries' top law schools.

Cooperative Programs

Cooperative Programs are ABA approved study at a foreign institution rather than a U.S. law school's program abroad. Cooperative programs are usually limited to two students per semester from any one ABA accredited law school and restrictions on the number of credits earned are applied. University of Wisconsin runs a semester program through the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, giving students the opportunity to study civil, international and human rights law in a multi-national setting. They have similar exchange programs with universities in Chile, Peru, Brazil and France among others. Similarly, Tulane University operates several exchange programs with universities around the world including University of Buenos Aires, University of Strasbourg and University of Siena.

Summer Sessions

Summer and inter-session programs have less restrictions than semester or year-long programs. Consequently, almost every ABA accredited law school runs a summer abroad program and most are open to students from any ABA accredited law school to attend. Most universities operate several programs in countries around the globe that focus on the most prominent issues of the region. DePaul University, for example, has summer programs in Madrid, Dublin and Prague that focus on European business and law and in Mexico and Costa Rica that focus on human rights law. Collectively, ABA accredited law schools have summer programs located in Africa, the Pacific, Europe and Asia.

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