An unmatched diversity of perspectives on international trade and foreign investment law

I love the LLM Concentration in International Trade and Investment because of its diversity. The students come from all over the world and it’s a small enough cohort that when you teach in this program you get to know the students well. So it really increases, to me, the value of the program to have so many different people coming from different perspectives and sharing, often, a passion for international trade and investment law.

At the University of Ottawa we have the largest group of faculty members who specialize in international trade and investment law; in addition we have a large pool of part-time professors who come to teach in our courses with arbitrators, we have treaty negotiators, and people from the trade law bar who come to teach our classes.

We are located in Canada’s capital and it’s not only Canada’s capital, it’s also Canada’s trade law capital. That means we have access to trade policy makers; we have access to those who defend investment arbitration cases; and those who negotiate new agreements.

The University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law is very unique because we have both the Civil Law Section and a Common Law Section, and we operate in English and in French. We’re especially strong in international law and international economic law.

It is a great program for those who want to become academics or write scholarly articles in the field of international economic law, but it’s also really, really attractive for those who want to become practitioners in the field of international economic law.

We are close to government, with treaty negotiators and investment arbitration practitioners coming to speak to our classes. We have social events where students can mix and mingle with practitioners. All those things wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.

We have cutting-edge researchers, professors specialized in diverse areas of research, in diverse areas of methods, and so it’s a great place to study international economic law and so I think for both practitioners but also for those who want to pursue an academic career this is the right program.


The program in the fall ensures that all the students have the fundamentals they need to understand the international economic law system. And in the winter, then, they get to do two advanced courses: one which is more theoretical, Advanced International Economic Law; and the other one, I would say, slightly more practical, which is an international economic law case studies course.

First of all, I think the specialization is very hard to find. There’s only a handful of universities that actually offer that. I would really like to work in international economic law and I think the program gives you the necessary background for that too. Especially this case study class, it’s something that I really enjoyed because you work on an actual dispute that’s right now going on. We would take recently published submissions by the disputing parties and do what litigators for government or for those firms would do and actually work those cases.

Since this is the first year I’ve ever been abroad and I feel like in this program the professor really cares about international students especially. It’s kind of a unique program, you know, this program is in Ottawa, it’s very close to the government Canada. We can receive some very professional views from the lawyers working in the trade law bureaus of the government of Canada.

Students have the opportunity to work with professors on their research, potentially co-writing academic articles, or they can do internships or be hired by a law firm specializing in international trade and investment law

Throughout this LLM program I realized that I wanted to pursue further my investigation of these phenomena of international trade and foreign investment to better understand the world. International trade agreements, foreign investment agreements, they are shaping the rules that are governing us on a day-to-day basis.

A lot of the students have gone on to do very exciting things in the area. So a few of our graduates work at Global Affairs Canada. Others have gone on to pursue PhDs. Others are practicing in the area, and not just in Canada, but all over the world.

As Canada’s capital, Ottawa has always been a city where people with diverse perspectives can gather to share ideas and learn from one another. This spirit of openness and exchange is at the heart of one of the world’s top-ranked LLM programs in international law: the University of Ottawa’s Master of Laws Concentration in International Trade and Foreign Investment Law.

uOttawa has become a central hub for the study of international trade and investment law. The University boasts the largest group of faculty members specializing in the subject within Canada, with researchers employing a broad range of methods in their field-leading work. For example, Professor Wolfgang Alschner, who holds the Hyman Soloway Chair in Business and Trade Law, heads the uOttawa Legal Technology Lab, which is introducing computational analysis to the field of international economic law, exploring innovative topics like legal text mining and the automation of legal processes. Here, Professor Alschner notes that being in Ottawa gives students unmatched access to trade policymakers and lawyers who are directly involved in arbitration cases and negotiating treaty agreements.

Professor Céline Lévesque, who teaches a course within the program that allows students to delve into the implications of real-world disputes, adds that the diversity of perspectives in this program comes not only from the many full-time professors, part-time professors and guest speakers that are involved in delivering program, but from the students themselves, who come from all over the world. With the uOttawa Faculty of Law drawing its expertise from both Civil Law and Common Law programs, and offering courses in both French and English, the learning opportunities for students are immense.

The Student Experience

Recent students comment on the unique nature of the LLM specialization in trade and investment law, and the opportunities that students have to experience what it is like to work in the field. A case studies course, for example, allows students to work on actual disputes that are currently taking place in the world, learning to do what litigators do in real-world cases. Myriad opportunities to work on academic outputs with researchers or internships with firms specializing in trade and investment law offer students the chance to experience and contribute to up-to-the-minute issues, setting them up for success in their future careers. Past students have gone on to careers in academia and as practitioners in the field of international economic law, taking the knowledge they acquire at uOttawa to venues across the world.

Learn More
About the Program

Stay informed of our latest news and publications