‘Doubling Down’ on International Law

In the past year, the Law School has added fellowships, clerkships, and an array of support for students interested in global opportunities.

Columbia Law students on a spring break caravan in Amman, Jordan, meet members of Jesuit Refugee Service, which provides opportunities for refugees to study English and obtain higher education diplomas, among other services.

As members of the United Nations convened recently for the annual meeting of the General Assembly, students at Columbia Law School assembled for Global@CLS, an overview of opportunities to study and work internationally presented by the Office of International Programs.

Though just city blocks separated the gatherings, they shared more than geographic proximity. Global@CLS extends from externships at the U.N. and other nongovernmental organizations worldwide to centers and institutes that are forging the future in such areas as sustainable development, health, and gender equality—all of which are topics for discussion by the General Assembly.

“We are part of a globalized world and a globalized legal community,” Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, told roughly 120 students who filled the lecture hall to capacity. “A key priority is to double down, to have a navigable way to understand the pathways, the role models, and the ways you can engage and build a career in this direction.”

In the past year, noted Lester, the Law School has added fellowships in human rights and social entrepreneurship, increased the number of clerkships outside the U.S., and expanded both support and coaching available to students who compete in international moot court competitions.

“I don’t think it’s really possible to go into a legal career these days where you won’t have some need to appreciate the differences among legal systems or to understand how the U.S. legal system interlocks with them,” explained Matthew Waxman, the Liviu Librescu Professor of Law, who serves as faculty director for global affairs.

A world of opportunities

Adam Kolker, dean for international programs, inventoried dozens of externships, internships, fellowships, programs, journals, associations, centers, and opportunities to study and work internationally both while at Columbia and following graduation.

They include:

“Columbia is one of the best places not just to study these topics but to take advantage of opportunities to be active in these areas,” said Kolker, who directed students to a 10-page report that describes in detail dozens of opportunities.

“I recommend that you look at what’s listed, and reach out, and ask,” he added. “There may be an opportunity to make something new.”

Further reading

Global@CLS: An Inventory of Internationally Oriented Opportunities for Columbia Law School Students


Posted on September 22, 2017