11 Ways UVA Law Prepares Students to Go Global

February 19, 2016

Updated Sept. 27, 2016

The University of Virginia School of Law has a reach that extends worldwide and offers numerous opportunities for students to receive international legal exposure. From fellowships at The Hague, to deep dives into human rights field research, here are 11 ways students take advantage of the school's global connections.

International Law Fellowships

UVA Law is one of a small group of leading academic institutions worldwide invited annually to submit candidates for the International Court of Justice Traineeship Program, which takes place at the court's seat in The Hague, Netherlands.

UVA Law students have routinely been chosen as Salzburg Cutler Fellows, a national program designed to expose participants to emerging issues in international law and develop their expertise in the field. Law School programs such as the Monroe Leigh Fellowship in International Law and Public Interest Law Association summer fellowships also allow students to work abroad.

Numerous Classes Incorporate International Law

In the past three years the Law School has offered 64 courses touching on international law topics, from International Tax Policy to the International Human Rights Clinic. UVA Law also enjoys a strong reputation for national security law classes, thanks in part to its long-standing association with the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, and its proximity to Washington, D.C. (Related: Top National Security Lawyers Say Jobs Await Grads Who Are Patient, Flexible)

Opportunities to Compete and Come Together

UVA students compete each year in the Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. Last year, UVA Law hosted the Pictet competition. Aided by mentors from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School and UVA Law faculty, UVA's team won the competition in Sintra, Portugal, in 2014. UVA teams frequently advance to the international round of the Jessup competition.

Students have also participated in the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition and annual workshops at the Law School co-sponsored by the American Red Cross. (More)

Centers in National Security, Oceans Law

The University of Virginia is headquarters for the Center for National Security Law and the Center for Oceans Law and Policy. Both are led by Professor John Norton Moore, who taught the first course in the country on national security law and conceived and co-authored the first casebook on the subject. (Moore's accomplishments also include serving as principal legal adviser to the Ambassador of Kuwait to the United States and chairing the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace, one of six presidential appointments he has held.)

Among the centers' programming, the Center for Oceans Law and Policy offers the Rhodes Academy in Greece, which is an intensive three-week course designed for legal practitioners in the field, but which students may also attend.

Worldly Resident Faculty

UVA Law professors have extensive real-world experience dealing firsthand with international legal issues. Professor Ashley Deeks worked as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser. (Professors John HarrisonJohn Norton Moore and Paul Stephan also previously worked in the office, as have numerous alumni.) Professor Margo Bagley has acted as special adviser to Mozambique and the Africa Group during World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly talks. And Stephan recently served as a consultant and expert witness in a successful multimillion dollar arbitration case against the Russian government over its seizure of the assets of Yukos Oil Co.

Resident faculty teach international legal standards under curricular programs such as International LawHuman Rights and Immigration Law.

An Infusion of Cosmopolitan Adjuncts and Visitors

Each year a wide variety of international legal experts teach at the Law School from such nations as France, Germany, Australia and Israel. Students have learned from the experiences of a barrister from Australia and a former managing director of Deutsche Bank, among others.

Other lecturers may call the United States home, but still have extensive international ties, including one experienced international business deal negotiator.

Multiple Methods to Study Abroad

Students can choose to study abroad for a semester through the school's international exchange program, which offers eight locations, including universities in Germany, Spain, Australia, South Korea, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Through student-initiated study abroad, students can design their own academic program at a foreign school, in coordination with faculty, which results in a research paper. A third option allows students to extern abroad during a semester, in a supervised setting that combines academic legal research and work experience.

dual-degree option with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) allows students to earn both the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master's in Economic Law. Graduates are eligible to sit for the French bar exam.

Or, students can just dip a toe in by taking a weeklong January Term course in Paris or Israel.

LL.M. and S.J.D. Students

Students don't have to leave the Law School in order to have interactions with foreign lawyers. LL.M. and S.J.D. students who are members of the Graduate Studies Program, often practicing attorneys from other countries, take classes alongside J.D. students, which broadens the perspectives of both sets of students.

An Extensive Alumni Base

More than 650 Virginia Law graduates currently work overseas in 65 countries. They include the president and CEO of Citibank Japan, the managing director and general counsel of international wealth management at Credit Suisse, U.S. ambassadors to Finland and Sweden, general counsel at Mubadala Petroleum, and the president of the Motion Picture Association EMEA. Additionally, Law School alumni are partners and associates at major global law firms and teach at many universities around the world.

UVA Law's alumni are known to be generous with their time, often volunteering to speak to students at events, or more personally as mentors.

Extracurriculars With an International Focus

The J.B. Moore Society and the Virginia Journal of International Law are driving forces in international law activities at the Law School, including as organizers of an annual symposium on topics such as the war on terror and corruption in foreign governments. The society also hosts a lunch lecture series in which international law faculty and foreign graduate students present papers, and sponsors the Jessup International Law Moot Court team. As the oldest continuously published, student-edited law review in the United States devoted exclusively to the fields of public and private international law, VJIL is considered by many to be the finest and most authoritative journal of its kind.

Human Rights Study Project

Each year, the project's team of Cowan Fellows travels abroad to research human rights issues in a specific country and report the findings, while receiving academic credit. Participants are selected by the prior year's student team based on applications submitted in the spring. Past destinations include MyanmarMadagascarSyria and LebanonSri LankaMalawi and Egypt. (More)

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