Bon voyage to students taking part in Georgia Law global summer initiatives

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L to r, back row: students Marc Bennett, Steven Miller, Gi Jeong, Lukas Goettke, Spencer Price, Charles Wells, Gamble Baffert; front row, Amanda J. Shaw, an associate director at our Center, with students Emily Snow, Yuke Qiu, Leila Knox, Emily Doumar, Jessica Parker, Briana Blakley, Holly Stephens, Lauren Taylor, Alicia Millspaugh, and Anré Washington.

Seventeen rising 2L and 3L students at the University of Georgia School of Law have set out for summer destinations all across the world as part of our Global Externship Overseas (GEO). Administered by the Dean Rusk International Law Center, the GEO initiative places Georgia Law students in externships lasting from four to twelve weeks, and offers students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in a variety of legal settings worldwide.

These Global Externs will enhance their legal education through summer placements in law firms, in-house legal departments, nongovernmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations, across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Practice areas include: dispute resolution, corporate law, international trade law, intellectual property law, international human rights law, refugee law, and international environmental law.

This year’s GEO class includes these placements in private law settings:

  • Gamble Baffert (2L) – PwC, Turin, Italy
  • Briana Blakley ­(2L) – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
  • Emily Doumar (2L) – Araoz y Rueda, Madrid, Spain
  • Lukas Goettke (3L) – DLA Piper, Moscow, Russia
  • Gi Jeong (3L) – Al Tamimi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Steven Miller (2L) – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
  • Alicia Millspaugh (2L) – MV Kini, New Delhi, India
  • Spencer Price (2L) – Buse Heberer Fromm, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Yuke Qiu (2L) – Hankun Law, Beijing, China
  • Emily Snow (2L) – Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels, Belgium
  • Holly Stephens (2L) – Maples Teesdale, London, UK
  • Anré Washington (2L) – Ferrero S.A., Luxembourg

Additionally, the following students will work in public law placements:

  • Marc Bennett (2L) – Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Apia, Samoa
  • Leila Knox (2L) – No Peace Without Justice, Brussels, Belgium
  • Bailey Meyne (2L) – Open Society Justice Initiative, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jessica Parker (2L) – Boat People SOS, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Charles Wells (2L) – No Peace Without Justice, Brussels, Belgium

In addition to the GEO initiative, thirteen Georgia Law students will take part in our Center’s long-standing summer program in Belgium. During the first week of July, students will gather in Belgium for the Global Governance Summer School, which the Center again co-presents with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. Students will spend several days in classroom sessions at the University of Leuven, and then spend two days in Brussels: one to attend a high-level policymaking event, and the other on professional development visits at a law firm, a nongovernmental organization, and an intergovernmental organization.  The group will then proceed to The Hague, Netherlands, for briefings at international courts and tribunals and other cultural excursions.

Join us in wishing these students an unforgettable summer, and stay tuned for travel updates in the coming months!

Celebrating graduation and another great international law year

Just before University of Georgia School of Law students entered the Spring 2019 exam period, we at the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center took a moment to thank and congratulate the many students with whom we work.

As listed below, more than 50 of them will earn JD or LLM  degrees later this month. We were delighted to celebrate their achievements.

Among those thanked were our Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassadors, of the 1L, 2L, 3L, and LLM classes who assist the Center with administrative duties, events, and research.

Also recognized were the many students who have taken part in initiatives like the Global Externship At-Home or Overseas, the Global Governance Summer School, NATO Externship, the Women, Peace & Security Project, Southeast Model African Union, the Legal Spanish Study Group, Louis B. Sohn Professional Development fellowships, Atlanta International Arbitration Society reporting, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, and leadership in the International Law Society and in Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law conferences.

Thanks and congratulations to all!

Class of 2019

Michael Ackerman Vis Moot
Saif-Ullah Ahmed Global Governance Summer School, Student Ambassador
Marc Bennett LLM’19 transferring to JD’21 curriculum, summer 2019 Global Extern
Lauren Brown Global Extern, NATO Externship, Women, Peace & Security Project
Casey Callahan Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Student Ambassador
Shummi Chowdhury Student Ambassador, Southeast Model African Union
Jennifer Cotton Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Jessup Moot
James Cox Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern
Edward Mills Culver Global Governance Summer School
Cristina De Aguiar Martins LLM
Jerry Dei LLM
Erin Doyle Women, Peace & Security Project, Student Ambassador
Garret Drogosch Vis Moot
Nicholas Duffey Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern
Linda Emanor LLM
Sarah Flanders Vis Moot
Brad Gerke Global Extern
Maximilian Goos LLM
Allison Gowens Jessup Moot
Roger Grantham Jr. Jessup Moot
Brian Griffin Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Student Ambassador, Legal Spanish Study Group, AtlAS Rapporteur
Kathryn Hagerman Women, Peace & Security Project
Wade Herring III Global Extern, Global Governance Summer School, Student Ambassador, Sohn Professional Development Fellow
Amanda Hoefer Southeast Model African Union
Evans Horsley Global Governance Summer School
Bailey Hutchison Student Ambassador
Trung Khuat LLM
Kristopher Kolb Global Governance Summer School, Student Ambassador
George Ligon Global Extern
Zachariah Lindsey Global Extern
Ning “Hannah” Ma LLM
Darshini Nair LLM’19 transferring to JD’21 curriculum, Student Ambassador
Philicia Nlandu LLM’17 transfer to JD’19
Teresa Fariña Núñez LLM
Lyddy O’Brien Global Extern, Student Ambassador, Sohn Professional Development Fellow, Jessup Moot, Executive Conference Editor of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law
Nils Okeson Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Student Ambassador, Vice President of the International Law Society
Gilbert Oladeinbo LLM’17 transfer to JD’19
Paolo Cariello Perez LLM
Anh Pham LLM
Matthew Poletti Global Extern, Legal Spanish Study Group
Taylor Samuels Women, Peace & Security Project
Rosari Sarasvaty LLM, AtlAS Rapporteur
Miles Skedsvold Legal Spanish Study Group
Whayoon Song LLM
Nicholas Steinheimer Global Extern, Dean Rusk International Law Center
Amir Tanhaei LLM, AtlAS Rapporteur, Vis Moot coach
Morgan Renee Thomas Editor in Chief of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law
Ezra Thompson Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern
Benjamin Torres Jessup Moot
John James Van Why Senior Conference Editor of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law
Rebecca Wackym GEO, Southeast Model African Union
Eric Wilder Women, Peace & Security Project

Georgia Law 3L Lauren Brown on her NATO externship in Belgium: “a full appreciation for the privileges we enjoy and the responsibilities we bear”

Pleased today to welcome this post by University of Georgia School of Law student Lauren Brown, working this Spring 2019 semester in Mons, Belgium, in the legal department of a leading unit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Pictured above right, she is the inaugural holder of this externship, administered by our law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center in partnership with NATO Allied Command Transformation. Lauren arrived at Georgia Law with considerable background in security policy, and her experiences here have included a Summer 2017 Global Externship Overseas at the nongovernmental organization War Child Holland. She is due to receive her J.D. degree this May, and thereafter to become an Associate at the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Squire Patton Boggs. Lauren recounts her ongoing NATO experience below.

The opportunity to work with the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Legal Advisor’s Office at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Staff Element Europe (SEE) has been a unique and exciting experience. At this halfway mark, I am very pleased with what I have been able to experience thus far, and I look forward to the coming weeks as the externship continues.

My observations can be broadly divided into three categories, legal experience, professional experience, and practical experience, each of which I discuss below.

Legal Experience

It is important to note that I have carefully crafted much of my previous and future working life to avoid two things: complex math and regulatory work. Accordingly, my hopes were somewhat dashed when I received my first assignment: Draft a data protection and privacy regulation.

The actual work, however, was absolutely fascinating. The ultimate challenge was to create a directive that provided sufficient data protection and privacy standards and that struck a balance among the disparate domestic standards. The work also involved coordination with existing data protection and privacy directives within other NATO bodies, in order to ensure the provisions allowed for a workable level of cohesion across policies.

The resulting effort felt very much like a logic puzzle, with each component capable of fitting, and the task being to figure out how to make it fit. The assignment was a tremendous introduction to the legal experience within the externship. It demonstrated that although focus and ambition are important, flexibility and an open mind are also critical. Without them, I would have missed an opportunity to participate in a fascinating project and expand my interests—even to include regulatory work.

Professional Experience

Before arriving at NATO, I had been extremely fortunate in that I’d had opportunities to work in several different cities, in several different professional environments. But I had never before experienced the working life of a military base. The primary adjustment has been the strictness of the adherence to decorum and hierarchy—and the impressive bureaucracy that accompanies such practice. In my time here, I have learned that even when the waters seem murky and the process opaque, there are always channels that move a little more swiftly, and success in such an organization appears to be directly related to one’s ability to identify and utilize such avenues.

Practical Experience

I have also enjoyed experiences that resonate beyond the professional sphere. Two such instances were particularly impactful:

  • The first occurred during a training on rules of engagement at NATO Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum in the Netherlands (site of the photos accompanying this post). By the time of this training, I had become accustomed to the presence of uniforms and their associated patches, which usually denote membership in a division or the service member’s assigned NATO unit. On the last day of the training, however, a new patch caught my eye: a large square stating the bearer’s blood type. The realization of when such a patch would be useful, and its place as a standardized part of the uniform, reminded me of a fact I had clearly forgotten: this exercise was not just theoretical. The reliance these men and women have on laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement dictate life and death choices in very real, and very dangerous, situations.
  • The second served largely the same realization; that is, it reinforced my understanding of the scale at which laws, and their functioning or not, can impact people. I met a friend in Paris for a weekend, and through a course of events that can sometimes happen during travel, we found ourselves marching with the so-called Yellow Vests calling for action against climate change. The group with which we marched was peaceful and numbered very close to 10,000. But a few hours later, we encountered the other group of Yellow Vests, the militant wing of violent rioters who burned or broke almost every structure they encountered. For me, the experience reiterated the idea that when laws or policies fail people, people may react. The rules that govern our social existence must be crafted and interpreted with care, and without negligence toward the future or the marginalized.

The patches and the protests were powerful reminders, both on an intimate and broader level, that what attorneys do matters. We cannot undertake our work with anything but a full appreciation for the privileges we enjoy and the responsibilities we bear.

I feel extremely fortunate for the opportunity to have such an experience while in law school, and I want to especially thank the NATO personnel with whom I have interacted in Belgium, including attorneys Lewis Bumgardner, Galateia Gialitaki, and Steven Hill, as well as Georgia Law professors Kathleen Doty and Diane Marie Amann, for making this externship possible.

“Excited to pursue the conservation of biodiversity around the world”: Andrew Hedin on his Global Externship at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

This is one in a series of posts by University of Georgia School of Law students, writing on their participation in our Global Governance Summer School or Global Externship Overseas initiative. Author of this post is Andrew Hedin, a member of the Class of 2020 who spent his 1L summer as a GEO, or Global Extern Overseas.

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Malo! (“Hi” in Samoan.) This summer I lived in the tropical paradise of Samoa, working for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). During my externship, I worked on environmental law issues and had the opportunity to attend a major conference in Fiji. Following my internship, I was invited to observe the first United Nations conference to work towards a treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity on the high seas.

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SPREP is an international governmental organization serving the fourteen island nations of the South Pacific, as well as five states with territories in the region, including the United States. Headquartered in Apia, the capital city of Samoa, SREP addresses environmental issues ranging from waste disposal to climate change to biodiversity. It also serves a data collection function, which facilitates identification and monitoring of environmental issues. The work of the organization is critical because the Pacific Island states encompass over fifteen million kilometers of marine territory, and are considered to be the largest source of marine biodiversity in the world. However, these ecosystems are fragile and have faced significant reduction due to increased human activity both within and outside the region.

20180724_123546During my externship, I worked closely with SPREP’s legal counsel, and participated in various projects on topics like preventing the practice of shark finning and banning the use of non-reusable plastics. My most extensive assignment related to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Protocol seeks to ensure that there are predictable conditions for access to genetic material, and that the benefits of genetic resource research are shared with the country of origin. Thus, the Protocol requires parties to enter into a contract that obtains prior informed consent of the resource provider, clearly lays out the benefits to the providing community, and defines the scope of access for the user of the genetic resource. The Protocol also creates intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge associated with genetic material in order to protect indigenous communities’ use of local resources. I had the opportunity to assist in the drafting of model implementing legislation and contract templates, and to conduct an analyses of implementation issues in the Cook Islands and Tonga.

I was fortunate to travel with the access and benefits sharing team to Fiji to attend a conference on this topic hosted by the International Development Law Organization and the ABS Initiative. This provided a global context for my work; I learned about how the Nagoya Protocol was being implemented in other regions. It was also a tremendous opportunity to meet practitioners working in this area.

Faga-Loa BayThe opportunity to work on biodiversity was amplified by the chance to do so in Samoa. When I wasn’t working, I spent the summer exploring the natural wonders of the small island nation. Consisting of two main islands – Upolu and Savai’i – and eight small inlets, Samoa boasts an extensive coral reef ecosystem, pristine beaches, massive waterfalls, and miles upon miles of coconut trees. It is also home to 200,000 people, who keep alive one of the world’s oldest cultures. Family and community are integral to the Samoan way of life, and Samoans take great pride in maintaining traditions that have been passed down for thousands of years. One of these, familiar around the world, is the Samoan art of tatau, or tattooing. Practiced for more than 3000 years, the art involves tattooing from the waist to the knees, entirely by hand. The traditional tattoo is highly respected, symbolizing an individual’s determination, endurance, and ability to assume responsibility. While I did not get any tattoos, having the opportunity to see the incredible natural world of the Pacific renewed my resolve to forge a career in international environmental law to protect these valuable resources.

Hedin_UNAfter completing my internship with SPREP and returning to campus this fall, I was pleased to be selected by the American Society of International Law, of which the University of Georgia School of Law is an Academic Partner, to serve as an NGO observer at the United Nations. As noted in the most recent edition of the ASIL Newsletter, I attended the first Intergovernmental Conference for an international legally binding instrument, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

At the conference, I watched as state delegates, and representatives of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations debated the four foundational pillars of the potential agreement:

  • accessing marine genetic resources and sharing in their benefits;
  • area-based management tools;
  • environmental impact assessments; and
  • capacity building with associated marine technology sharing.

This experience was incredible because I observed firsthand how treaty negotiations begin. Although representatives discussed an array of issues and expressed many concerns, there was near-consensus on the importance of protecting the genetic diversity in our oceans. While this is no small task and there is a significant amount of work to be done, after observing the proceedings, I am optimistic that reaching an agreement is possible.

Tu Soa 4x5While I knew that I was interested in international environmental law, before this summer I had never heard of the Nagoya Protocol. Now, I have an understanding of the contracts that govern access to genetic resources, and of their value to indigenous communities. I also built a network of professionals doing great work to advance this initiative. I am incredibly grateful for my time in Samoa and at the UN, and am excited to build on these experiences to pursue the conservation of biodiversity around the world for the benefit of generations to come.

“A wider view of the world”: Global Extern James Cox on his summer at Priti Suri and Associates in India

This is one in a series of posts by University of Georgia School of Law students, writing on their participation in our Global Governance Summer School or Global Externship Overseas initiative. Author of this post is James Cox, a member of the Class of 2019 who spent his 1L summer as a GEO, or Global Extern Overseas.

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My summer 2017 was filled with crowded streets, a warm environment, and challenging legal work. I worked at Priti Suri & Associates (PSA) in the heart of New Delhi, India, as part of the Global Externship Overseas (GEO) initiative. With my GEO, I killed two birds with one stone: I had my first legal job, and I saw India for the first time. I did not know what to expect from either, but I left India knowing much more about myself and what it means to be a lawyer in a global context. Being in India and working at PSA were invaluable experiences.

PSA is a full-service business law firm with clientele from around the globe. Despite being a relatively small firm with about fifteen lawyers, PSA has a wide reputation for excellence. During the course of the summer, I researched competition law and blockchain technologies, and learned a great deal about the Indian legal system. My biggest project was researching and drafting this newsletter, which discusses a recent competition law decision of the Indian Supreme Court.

Priti_SuriPriti Suri (left), the founder of PSA and a University of Georgia School of Law LL.M. graduate, personally supervised me in writing it. Priti is hands-down one of the most impressive lawyers I have ever met. She is smart and attentive to detail. She modeled what being a professional lawyer means. I appreciated her mentorship, and found she was always willing to talk to me about the law and the projects I was working on.

All of the lawyers at PSA made me feel welcome, but I most enjoyed my time working beside the two other interns, Nikhil and Oti. They are fifth-year law students at Hidayatullah National Law University. Their school is around a twenty-two-hour drive away, and they were both “in session” while interning at PSA full time. They both had significantly more experience than I did working in firms, and they were quick to share their experience with me. I will not soon forget taking the elevator down to the ground floor and grabbing sodas with Oti and Nikhil for a quick break. They were both quick to smile, and good coworkers.

file-3As Priti told me on more than one occasion, “India is not for the weak-hearted.” Living there was a difficult adjustment, in part because I stood out like a sore thumb as a tall white male in New Delhi. My fifteen-minute walk each day to and from the metro was the highlight of my time in India, but because I was so clearly foreign, strangers frequently approached me hoping I was a tourist they could refer back to a friend’s travel agency. Further, simple tasks became complex when every vendor, took-took driver, and businessman expected some bartering for each transaction. India seemed like it might be the easiest country in the world to get taken advantage of. However, these interactions speak to something I observed at the core of India.

Indians are overwhelmingly hard-working and determined. It is a place where everyone is trying to get ahead because they have to; I was struck by the disparity of wealth there. As a rather blunt example, I was told the richest man in India in Mumbai built his mansion literally above the slums. It can feel like the table is full before many even make it in the house in India.

file-2My externship at PSA confirmed my desire to be a lawyer. I saw thoughtful people work on difficult problems to help companies work effectively in an ever-expanding world. While it took some adjustment to be comfortable walking the streets of Paharganj, I was sad to leave India. I took one bite of the airplane pretzels, and already felt like I had made a huge mistake leaving the delicious Indian cooking behind. I will miss the warm smiles of people on the street and the friends I made over the summer. When I left India, I took home far more than my final review and certificate of internship. I took home a wider view of the world, a deeper understanding of why I want to be a lawyer, and many fond memories.

My only regret is not to have brought home a good recipe for Dal Makhani.

Scholarly achievements, thriving initiatives featured in newsletter of Dean Rusk International Law Center

For a recap of the year’s global law-and-practice accomplishments here at the University of Georgia School of Law, have a look at the just-published annual newsletter of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Features include:

► Welcome to new professors, Melissa J. Durkee and Christopher Bruner, as well as scholarly achievements of our many other globally minded faculty and staff, including Diane Marie Amann, Jason Cade, Nathan S. Chapman, Harlan G. Cohen, Kathleen A. Doty, Matthew I. Hall, Walter Hellerstein, Laura Tate Kagel, Jonathan Peters, Lori Ringhand, Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Christian Turner, and Carol Watson.

Events past and future, including day-long conferences cosponsored with the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, public lectures and our Consular Series of lunch talks with Atlanta-based diplomats, and cosponsorship of panels at regional and national international law meetings.

► Initiatives aimed at preparing our J.D. and LL.M. students for global legal practice, including our Global Externships and our Global Governance Summer School, plus support for students’ organizations and international advocacy teams.

The full newsletter is here.

 

“Reaffirmed my passion for human rights”: Hanna Karimipour on her Global Externship with Brussels NGO No Peace Without Justice

IMG_7351This is one in a series of posts by University of Georgia School of Law students, writing on their participation in our Global Governance Summer School or our Global Externship Overseas initiative. Author of this post is 2L Hanna Karimipour (right), who spent her 1L summer as a GEO, or Global Extern Overseas.

This summer, I had the opportunity to work at No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the Global Externships Overseas (GEO) initiative. NPWJ was founded in 1993 to support the establishment and operation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Since then, NPWJ has worked on human rights and accountability in conflict and post-conflict settings around the world.

I came to law school because I’ve always known that I wanted to work in international relations and on human rights issues. After spending my 1L year getting the basics of U.S. law down and taking one international law course, I was eager to gain meaningful exposure to international law practice at NPWJ. As I sat for my final exams, the thought of my upcoming externship, as well as all the Belgian frites and waffles I would eat, carried me through.

On arriving in Brussels, I was not disappointed. Right away, I was researching the actus reus for aiding and abetting liability for war crimes under Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I was struck by the challenges to international legal research. There is no single database that catalogues case law, and considering that the ICC is only sixteen years old, the available precedent is limited. Moreover, ad hoc criminal tribunals – in particular, the ICTY – may have helpful case law,  for the issue I was working on, but the approaches of each court vary widely, and their case law can even be contradictory. Although at first I was overwhelmed, by the end of the summer I found the process of combing through cases, the text of the Statute itself, travaux préparatoires, academic articles, and books to be a thrilling and surprisingly fun process.

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As a part of my GEO, I was also able to travel with NPWJ. I went on a two-day mission to Geneva, Switzerland to the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. There, NPWJ was invited to represent civil society at the Joint UN/Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) Seminar on Human Rights for PAM Members of Parliaments. Also in Geneva, I visited the Palais des Nations to attend a panel on transitional justice in Tunisia. As someone whose childhood dream was to be a United Nations ambassador, it was utterly exciting to be in the Palais des Nations, right down an escalator from where the Human Rights Council was in session.

The highlight of my experience, however, came when I was able to gain experience in the field as part of a six-day mission to Gaziantep, Turkey. Gaziantep is located approximately 30 miles from the Syrian border – about half the distance from Athens to Atlanta! I assisted with a NPWJ training on negotiation for members of Syrian civil society. It was a powerful experience to contribute to giving organizations the tools to safeguard human rights and to ensure transitional justice occurs and in the midst of the conflict in Syria. During this mission, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with several Syrian people who are directly taking action to improve the situation. Before this summer, the possibility of doing human rights field work wasn’t even on my radar. Now, it is something I am seriously considering for after law school.

My GEO at NPWJ was one of the most valuable experiences I have had thus far in my education and career, and has reaffirmed my passion for human rights. Oh, and I got plenty of the frites and waffles, too. I am looking forward to continuing my exploration of international law on campus at Georgia Law.