LLMs’ behind-scenes courthouse tour

photo-6_2A group of our Georgia Law LL.M. students walked downtown to the Athens Clarke-County courthouse yesterday to visit with several of our law school alums.

Assistant District Attorney Paige Otwell (JD’88) welcomed the group, which included her mentee in the LL.M. Class of 2017, Nelly Sandra Ndounteng.

Associate Magistrate Judge Ben Makin (JD’04) explained his role in the judicial system and discussed subjects ranging from arrest warrants and jail bonds to small claims court.

Ryan Hope (JD’00), who serves as Chief Assistant Solicitor  in the county’s Office of the Solicitor General, told the students how he became interested in the court system through his work at the public defender clinic in law school. In his remarks he touched on Clarke County’s accountability courts, such as DUI court, which integrate treatment and “quick, limited punishments” with the goal of reducing recidivism.

The Honorable Ethelyn N. Simpson (JD’90), Chief Judge of the State Court, related how her early experience clerking for Superior Court judges allowed her to see “a lot of good lawyers and a lot of bad lawyers,” preparing her for an unexpected career on the bench. Her enthusiasm about “the greatest job” was infectious.

After meeting with the alumni, the LL.M. students were escorted into the courtroom to view victim testimony in an ongoing trial. For the students, who come from Cameroon, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Ghana, and the Bahamas, the experience was informative and rewarding. Special thanks to ADA Otwell and Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassador Deborah Nogueira-Yates, a member of the Georgia Law J.D. Class of 2018 who earned her LL.M. here last May, for organizing the visit!

(Pictured above: front row, from left, Philicia Armbrister, Gilbert Oladeinbo, Valerie Mills, Nelly Ndounteng, and Assistant District Attorney Paige Otwell; top row, Noj Oyeyipo, Johann Ebongom, Javier Gonzalez, Laura Kagel (Director of International Professional Education), and Hamed Moradi Roodposhti)

International law alive and well in Atlanta

Last week was a busy one for international law in Atlanta.

On Thursday evening, the Young Arbitrators Group for the Atlanta International Arbitration Society (AtlAS) and the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC YAF) presented an excellent event on international law practice in Atlanta. As announced, it featured four attorneys serving as in-house counsel at major corporations, including:

  • Gary Bunce, Assistant General Counsel, Delta Airlines
  • Carolyn Dinberg, VP and Associate General Counsel, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Eugenia Milinelli, Counsel, JAS Freight Forwarding
  • Nicole Levy, Executive Director and Senior Legal Counsel, AT&TKing and Spalding

Attended by many young members of AtlAS, ICC YAF, and the broader Atlanta legal community, the evening presented an interesting conversation about the use of international arbitration by large corporations, and provided insight into the career tracks of the panelists. The panelists offered advice to young attorneys, such as the importance of acquiring language skills, and the reception afterwards at the office of King & Spalding provided a valuable networking opportunity.

Then, on Friday morning, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta hosted a breakfast with Ambassador Charles Rivkin, who currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. Amb RivkinAmbassador Rivkin spoke about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed on February 4, 2016 in New Zealand, but has yet to be approved by Congress. Ambassador Rivkin stressed the ways the TPP would benefit Atlanta businesses, in particular those exporters of: transportation equipment; non-electrical machinery; computer and electronic products; chemicals; processed foods; electrical equipment, appliances and components; the agricultural sector generally. He further stressed that the the TPP is unique and good for U.S. businesses because it sets rules for state-owned enterprises, has a chapter dedicated to small and medium sized businesses, and addresses intellectual property and data flow, labor standards, and the environment. His remarks inspired a lively conversation with the audience, who represented a cross-section of the Atlanta business community.