International Law Engagement at William & Mary

zaleskiby James Zaleski, Class of 2019

When I was looking at law schools, I looked for schools that would provide opportunities to become engaged with international issues. International law has become an important vehicle for collaboration among states, international businesses, non-profits, and markets. In the era of globalization, it is important for law students to develop a global perspective. William & Mary Law School offers many opportunities for students to become engaged with these important issues.

In addition to the Law School’s diverse course offerings in international law, William & Mary also has many internationally-focused student organizations that bring practitioners to the Law School to speak about international issues. I recently had the opportunity to attend a lunch talk hosted by the Comparative Legal Student Scholars. This lunch speaker series featured Judge Katzmann, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Katzmann’s talk focused on immigration law and he spoke about the unmet legal needs of the immigrant poor. I also had the opportunity to attend a talk hosted by the Human Security Law Center which featured former U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally, who spoke about U.S. trade policies.

William & Mary Law School’s Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding also plays an important role in promoting international law engagement at the law school. The mission of the Center is to bridge the gap between resources available at academic institutions and the need for them in the international field. The Center offers law students a wide range of academic and field experiences all over the world. The Center maintains collaborative working relationships with many international organizations such as the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance at the Hague, Democracy for Development in Kosovo, and the Open Development Cambodia Initiative. William & Mary law students travel overseas each summer on behalf of the Center to intern with these organizations and contribute their talents, energy, and skills to important international projects.

ODC-LOGOThis summer, I will be interning with Open Development Cambodia (“ODC”) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodia has a tumultuous history and the country still faces enormous economic and political challenges in the national rebuilding process. Transparency and accountability are two important components of this national reconstruction. ODC’s mission is to provide the public with accurate information about Cambodia and its economic and social development. By collecting and analyzing environmental, social, and economic development data, ODC helps to facilitate research and communication between the public, private companies, and governments. As my first year of law school comes to an end, I look forward to applying my legal research and writing skills in the field and engaging with international law issues!

To learn more about our student bloggers, click here.

Exploring Richmond

reidby Eric Reid, Class of 2018

Let’s face it, during the course of the semester, everyone needs a break from studying. Fortunately, one of the great things about living in Williamsburg is being in the middle of a very exciting and growing region. There are a number of attractions, not only in Williamsburg, but also in the neighboring cities of Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. This blog post will take a look at some of the fun things to see and explore in Richmond.

Virginia’s capital city has a lot to do, and fortunately for us, it’s only about an hour away. The area is steeped in Civil War attractions, as well as other art galleries and museums. My externship at LeClairRyan (which is located in the heart of downtown Richmond) allowed me to experience some of what Richmond had to offer. Richmond’s downtown is fairly compact and easy to navigate. I found I could easily walk to most of the attractions I wanted to see.

To start off the Richmond tour, I recommend first seeing the Virginia State Capitol, which is located in an area of Richmond called Capitol Square. Fun fact: the Virginia State Capitol houses the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.

capital

The State Capitol was relocated from the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg to Richmond at the beginning of the American Revolution. Completed in 1788, the building was designed by Thomas Jefferson and French architect Charles-Louis Clerisseau and is based off of a Roman temple in southern France. Since that time, the building has been renovated and extended.

The Capitol offers both guided tours and self-guided tours starting from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. on Sundays.

Next, I recommend going to the Tredegar Iron Works, which serves as the main visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park and is only a few blocks south of the Capitol. Entrance to it, including the National Park Service Civil War Visitor Center is free, but there is an $8 fee to tour the exhibits of the American Civil War Center. I highly recommend touring the exhibits.

While you’re down by the James River, you should check out Richmond’s Canal Walk and its many attractions. For example, you could stop in the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, or walk across to Brown’s Island (which is often the site for outdoor concerts and festivals).

These are just some of the great attractions you can visit in Richmond. Have fun exploring!

To learn more about our student bloggers, click here.