First of its kind Tulane law program focuses on poverty, developing countries

March 7, 2013

Barri Bronston
Phone: 504.314.7444

The Tulane University Law School and the Payson Center for International Development are joining forces to offer a Masters in Law and Development.

The integrated program, which will welcome its inaugural class in August 2013, is the first of its kind in the United States, providing graduate students with multidisciplinary training in such areas as sustainability and development, international human rights and comparative environmental law.

“For me, it’s about alleviating poverty and poverty reduction in the world and achieving some kind of social justice as a result,” said Colin Crawford, director of the Payson Center, which is headquartered at Tulane Law School.

The program is geared to students with law degrees but who want to specialize in international development. Students will earn an LLM (Masters of Law) after completing a curriculum that includes such classes as sustainable human development, public international law, comparative constitutional law and economic analysis. The program can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years.

In creating the program, Tulane Law School is drawing on its renown in comparative and international law, and the Payson Center’s strong presence in developing countries. The Payson Center was one of the first development studies center in the United States, offering students a mix of international development coursework and overseas work opportunities.

“This program will bring in people who will receive training that is relevant to the modern world,” said Tulane law professor Vernon Palmer, co-director of the Eason Weinmann Center for Comparative Law at Tulane. 

“The law is a very essential component in the rise of problems faced by underdeveloped countries,” he said. “There are issues of environmental health, disease prevention, economic development, land distribution. You need a marriage between the law and the other sciences, and that is what we’re offering.”

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