Application season opens for University of Georgia School of Law LLM Class of 2019

Today’s the 1st day that foreign-trained lawyers may apply for 2018-19 study toward the Master of Laws, or LL.M., degree at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Over the last 4 decades, the law school has produced more than 450 LL.M. graduates, with ties to 75 countries and every continent in the world. They include judges and law firm partners, leaders in governments and in intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, CEOs and heads of corporate legal departments, and university professors and administrators.

Our LL.M. students pursue a one-year, full-time plan of courses side by side with J.D. candidates, gaining exposure to diverse viewpoints on a range of legal issues. They follow a flexible curriculum tailored to individual career goals – whether it’s preparation to sit for a U.S. bar examination, pursuit of a Concentration affording advancement in their home country’s legal profession or academic institutions, or something else.

As shown in our prior posts, LL.M. students benefit from the superb resources of a highly ranked law school in the heart of a top-20 public university: renowned faculty; research facilities like the Alexander Campbell King Law Library, as well as the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations and other initiatives at the Dean Rusk International Law Center; experiential learning opportunities; professional development and career preparation; and world-class lectures and conferences.

Details in our new LL.M. brochure (above), available in downloadable PDF and online booklet formats.

Further information available at our website, or by e-mailing LLM@uga.edu. Click here to apply now.

Thoughts on ASIL annual meeting, by Sohn Fellow Johann Ebongom

Johann Ebongom, one of several Georgia Law students who traveled to Washington last month as Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellows, reflects below on that experience. This Saturday Ebongom, a lawyer from Cameroon, will receive his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at our commencement ceremony.

From April 12-15, I, along with University of Georgia School of Law classmates, volunteered at the 111th annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C. What a great networking occasion for young students interested in the legal management of international affairs and the development of a stronger and more efficient international rule of law.

I was so excited to be offered an opportunity to be a privileged observer of one the world’s biggest and most prestigious international law gatherings, particularly in a time when most nations have adopted new policies towards the protection of their interests and the security of their citizens. With the Brexit in Europe, the Syrian crisis in Middle East, the North Korean nuclear tests, the relationship between African countries and the International Criminal Court, and the recent foreign-policy-related decisions of the current President of the United States of America, no need to say that this year’s ASIL meeting was a decisive one! As an LL.M. student at Georgia Law who has a keen interest in global affairs, I could not ask for a better way to strengthen my analysis and understanding for future research.

For three days, I had the great fortune to listen and interact with experts, scholars, judges, and practitioners coming from various institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, and the U.S. Department of State, among others. Several people shared with me valuable career advice. This experience was further highlighted by an in-depth exchange with Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC, on the inevitable collaboration between the ICC and the soon-to-be-established African Court of Justice, which will lead to a reform of the current hierarchical organization of the international criminal justice system. Also, I enjoyed meeting Georgia Law alums – whom I’ve found always willing to assist.

The conference principally questioned the values of international law at a time when the world is subject to several events that might well compromise the value of international frameworks most nations had once believed in. The main highlighted issue seems to reside in the application or implementation of international law principles. Nations usually sign and ratify international conventions; however, these are far from being implemented, precisely in countries that are powerful enough to bypass the international order to preserve their interests.

It was an honor and privilege to represent Georgia Law as an LL.M. student. Being present for this year’s annual meeting was an inspiration for me, to one day enter the conversation in the hopes of creating a more just, more livable, and more connected world. I am very grateful to the Dean Rusk International Law Center for all its efforts and support in ensuring we have an unforgettable and fruitful time at the University of Georgia School of Law.

For other international law-minded Georgia Law students: Participating in an ASIL annual meeting is a good start to meet the international law community and benefit from invaluable advice! Do not hesitate to join next time.

(Cross-posted); prior Exchanges of Notes posts for which Johann Ebongom was a co-author here and here)

 

International Jurist features LLM study at University of Georgia School of Law

The Master of Laws (LL.M.) curriculum at the University of Georgia School of Law is featured in the latest edition of The International Jurist, described as “the magazine for foreign attorneys studying in the U.S.”

Our curriculum is highlighted on page 8 of the issue entitled “Best LL.M. Programs.” The item pays particular note to last year’s winning Georgia Law LL.M.-J.D. team in the Southeast Model African Union, as well as  the many experiential learning opportunities and skills-based courses available. It states:

“For example, an LL.M. student from Bangladesh assigned to Magistrate Court conducts legal research, writes memos and observes trials.”

More information and the Georgia Law LL.M. brochure are available here, or by e-mailing Dr. Laura Tate Kagel, Director of International Professional Education at the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, at LLM@uga.edu.

Distinguished India-based alumna, Priti Suri, earns prestigious ABA award

Delighted to congratulate of our our distinguished LL.M. alumnae, Priti Suri, recipient of one of the most prestigious American Bar Association awards. (photo credit)

The ABA Section of International Law bestowed its Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law upon Suri Wednesday, at a luncheon during the Section’s Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. Regarding Suri’s award, the Section said:

“Priti’s role as a mentor and in opening doors for women and women lawyers in India make her the perfect candidate for the Mayre Rasmussen Award.”

In a LinkedIn post, Suri responded:

“I feel truly humbled, as the first Asian, to receive ABA’s Mayre Rasmussen career achievement award. To everyone who contributed – my incredible family, my friends, my co-workers, my teachers and to every single person who has been with me on this journey – a very big thank you. Miles and miles to go still….”

Suri is the founder-partner of PSA Legal Counsellors, an Indian business law firm with offices in New Delhi and Chennai. Its practice spans many industries, and includes cross-border M&A transactions, strategic investments, joint-ventures including tender and exchange offers, venture capital financings, structuring private equity deals, leveraged buyouts, and divestitures.

This week’s ABA honor comes not long after another: last October, Suri was named to the India Business Law Journal A-List of India’s top 100 lawyers.

Since earning her Master of Laws degree from in 1989, Suri has remained active in the University of Georgia School of Law community. She frequently welcomes Georgia Law students as part of our Global Externship Overseas, and she has been an officer of the LL.M. Alumni Association.

The ABA Rasmussen Award is named after “a pioneer in the field of international business law” who died in 1998, and is given

“to individuals who have achieved professional excellence in international law, encouraged women to engage in international law careers, enabled women lawyers to attain international law job positions from which they were excluded historically, or advanced opportunities for women in international law.”

Among the prior Rasmussen Award recipients is another member of our Georgia Law community, Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann.

Brava!

New book on arbitration by Professor Won Kidane, Georgia Law LLM alum

Pleased to announce the publication of a book by our alumnus, Won L. Kidane (left), an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law in Washington state.

The Culture of International Arbitration has just been released by Oxford University Press. It’s the 4th book by Kidane, who earned his Georgia Law LL.M. degree in 1997; in 2001, he earned a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois. He was a 2014 Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia, where he’d completed his initial legal studies in 1993. Kidane practiced at two Washington, D.C., law firms and taught at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law before joining the faculty at Seattle, where he teaches international arbitration and immigration law.

Here’s a description of his new book:

Although international arbitration has emerged as a credible means of resolution of transnational disputes involving parties from diverse cultures, the effects of culture on the accuracy, efficiency, fairness, and legitimacy of international arbitration is a surprisingly neglected topic within the existing literature. The Culture of International Arbitration fills that gap by providing an in-depth study of the role of culture in modern day arbitral proceedings. It contains a detailed analysis of how cultural miscommunication affects the accuracy, efficiency, fairness, and legitimacy in both commercial and investment arbitration when the arbitrators and the parties, their counsel and witnesses come from diverse legal traditions and cultures. The book provides a comprehensive definition of culture, and methodically documents and examines the epistemology of determining facts in various legal traditions and how the mixing of traditions influences the outcome. By so doing, the book demonstrates the acute need for increasing cultural diversity among arbitrators and counsel while securing appropriate levels of cultural competence. To provide an accurate picture, Kidane conducted interviews with leading international jurists from diverse legal traditions with first-hand experience of the complicating effects of culture in legal proceedings. Given the insights and information on the rules and expectations of the various legal traditions and their convergence in modern day international arbitration practice, this book challenges assumptions and can offer a unique and useful perspective to all practitioners, academics, policy makers, students of international arbitration.

Polish law students & practitioners invited to free webinar this Monday on LL.M. study at Georgia Law

Law students and lawyers in Poland are invited to take part in a free webinar regarding postgraduate study at the University of Georgia School of Law. It’s set for 16:00 CET on Monday, March 13, and will focus on our Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree, a one-year offering for foreign-trained lawyers.

As detailed in this Education USA Poland Facebook post, our partner in this outreach effort, the free webinar will be hosted by Laura Tate Kagel, our Center’s Director of International Professional Education. This outreach follows on Dr. Kagel’s visit to Warsaw  last April.

Details on how to join the webinar here. Details about Georgia Law’s LL.M. degree here.

Belgian Consul General de Baets featured at Global Atlanta luncheon

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Pictured at front, from right: Belgian Consul General William de Baets and Phil Bolton and Trevor Williams, respectively, publisher and managing editor of Global Atlanta.

For decades, we at the University of Georgia School of Law have welcomed collaboration with Belgium and its people and institutions. Even before 1978, when Belgium’s national airline became the 1st foreign carrier to fly nonstop to Atlanta, a Belgian attorney became the 1st foreign-trained lawyer to earn Georgia Law’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. And thanks to the hard work and generosity of Georgia Law professors like Gabriel Wilner and our Center’s namesake, former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, we’ve partnered with leading Belgian universities to offer summer seminars on issues related to international  law and policy, often with a focus on European Union and transatlantic cooperation. That tradition will continue via this summer’s global governance school at the home of our partner, the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at the University of Leuven, one of Europe’s premier research institutions.

Thus it was a special pleasure to attend last Friday’s “Consular Conversations: Luncheon Interview With Belgium’s Consul General,” held at the Atlanta office of Miller & Martin, where Tom Harrold, Georgia Law alumnus and member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, leads the International/World downloadLaw practice group. The event was part of a series of conversations sponsored by another Center partner, Global Atlanta.

Guest of honor was William de Baets, who’s served since last April as Belgium’s top diplomat in the Southeastern United States. In a wide-ranging conversation with Phil Bolton and Trevor Williams, Global Atlanta’s publisher and managing editor, de Baets explained he’d joined Belgium’s foreign service following 9 years as a Navy officer. Postings before his arrival at Atlanta included deputy head of mission in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Venezuela, and political counselor at Belgium’s embassy in Washington, D.C.

De Baets said that his office provides consular services and also engages in public and economy diplomacy; Friday’s conversation fulfilled the latter role. He spoke to a full house – a testament to the fact that Belgium ranks among the top 10 foreign investors in Georgia, which is home to more than 70 Belgian companies and more than 5,000 Belgian nationals.

Asked about Belgium’s renown as the home of Tintin and the Smurfs, not to mention 20th C. surrealists like René Magritte, de Baets recalled an artistic tradition that reaches back to the 16th C. Flemish master, Peter Paul Rubens. Additionally, Belgium did not gain independence until 1830; before that “the territory kept changing hands and was ruled by other people,” he noted. “We couldn’t speak up too much. We were saying yes and thinking no, or saying yes and doing what we wanted to do. It was a source of our humor – we couldn’t take ourselves too seriously.”

Again answering a question, de Baets spoke of his father’s participation in the resistance during Germany’s occupation of Belgium during World War II.

Flags of the 28 NATO member countries

Conversation then turned to Belgium’s role in contemporary matters. Regarding Brussels-based NATO (right), the defense alliance established 68 years ago by the North Atlanta Treaty, de Baets noted apparent disagreement within the new U.S. administration. Indeed, earlier in the week the South Carolina Governor tapped to become U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, had called NATO “important.”

Although the United States can defend itself without NATO, Europe cannot, and so de Baets advocated strengthening the European Union’s security pillar to offset any weakening of NATO. Such alliances are essential for countries like Belgium and its neighbor, Luxembourg. Yet de Baets acknowledged difficulty in achieving the goal, given disagreement among EU member states – including Britain, even before its people voted in favor of Brexit.

Dubbing compromise a “Belgian export,” de Baets indicated that his country could a key role in aiding Europe’s efforts to resolve crises in financial and security sectors, as well as migration. The goal, he said, is to “strengthen our security without giving up our values.”