Honored again to be honored for excellence in international law

Delighted to share the news that the just-released 2020 US News rankings place our international law curriculum here at the University of Georgia School of Law at No. 19 in the United States.

By our count, this marks the 5th time in recent years we’ve been among the top 20 or so US law schools for international law.

The achievement is due in no small part to the enthusiastic support and hard work of everyone affiliated with Georgia Law’s 40-plus-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center. As chronicled at this Exchange of Notes blog and our Center website, these include:

► Superb members of the law faculty, including: Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, an international arbitration expert; our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors and Director, respectively, Professors Diane Marie Amann, an expert in security governance fields including the laws of war and international criminal justice, Harlan G. Cohen, an expert in global governance and foreign relations law, and and Kathleen A. Doty, a specialist in arms control and the global Women, Peace & Security agenda; Professors Christopher M. Bruner, a comparative corporate governance scholar, Anne Burnett, foreign and international law librarian, Jason A. Cade, an immigration expert, Melissa J. Durkee, whose expertise includes international and transnational law, Lori A. Ringhand, a scholar of comparative constitutional law, current U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Aberdeen, and recent visitor to Israel’s Bar-Ilan University as part of our faculty exchange there, Kent Barnett, Sonja West, and Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, who have presented overseas on administrative law, media law, and civil procedure, respectively, Walter Hellerstein, a world-renowned tax specialist, Nathan S. Chapman, a scholar of due process and extraterritoriality Michael L. Wells, a European Union scholar;

► Talented students pursuing JD, MSL, and LLM degrees, including: the dozen or so who work with us as Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassadors; the staffers and editors of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law who produce one of the country’s oldest student journals, and who led our March 2018 conference, “The International Criminal Court & the Community of Nations”; the advocates on our Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court teams; participants in our full-semester NATO Externship in Belgium and in our Global Externships and Global Governance Summer School; and the student leaders of our International Law Society;

► Superb Center staff like Laura Tate Kagel, Amanda J. Shaw, Mandy Dixon, and Christian Lee;

► Visiting scholars like Professor Yanying Zhang of China’s Shandong University, Dr. SeongEun Kim of Korea’s Konkuk University, and Jiang Xi of China’s Jilin University of Finance and Economics;

► Academics, practitioners, and policymakers, from all over the world, who have contributed to our events – conferences and lectures, as well as our International Law Colloquium and Consular Series;

Graduates who excel as partners in international commercial law firms, as heads of public law entities like the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, as in-house counsel at leading multinational enterprises, and as diplomats and public servants – and who give back through mentoring and other support;

► Our valued partnerships, with Georgia Law student organizations; with institutions like the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at Belgium’s University of Leuven; with organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, the American Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, Global Atlanta, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, and the Planethood Foundation; with professional groups including the Georgia Asian and Pacific American Bar Association and the Vietnamese American Bar Association; with university units like the School of Public & International Affairs, the Department of Comparative Literature, the African Studies Institute, the Institute for Native American Studies, the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute, and the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.

With thanks to all, we look forward to continue strengthening our initiatives in international, comparative, transnational, and foreign relations law – not least, in the preparation of Georgia Law students to practice in our 21st C. globalized legal profession.

Alumna Anita Ninan speaks to LLM students on business immigration

Last week, attorney Anita Ninan (LLM’91) spoke on “The Road to U.S. Employment: F-1 Visa Work Options and Onwards” here at the University of Georgia School of Law. Her remarks acquainted foreign-educated lawyers studying for their Master of Laws (LLM) degree with opportunities and challenges associated with obtaining U.S. work authorization.

Ninan, a member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, outlined the available work visas, discussed the impact of an April 2017 executive order on immigration, and explained the details of Optional Practical Training.

An expert in corporate and business immigration law, Ninan advises corporate clients and foreign nationals regarding all aspects of employment-based U.S. immigration law. She is a dual licensed attorney, admitted to practice law in both the State of Georgia and India.

Ninan has worked as Of Counsel with Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP in their Immigration and Compliance Practices in Atlanta. Previously, she served as in-house Legal Counsel with Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational Bank, in Mumbai and New Delhi, India.

President of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Ninan also serves as an Honorary Legal Advisor to the Indian Consulate General of Atlanta.

Georgia Law Jessup team earns awards

Jessup team 2019Congratulations to our 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team, which advanced to the quarterfinals and brought home awards at the recent Regional Rounds in New Orleans.

The team – from left, student coach Allison Gowens, along with competitors Andrew Hedin, Lyddy O’Brien, Hanna Karimipour, and Sam Hatcher – were recognized for the 4th Best Brief. Meanwhile, O’Brien earned the Best Oralist award, and Hedin the 6th Best Oralist award.

Great effort, and thanks to faculty, alums, and friends of Georgia Law who helped prepare them for the meet.

LL.M. students take professional development trip to learn about accountability courts

LLM courthouseLL.M. students at Georgia Law took a professional development trip to the Athens-Clarke County courthouse for an introduction to the local justice system. Organized by Paige Otwell (J.D.’88), Assistant District Attorney, the students were treated to a panel on Accountability Courts.

In Georgia, voluntary participants in these innovative judicial programs plead guilty to the offense with which they have been charged and agree to enhanced supervision, including mental health or substance abuse treatment measures, in exchange for reduced terms of confinement and sometimes shortened periods of probation. For the large majority of the foreign attorneys present, this approach to criminal justice was unfamiliar.

llm courthouse2The students heard from Nicole Cavanagh, Felony Drug Court Program Coordinator; Will Fleenor, Chief Assistant Solicitor General, who discussed DUI/Drug court and Veterans Court; and Elisa Zarate, the coordinator of the Treatment and Accountability Court Program.

The panelists stressed the high level of success of these courts, both in terms of the decrease in re-arrests among participants as well as anecdotal evidence of the positive impact on participants’ lives. Describing the non-adversarial, team approach of the courts to the LL.M. students, Cavanaugh remarked that prosecutors, defense attorneys, and court personnel are “all trying to work together to get people to succeed in the program.”

The LL.M. students will have the opportunity to visit the courthouse again in the coming months to watch a trial.

UK Consul General Andrew Staunton addresses Brexit at Georgia Law

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Andrew Staunton, Consul General of the United Kingdom pictured with Kathleen A. Doty, Director of Dean Rusk International Law Center

Last week, the Consul General of the United Kingdom Andrew Staunton delivered a lecture at the University of Georgia School of Law, “Leaving the EU: Impact on U.K.-U.S. Relations.” The event was the most recent installment of the Dean Rusk International Law Center’s ongoing Consular Series. The Consular Series presents students, staff, and faculty with global perspectives on international trade, cooperation, development, and policy.

In his lecture, Consul General Staunton described the political and economic context surrounding the British exit from the European Union and outlined the primary areas currently under negotiation. Describing the situation as “trying to take a raw egg out of a baked cake,” the Consul General nevertheless stressed that the United Kingdom will continue to work collaboratively with Europe and the United States to address international concerns. He emphasized that the United Kingdom will remain a strategic trading partner with the United States, and particularly with the Southeast.

Consul General Staunton has been a part of the United Kingdom’s diplomatic service since 1987. Prior to his current post as the Consul General in Atlanta, he served as Deputy Head of Mission and Economic Counsellor at the British Embassy in Athens, Greece. He was also Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to these postings, Consul General Staunton served overseas in China, France, Romania, and Canada.

Watch the full lecture, including an introduction by Professor Diane Marie Amann, below:

Georgia Law Professor Cade and attorney Mary Honeychurch (JD18) coauthor immigration essay

The U visa – a visa set aside for nonimmigrant victims of certain crimes who have endured mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement – is the subject of a new essay co-authored by scholars here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The essay, “Restoring the Statutory Safety-Valve for Immigrant Crime Victims: Premium Processing for Interim U Visa Benefits,” appears at 113 Northwestern University Law Review Online 120 (2019). It was written by Georgia Law Professor Jason A. Cade, whose teaching and scholarship focus on immigration law, and one of his former students, Mary Honeychurch (JD’18), who is now an immigration attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Atlanta.

Here’s the abstract:

“This Essay focuses on the U visa, a critical government program that has thus far failed to live up to its significant potential. Congress enacted the U visa to aid undocumented victims of serious crime and incentivize them to assist law enforcement without fear of deportation. The reality, however, is that noncitizens eligible for U status still languish in limbo for many years while remaining vulnerable to deportation and workplace exploitation. This is in large part due to the fact that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has never devoted sufficient resources to processing these cases. As a result, the potential benefits of the U visa remain underrealized and communities are left less safe. In an era of sustained focus on enforcement and increased instability within immigrant communities, the situation becomes ever more urgent. This Essay introduces and defends a simple administrative innovation that would dramatically improve the process: a premium processing route for interim approvals and employment authorization. Although our proposal cannot resolve all the underlying problems, it is pragmatic, easily implemented, and superior to the status quo.”

The full essay is available here.

Georgia Law’s 2019 Jessup International Law Moot team competes in New Orleans

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The 2019 Georgia Law Jessup Team, from left: Hanna Karimipour, Sam Hatcher, Lyddy O’Brien, and Drew Hedin

Members of our University of Georgia School of Law team are competing this week in the New Orleans regional rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. They’re part of a 60-year-old tradition, in which law students enact the presentation of arguments before the International Court of Justice, the Hague-based judicial organ of the United Nations.

Jessup2019_HiRes_PDF_300dpiIn New Orleans and in cities across the globe, teams from more than 680 law schools, representing 100 countries and jurisdictions, are arguing this year’s Jessup dispute, Case Concerning the Kayleff Yak (State of Aurok v. Republic of Rakkab).

We at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center have enjoyed working with this talented team of students throughout this academic year, and we wish them the best of luck in this year’s contest.