Well, it’s almost here. Next week, International Law Week descends upon our blog, and we thought we would provide you, our loyal readers, with something of a preview. Over the course of next week, we will speak with professors, current students, and an alumna in an effort to give you a sense of the broad array of international offerings available to students at our law school. What we hope you will take away from these materials is not only that W&L Law is a great place for students interested in international law (which it is), but also that it is a great place for students period (which it also is).
There are quite a few ways a student can pursue an interest in international law at our law school. First and foremost, there are the curricular offerings in all three years of our educational program. In addition to offering Transnational Law as part our first-year curriculum, we also feature a number of very exciting courses in our second and third years that allow students to have hands-on, actual practice experiences in these very area. There’s our Transnational Tribunal offerings where students work in cooperation with the Defense Support Section and the defense attorneys of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or the Karadzic defense team at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). There’s our Access to Justice program in Liberia taught in cooperation with the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime and our European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) offering in which students work alongside law students from Union University in Belgrade and review potential cases of individuals for suitability for application to the ECHR. In the international trade realm, we offer a courses in everything from International Business and Investment Dispute Resolution to Cross-Border Transactions. For a more complete listing of our international offerings, please feel free to consult the following links:
At W&L Law, international experiences are not limited to just the classroom. Students have also participated in a number of internships that are supported by our Transnational Law Institute. Over this past summer, we had eleven students work abroad through Transnational Law Institute supported internships. These students interned at the Hague, with the UN in China, Austria and Cambodia, with the Organization of American States in Washington, DC, with International Bridges to Justice in Cambodia and with the International Center for Transitional Justice Burma Program in Thailand. Click here for a full listing of the international summer internships in which our students have worked over the past few years.
In addition, we have also added to our faculty several professors with ongoing research interests in international areas. Unsurprisingly, these additions have resulted in an expansion in the number of international courses featured in our curriculum. We have even added the German Law Journal, a leading English language forum for innovative scholarship in comparative, European, German, and international law. Through this journal, students have had the opportunity to write book reviews, case comments, and short articles and to assist in discussing and assessing submissions for the Journal. A select group of students on this journal also traveled to Germany last year for the German Comparative Law Academy, which brought together students from both the United States and Germany for a discussion of both countries’ legal systems. Click here to read student blog posts from this experience.
Last year, we even hosted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development for a symposium on International Investment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. That’s right. The UN was in Lexington, Virginia. Click here and here to read more about this event.
Admittedly, as one of our professors commented during an interview you will see next week, all of this is something of a paradox. A small school in rural Virginia that offers a host of international opportunities? How is that even possible? Well, as you will hear repeatedly over the coming week, these opportunities are a very direct and real consequence of an institutional commitment to both the private and public realms of international law. At W&L, we firmly believe the practice of law is increasingly global, and without these sorts of experiences our graduates would not be truly prepared for the realities of the legal profession in the 21st century. As you could guess from our recent third year reform, we think very critically about how we train and educate our students, but also about how we prepare them for their future professional lives. Our international offerings are essential to this preparation.