Loyola University Chicago

Rule of Law for Development Institute

School of Law

Course Descriptions

Foundational Courses

  • History, Theory and Practice of Law for Development: Foundations of rule of law and development and how they influence in practice the contemporary development of law, state institutions, the economy, and society and the struggle to development implementable theories of change.
  • Comparative and Ethical Lawyering for the Rule of Law: Problem solving, institutions and methodologies for navigating between in common law, continental law and Islamic and customary legal traditions and values and dealing with the ethical challenges inherent in advising on the rule of law.
  • Legal Systems and Methods (MJ students only): Introduces foundational legal concepts, systems and processes and the actors in the law and justice sector who make legal systems work and change over time. The focus is on the nexus between law and development.
  • International Development Architecture: Develops a working knowledge of the structures of the agreed frameworks, processes and institutions through which international development cooperation and private investment is carried out and how such bodies affect and address issues relevant to development and rule of law.
  • Research and Writing on the Rule of Law: Develops expertise on how to find and analyze research from other disciplines that provide insights into the processes and dynamics of legal and institutional reform and how to use the resulting knowledge to develop theories of change, strategy formulation and the advocacy of specific reform initiatives.

Practice-Focused Courses

  • Theory and Practice of Assessments in Rule of Law Advising: Develops knowledge and skills in planning and producing authoritative rule of law assessments which build on the globally available patrimony of guidance, experience and tested Methodologies needed to underpin reliable and relevant options for future actions and reforms.
  • Advising for Economic, Social and Institutional Reform: Provides simulated experience and enhances skills needed to develop the ability to provide effective advice on the most frequent sectors and themes dealt with in rule of law initiatives and provides mentored opportunities to critique and apply a range of strategies which have been adopted in rule of law initiatives in such settings.
  • Rule of Law in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: Builds skill in diagnosing the origins of violent conflict, and knowledge on and strategies for restoring or strengthening the rule of law, institutions and ownership in recovery process under conditions of instability, insecurity and post-conflict recovery.
  • Design of Rule of Law Programs and Proposal Preparation: Develops detailed knowledge and skills needed to design national or internationally supported rule of law programs and producing proposals and plans for rule of law initiatives, and how the products of such work can be used to improve both national planning and implementation processes and internationally supported rule of law projects and programs.
  • Rule of Law Project Management: Develops knowledge of and skills in applying key management principles, using relevant and up to date management tools and performing management tasks in simulated rule of law and development projects, including monitoring and evaluation and the management of sub-grant programs or subcontractors.

Capstone Projects

The capstone project enables students to gain “real world” experience in rule of law advising.  It is the culmination of the LLM and MJ programs, allowing students to apply all of the learning obtained through their coursework to address practical rule of law and development issues.  Students develop and carry out their capstone projects in partnership with different organizations.  Eligible partners include international organizations, governments, think tanks, and NGOs. The work students perform for their capstone projects is designed to respond directly to those organizations’ work and priorities.

The capstone projects draw upon the main courses in the program.  At the outset, students apply interviewing and advising techniques to their partner organizations. They also conduct social scientific and legal research to inform their understanding of legal and institutional environments and change processes relevant to their projects.  This background research is then used in drafting legal and governance assessments.  Based on the assessments, the students then develop project plans and project implementation frameworks, including such matters as monitoring, financing, and evaluation.

By the end of their capstone projects, students will have a deep familiarity with the process of developing and implementing rule of law and development programs, which they can immediately put into action following graduation.  Students who successfully complete our programs are by definition practice-ready.