National Jurist magazine features Georgia Law LL.M. alum Tobias Henke

henkecompThe new edition of the magazine National Jurist features a recent stellar graduate: Tobias Henke, who earned his Georgia Law LL.M., or Master of Laws, degree in 2015.

Henke, who earned his undergraduate law degree from Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is now back in Frankfurt, practicing as an Associate in the Capital Markets Group of the international law firm Taylor Wessing.

As described on p. 34 of National Jurist’s Fall 2016 issue, he landed the position based on a interview at the International Student Interview Program in New York City – the University of Georgia School of Law belongs to a select group of law schools that participate in this annual LL.M. careers event.

Henke told the magazine that he applied here based on the recommendation from a law firm where Henke had clerked, Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe:

henketobias_sep2016‘Since I always wanted to go back to the U.S., I decided to apply for an LL.M. program. My former boss at Orrick was, by coincidence, an alumnus of [University of Georgia] and spoke highly of this school. Because I really liked Atlanta, it was obvious for me to come back to Georgia.’

Georgia’s a draw for Germans, the magazine reported:

The state of Georgia is home to more than 17,000 Germans and 450 German companies.

Henke cited an additional reason for preferring Georgia Law:

‘LL.M. students are always included in classes and viewed as equals.’

Details on our LL.M. curriculum and application process here.

Review: Human rights’ importance clear in Amazon “rubber barons” film

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It’s our pleasure today to publish this post, which Hannah Coleman (below right), a member of the Georgia Law Class of 2017, wrote during her spring semester course on International Human Rights Law. Reviewing the feature-length, black-and-white drama Embrace of the Serpent (2015), by Colombia filmmaker Ciro Guerra, Hannah writes:

colemanEmbrace of the Serpent opens with the image of an Amazonian shaman, Karamakate, dressed in the authentic dress of his people. The man peers out over the river and quickly stands up as if he senses something. Then, a long boat pulls in between the trees with two men on board. Karamakate urges the two men to turn around and leave, but the boat continues to move closer and closer. Then, Karamakate pulls out a weapon and threatens the strangers to leave this place immediately. The audience can sense Karamakate’s tension and distrust of these travellers. Regardless of his warnings, the men do not stop, and the boat pulls ashore.

One man, Manduca, appears to be a native of the Amazon, but he is dressed in what Karamakate describes as “white man clothes.” Manduca refers to the second man, a white scientist from Germany named Theo, as his travel partner, and describes Theo’s rapidly weakening state. Karamakate is resistant to the new men, but his interest is peaked when Theo tells him there are still members of his tribe alive in another part of the jungle. The three men eventually set out on a journey, to find a sacred healing plant that they believe will rid Theo of his illness, and to find Karamakate’s people.

The audience is unaware of exactly what time period the film is set in, but the director provides clues in the form of discussions about white rubber barons coming into the forest and forcing the indigenous people into slavery in order to capitalize on the forest’s rubber trees.

The director skillfully focuses the audience’s attention on the impact the colonization is having on the indigenous people by concentrating on the journey of the men. Each time the men pull onto a riverbank to collect supplies, take a break, or camp for the evening, they meet someone different. With each interaction, the audience gains more insight into the horrors the indigenous people are facing due to the rubber barons, and we learn more about why Karamakate distrusts everyone. At one point, the three men arrive at a mission. This part was particularly interesting and disturbing because these people were stripped of their culture and forced into European practices. The mission consists only of young boys who are wearing white robes and not allowed to speak their native language. It was extremely sad to see all of these boys, taken from their parents at a young age, and forced to forget about their past.

After a while, a second story is skillfully woven into the movie’s plot. This story takes place several years later and involves Karamakate and another white man named Evan. Evan is following the diaries of Theo in order to find the same sacred plant Theo needed to cure his sickness. This second story is even more gut wrenchingly sad than the first, because Evan finds Karamakate in the same place that Theo and Manduca found him, only many years have passed, and Karamakate is still alone. It is clear that Karamakate’s memory is fading as he cannot tell Evan any details about his first trip with Theo and Manduca. But he agrees to help Evan find his way to the sacred plant.

boatAs these two follow the same pathway that Karamakate took many years before with Theo and Manduca, the audience is horrified to discover the lasting impact that the colonization has had on the Amazonian cultures. The most disturbing part of this story occurred when the two men arrived at the mission. They discover that this tribe of people has gone mad from engaging in cannibalism and likely inbreeding given their segregation from others. There are no Europeans left at the mission, so the tribe has taken some of the traditional Christian practices and interpreted them. This includes one man claiming to be Jesus Christ and tribe members forced to commit suicide. This portion of the film left a very powerful image of the horrors that entail when a group of people come into a community, strip them of their history, provide new practices, and then leave them confused and alone.

Until this movie, I had no knowledge about the European invasions of the Amazon to collect rubber, and the impact that this colonization had on the numerous cultures in that part of the world. The film demonstrates the impact on the indigenous people through Karamakate. He is the last remaining member of his tribe. Now, Karamakate has resolved himself to live in solitude where he is engrossed in loneliness. The impact of his solitude is really felt when the movie enters into the second story where Karamakate is the only man, living in the same place, alone, struggling to remember his past, and believing he is merely a shadow of his former self that walks the earth detached from his body. I can imagine many tribes in this region felt a very similar impact on their cultures during this invasion of their land. As their people are killed off, their traditions begin fading with their memories.

In my opinion, the most impactful statement of the whole movie was the dedication at the very end. While these images of death, destruction, and the loss of entire cultures, the director chose to end the film by dedicating the work to the song of those cultures and the songs we will never know. Those words have resonated with my since I saw the film. I am struck with such sadness that entire tribes have been forgotten; it is almost as if they never existed.

I am left thinking about how many times this phenomenon has occurred. Where the world calls for an item, such as rubber, so people invade, kill, and destroy everything in their wake in order to satisfy a desire. This being my first human rights class and my first international law class, this film demonstrated to me, once again, the importance of human rights and the uniting of nations to assure that people are not being stripped of their rights. I always knew that issues like this existed, but I never fully grasped the gravity of some of these events. It is interesting, sometimes it takes a movie based on true events to cause people, like me, to realize how history has a way of repeating itself. If we do not take care and protect people, we will continue to witness travesties such as the ones described in Embrace of the Serpent.

Summer 2016 GEOs: Georgia Law students ready to take on the world

GEO blog post photoThis summer, ten law students will benefit from international placements through the Global Externship Overseas, or GEO, administered by Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center.

These students have been awarded funding to enable them to earn legal training in law firms, in-house legal departments, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations around the world. Practice areas span a range, including refugee law, property law, criminal law, corporate law, and cultural heritage law.

2016 GEO participants include several rising 3Ls, who are headed to Europe and Asia:

► Bradley Dumbacher – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
► Shirley Kathryn Griffis – Maples Teesdale, London, United Kingdom
► Brenny B. Nguyen – Boat People SOS, Bangkok, Thailand
► Jianan Zhang – Lenovo & Han Kun Law, Beijing, China

Numerous rising 2Ls also will be working ’round the world:

► Megan Alpert – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
► Victoria Barker – DLA Piper, St. Petersburg, Russia
► Decker McMorris – Tosetto, Weigmann e Associati, Milan, Italy
► Claire Provano – Studio Legale Associato Rossini, Turin, Italy
► Carson Stepanek – Tosetto, Weigmann e Associati, Milan, Italy
► Hannah Mojdeh Williams – Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We congratulate them all on their GEO acceptance, and wish them an enriching summer. Can’t wait to hear travel notes!

UN affiliate CIFAL Atlanta: Our new International Judicial Training partner

Cifal AtlantaBeginning this year, Georgia Law’s annual International Judicial Training will be offered in partnership with CIFAL Atlanta, an affiliate of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, or UNITAR.

UNITAR_Vertical_Logo_35mm_Blue-Pantone279C-01-pngCIFAL Atlanta joins an International Judicial Training partnership forged in the late 1990s by Georgia Law’s 2016IJT_fullDSDean Rusk International Law Center and the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia. For nearly 20 years, the trainings have provided provided a high-level learning experience to foreign judges. Included are seminars with distinguished Georgia Law faculty and visits to a variety of courts around the state.

As one of several training centers across the globe linked to UNITAR, CIFAL Atlanta works to build capacity among local governments and civil society leaders, with particular emphases on economic and infrastructure development, fair trade, and good governance.

The 2016 International Judicial Training, to be held November 27 to December 10, will advance Goal 16 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is

E_SDG_Icons-16“dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.”

Leaders of the new collaboration, which extends the trainings’ global outreach, include two Georgia Law graduates: Chris Young, CIFAL Executive Director, and Laura Tate Kagel, Director of International Professional Education at the Dean Rusk International Law Center. They work alongside Richard Reaves, Executive Director of the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia, who brings decades of experience in organizing continuing education seminars for judges. Reaves’ extensive contacts throughout Georgia create opportunities for informative exchanges between the international judges and their U.S. counterparts. In Kagel’s words:

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In Georgia Law’s James E. Butler Courtroom, Richard Reaves talks with foreign judges during an International Judicial Training

“The International Judicial Training is more than simply an educational program. It can lead to significant reforms in terms of effective administration of justice and stimulate cross-cultural relationships that can bear fruit for years to come.”

Providing an example of this is Fernando Cerqueira Norberto, Secretary-General of ENFAM, the governing body of Brazilian judicial colleges. According to Cerqueira, Brazilian judges’ longstanding participation in the International Judicial Training correlates to the adoption in his country of innovations such as small claims courts, mediation procedures, and drug courts.

Judges and court personnel from all countries are welcome to apply for the 2016 International Judicial Training; further details and registration are available here.

Former Nigeria prosecutor’s LLM year features US practice experience

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Among the many talented foreign-trained lawyers set to earn Georgia Law’s Master of Laws (LLM) degree this month is Gladys Ashiru, who arrived with considerable experience as a prosecutor in Nigeria. She’s enriched this experience this year: in addition to her academic studies and a professional development trip, Gladys has worked as a volunteer prosecutor here in Athens.

Having immigrated to the United States, Gladys chose to put her career back on track by pursuing an LLM at Georgia Law. She says she was impressed by the collegiality she encountered during a visit to campus, and swayed by LLM graduates who spoke glowingly of their experience here.

Gladys’ strong interest in criminal law prompted Laura Tate Kagel, our Center’s Director of International Professional Education, to connect her with the Athens-based Office of the District Attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit, whose staff includes a number of Georgia Law alums. Assistant District Attorney Paige Otwell (JD 88) became Gladys’ mentor and introduced her to District Attorney Ken Mauldin (JD 80). After Gladys enrolled in Mauldin’s Spring 2016 Trial Practice course, he offered her the opportunity to observe and help out in the D.A.’s office. With the semester now at an end, Gladys recounts:

“It was an amazing experience for me. The internship broadened my horizons and exposed me to perspectives different from mine, especially in areas relating to jury selection and trials.”

After commencement on May 21, Ashiru plans to take the Georgia and New York bar exams, and also hopes to contribute to legal reform in Nigeria. Although she says that Georgia Law was challenging, she also found it rewarding, and calls it

“the best choice I made!”

Women’s voices cast in leading role at 33d annual Edith House Lecture

evansLeading Georgia Law’s annual celebration of its 1st woman law graduate this year was an extra special, and especially inspiring, alumna.

Delivering the 33d annual Edith House Lecture, Stacey Godfrey Evans (left) treated students, faculty, staff, and others in the law school community to a talk entitled “The Voice of a Woman Lawyer: Why it Matters and How to Use It.”

It’s a subject for which she’s well qualified, as 3L Hannah Byars (below right), leader of the Women Law Students Association, made clear. Byars related that after Evans earned her J.D. in 2003, she practiced as an associate at BigLaw firm, then opened a small firm with a handful of colleagues. Evans established her own firm, S.G. Evans Law LLC, in 2014. And since 2011, she’s represented District 42, in Smyrna, as a Democrat in the Georgia State Assembly.hannah

Evans opened her talk by reciting the still-low percentages of women at high levels of the legal profession and politics, then urged the women in her audience to let their voices be heard.

“When you change who is in the room, you change the conversation,”

Evans said at one point, and added that women should not fear to be controversial when the situation merits. She concluded by encouraging women to run for office.

houseIt was a fitting tribute to the namesake of this lecture series, depicted at left: Edith House (1903-1987), whose portrait hangs in the law school rotunda. She and another student in the Class of 1925 were Georgia Law’s 1st women graduates. House was co-valedictorian, and went on to a distinguished career, including a stint as the 1st woman U.S. Attorney in Florida. Thanks to a Women Law Students Association initiative (see this great online scrapbook at p. 53), lectures have been given each year in her honor since 1983.

Eastward bound, to meet potential LLMs in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest

Law students, lawyers, and legal academics in the Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic will soon have the opportunity for talk with a Dean Rusk International Law Center staffer about pursuing a degree at here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

logo-colorNext week, Laura Tate Kagel, our Center’s Director of International Professional Education, will take part in American universities fairs in Prague, Warsaw, and Budapest, sponsored by EducationUSA, an arm of the U.S. Department of State.

llm_coverShe’ll be on hand personally to discuss the career benefits and special advantages of earning the Master of Law, or LL.M., degree at Georgia Law. (See prior posts about our current LLM students, as well as our hundreds of LLM alums, here.)

Interested persons may show up at the times and places below. And feel free to e-mail Dr. Kagel at lkagel[at]uga.edu in order to assure one-to-one meeting – or to correspond, in the event you’re unable to attend one of the fairs.

Monday, April 18, Prague: 15:00-18:00 at the Alchymist Hotel, Tržiště 19, Prague 1

Wednesday, April 20, Warsaw: 12:00-15:30 at the University of Warsaw Library, BUW, ul. Dobra 55/66, Warsaw

Friday, April 22, Budapest: 15:00- 19:00 at the Budapest Marriott Hotel, Apaczai Csere Janos u. 4. Budapest 1052

Hope to see you there!

Georgia Law LLMs benefit from Atlanta professional development trip

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Xiao Zhang at U.S. Courthouse

Professional development took an Atlanta turn this week when our LLM Class of 2016 traveled to our state capital to learn more about the judiciary and private-sector law.

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Justice Hines talks with students

The day began with a visit to the Supreme Court of Georgia, founded more than a 170 years ago. There, Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines talked with the students about the jurisprudence produced by him and his 6 colleagues on the high bench.

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Judge Martin talks about CA11

Accompanied by Dean Rusk International Law Center staffers Laura Tate Kagel and Kathleen A. Doty, the LLM students then went to the U.S. Courthouse. They

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Mahemud Tekuya & Elisha Atulomah at U.S. Courthouse

toured the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and heard from our 1981 JD alumna, Judge Beverly B. Martin.

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Mark J. Newman, partner at Troutman Sanders LLP, talks with LLMs

The day ended with lunch and practice briefings at the Atlanta office of the global law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, where they were treated to lunch and briefings on legal practice by Mark J. Newman and others.

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From left, Socorro Moctezuma Flores, Miguel Medina Cordoba, Oluwakemi Kusemiju, and Simon Wolffram at U.S. Courthouse

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Huajin Tang, Gladys Ashiru & Tingting Tang at U.S. Courthouse

Our thanks to all who made this day a great success.

Become part of a 43-year tradition: Georgia Law Master of Laws (LLM)

2016Brochure_TNIn 1973, Edward de Jaegher of Brussels, Belgium, became the first foreign-trained lawyer to earn a Master of Laws, or LLM, degree at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The tradition launched 43 years ago today. Even as our current students complete their final semester of study, we continue to build next year’s LLM student body. We welcome inquiries and applications for the Class of 2017; details here.

Members of that class will join an alumni/ae base of more than 400 Georgia Law LLMs, who have ties to 75 countries, on every continent in the world. They include judges and law firm partners, leaders in governments and in intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, heads of corporate legal departments, and university professors. Here’s just two:

Oksana G. Wright (LLM’05; 1st law degree from St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Now an Associate at Fox Rothschild LLP in New York City, Oksana writes:

The International and Comparative Law program at UGA was my first exposure to U.S. law and the first stepping-stone of my legal career in the United States. At UGA, I received an opportunity to learn from top professors and fellow practitioners from all over the world. They contributed different views, perspectives, and experience to our discussions of relevant legal topics. This invaluable experience provided me with a competitive edge in my future legal career in New York where I deal with various international legal issues and work with individuals from different countries and backgrounds.

ObeidatOmar_jul15Omar Obeidat (LLM’97; 1st law degree from Yarmouk University in Jordan). A Partner and the Head of Intellectual Property at Al Tamimi & Co. Advocates & Legal Consultants in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Omar writes:

I was fortunate to join the LLM program at UGA and was especially fortunate to have learned from distinguished professors particularly on intellectual property and copyright. Although I stayed for a short period at Georgia of little over 10 months, it is a period that stuck very well in my memory as a period filled with making good friends and enjoyable learning experience in a beautiful campus and well respected school of law.

Click here to join this tradition of excellence in international professional education.

Cutting-edge law: Georgia-Leuven Global Governance Summer School

For students everywhere, we are delighted to announce a new opportunity to global study law and policy:

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Applications are welcome for a brand-new Global Governance Summer School (GGSS), spanning 3 weeks at the University of Leuven, located just minutes from Belgium’s main airport. Students in law and related disciplines, from the United States, Europe, and across the globe, are welcome to enroll. All students will receive a certificate, and U.S. law students also may earn 4 American Bar Association-approved credits.

GGSS launches a new partnership between the Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law – which has sponsored summer study abroad in Belgium since 1973 – and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at the University of Leuven, one of Belgium’s premier research institutions.

Cutting-edge issues will be explored July 10-30, 2016, through 4 courses, all taught in English by leading experts in regional, transnational, and international law and policy:

wouters_janGlobal Governance Overview: GGSS Co-Director Jan Wouters (left), Jean Monnet Chair ad personam EU and Global Governance, Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies

Global Human Rights & Security Governance: GGSS Co-Director Diane Marie Amann (right), Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives and Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of LawcropCohen_harlan_columns2012

Global Economic Governance: Harlan Grant Cohen (left), Associate Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law, and Managing Editor, AJIL Unboundaxel

Global Governance Practicum: Dr. Axel Marx (left), Deputy Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, and Kathleen A. Doty (below right), Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation, Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of kate - CopyGeorgia School of Law

Pivotal to GGSS is a 2-day experts conference to be held at Leuven’s campus in the center of Brussels, capital of Belgium and numerous European Union agencies.

Also supplementing formal study will be professional development trips to the headquarters of the North
europarl_bruxAtlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Parliament (left) in Brussels, as well as the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Rounding out the GGSS offerings will be an optional trip to Flanders Fields, formerly a site of battle and now the resting place of many World War I combatants of all nationalities.

Deadline for applications is Monday, April 4, 2016. Details here; U.S.-based students, apply here. All others, including U.S.-based students seeking more information, should contact Kathleen A. Doty, doty[at]uga[dot]edu.