IILJ Scholars

The IILJ Joyce Lowinson Scholars Program is a highly selective program for students with outstanding academic backgrounds and strong international, transnational and comparative law interests.
Picture of the IILJ Scholars

IILJ Scholars 2018/2019

Program Overview

Scholars in the Program participate in internships, research programs, and IILJ events during their time at NYU. In addition, IILJ Scholars develop a substantial research agenda and publication record in international law. In their 2nd and 3rd years, IILJ Scholars participate in the International Law and Human Rights Emerging Scholarship Conference where they present their papers and receive substantive feedback from faculty and field experts. The Program also provides scholars with individual mentorship and career guidance.Read more >

At the end of their 2nd year, the IILJ Scholars have an opportunity to apply to enter the four-year JD-LLM in International Law, a highly selective program providing advanced specialist training in international law. The 4-year JD-LLM is a unique and innovative addition to NYU Law School’s academic programs. It is designed for students seeking specialist academic expertise in international law. The program aims to provide close mentoring and specialist training for a small number of outstanding students who will go on to make a significant contribution to scholarship, teaching, and innovative practice in the field of international law. The three-year JD program is followed by a one-year Master of Laws degree (LLM) that combines research and writing with some course work. Throughout the program Scholars will participate in academic colloquia, including presentation of their own scholarship during the LLM year, and in special seminars with leading scholars and practitioners in international law. Individual mentoring by international law faculty is a key component of the program. Potential mentors include Professors Philip Alston, Jose Alvarez, Kevin Davis, David Golove, Ryan Goodman, Robert Howse, Benedict Kingsbury, Martti Koskenneimi, Mattias Kumm, Samuel Rascoff, Linda Silberman, Richard Stewart, J.H.H. Weiler, and Katrina Wyman, along with many other NYU Law faculty

This 4-year program is designed to overcome the growing challenge in a three-year JD program of obtaining both an outstanding general legal education and the depth of specialist expertise and proven publication record that helps bring success in some of the most exciting parts of the international law job market. International law is a specialized and complex field. For the academic and international organizations job markets in particular, where a portfolio of high-quality written work is required, JD graduates are increasingly seeking not only clerkships and practical experience, but also post-graduate research and course work in international law. The NYU JD-LLM offers an integrated program of specialized training that is made possible by NYU Law’s unique range and depth in international law faculty, courses, and programmatic resources.


Program Curriculum

First Year

In their first year, IILJ Scholars typically take International Law as a first year Spring semester elective course and participate in all IILJ events consonant with the demands of the first-year Law School curriculum. IILJ Scholars are eligible to receive funding for a suitable international law summer internship as well as assistance in arranging such an internship for the summer at the end of the first year.


Second and Third Years

IILJ Scholars in their second year of Law School take a mixture of international law courses and other courses in individual programs designed in consultation with the program director.

These typically include core and advanced courses on relevant international law subjects and at least one seminar involving substantial writing on an international law topic. In addition, all IILJ Scholars are required to take, in their second or third year, the IILJ Colloquium on International Law Theory. Topics explored in the Colloquium may include the implications for international law of globalization, global justice, democracy, and relations of these to trade, security, human rights, and social or environmental policy. In the course of the seminars and Colloquium, the Scholars are exposed to different theories and research methodologies, including rational institutionalism, normative theory, constructivism, economic analysis, historical or case study methods, and development and testing of policy.

During their second year, Scholars are encouraged to produce a publishable student note for a suitable journal, often begun as part of an internship the previous summer, and IILJ faculty are available to provide comments and advice in this work.  All second, third-year and LLM Scholars participate in the International Law and Human Rights Emerging Scholarship Conference at which they present their academic papers for review by faculty and peers.

A review of personal goals, curricular plans, and academic performance is held with the program director near the end of the second year. Continuation of the scholarship is subject to satisfactory performance and mutual agreement. The vast majority of Scholars then continue.


LLM Year

Those IILJ Scholars who have been accepted into the JD-LLM Program subsequently undertake the LLM year, with individually-tailored course schedules, including an International Law Thesis course.

By the end of the program they will have written several very substantial supervised research papers relating to international law, with publication being the objective. These papers may address different aspects of the same big topic of the student’s central interest, although more commonly they explore several separate topics. The LLM is normally undertaken immediately following the JD, but a one-year deferral may be granted in special cases for clerkships.

Over the course of their law school career, IILJ Scholars participate in an extensive range of international law meetings and IILJ events, including speaker series given by NYU faculty and visiting scholars, judges, and practitioners.



Thanks to a generous endowment given by Joyce Lowinson in honor of the late NYU Murry and Ida Becker Professor of International Law Thomas M. Franck, students accepted into the IILJ Scholars program receive a merit scholarship award, up to full tuition, for the three years of their NYU JD program. Read more >

For students admitted to the JD-LLM Program, the Law School will meet the tuition charge for the LLM year. Living and other expenses in that year are the responsibility of the Scholar. Receipt of an IILJ Scholarship does not require Scholars to apply to the LLM segment of the program, nor does it guarantee admission to that program.



1L Entry

No special application is made to the IILJ Scholars program by pre-JD students.  All applications by prospective JDs for admission to NYU Law School are reviewed for suitability with the IILJ Scholars program as part of the Law School’s general admissions process. Read more >

The Admissions office forwards the most promising of the relevant admissions applications to the IILJ, which reviews them and invites finalists to the campus to meet with us and to become familiar with the Law School. All questions regarding admissions to NYU Law JD program should be directed to the Office of Admissions.


JD-LLM Program

Students who are not IILJ Scholars in their first year are able to apply to the JD-LLM Program during their second year at NYU Law, once they have had an opportunity both to get to know the field by taking some international law courses and to demonstrate legal academic excellence. If admitted, the student becomes an IILJ Joyce Lewinson Scholar beginning in her or his third year. Read more >

For all students admitted to the JD-LLM Program, admission to the LLM will be presumptive for those who have successfully completed the 3-year JD component, provided the necessary GPA has been maintained and the program director both approves and certifies that the student is meeting all program requirements and is contributing fully and effectively to realization of the program’s goals. Any deferrals will require the approval of the program director as well as the Law School’s Admissions Office.

Applicants to the JD-LLM Program in their second year at NYU Law should submit applications by the specified deadline (generally in March) in accordance with details announced earlier that semester.

Applicants to the JD-LLM Program should include a letter explaining reasons for interest in the program and future career aspirations, academic transcripts from NYU Law and pre-Law School studies (informal transcripts are accepted), a description of the applicant’s involvement in relevant activities prior to and during JD studies, and an indication of areas of particular research interest. Students whose research interests cross over between international law and other areas of law, or between international law and other disciplines, are also encouraged to apply. Students interested in applying are encouraged to take part in international law events of interest to them during their first year but are advised to concentrate primarily on their first year courses. Potential applicants are encouraged to take the basic international law course and any relevant seminar requiring written work during the Fall semester of their second year.

Questions regarding JD-LLM program should be directed to Angelina Fisher.  Questions regarding admission to the NYU Law Graduate Programs (LLM, JSD), should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.


Current Scholars


1L Scholars

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Kuate Fodouop
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2L Scholars

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3L Scholars

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Recent graduates

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Zubair Banu
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