What We Do
Meeting in IndiaThe Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding bridges the gap between resources available at academic institutions and the need for them in the field, where people engaged in the difficult work of building democracies, strengthening the Rule of Law, and reconstructing societies following conflict often labor without basic resources, including electricity, Internet or research capacity.

Using a comparative lens, we work within the major legal systems of the world – including civil code, common law, and Islamic, Asian, customary, and indigenous legal systems – and build strategies that span a broad legal spectrum. This approach supports sustainable organic peacebuilding efforts that take root locally and are based upon objective, comparative options.

Who We are

Students: Our students work in a variety of ways to further the goals of CLS.


Comparative Legal Student Scholars: Comparative Legal Studies Scholars (CLSS) is the student division of William & Mary Law School’s Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (CLS/PCP).  It is dedicated to offering law students a wide range of academic and real-world professional experiences in the field of post-conflict peacebuilding. 

International Public Service InternshipsEach Summer we send approximately 25 law students who have been thoroughly trained in comparative legal strategies into the field to work in Rule of Law and peacekeeping projects


Faculty:  Faculty members regularly provide advice and research to officials, policy advisors, tribunals, and organizations in developing and post-conflict countries while also producing cutting-edge scholarship on emerging topics of international importance.

Graduates: Our graduates work around the world using the education and training they receive at William & Mary to meet the pressing global challenges facing their generation. Our grads work for the United Nations, the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, international law firms and a variety of international public and private organizations.

prisoner education

Partners: We maintain collaborative working relationships with prestigious institutions around the world – our partners include: the United States Institute of Peace; the National Center for State Courts, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance; the Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies within the Ministry of the Presidency of Spain; the Fondation pour le Droit Continental in France, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy