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Posted June 27, 2011

Law Students Receive Fellowships, Grants for International Law Work

Pulliam
Ben Pulliam ’13 was awarded the Class of 1957 South Africa Human Rights Fellowship. Below, Ravi Sharma, who graduated in May, was awarded the Monroe Leigh Fellowship.

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Sharma

Law School students and graduates are spread across the world this summer and fall, working in a variety of international law positions funded by grants and fellowships.

The positions range from domestic international law work in Washington, D.C., to positions in Tanzania, the Netherlands and Argentina. Many such fellowships and internships are quite competitive, according to Deena Hurwitz, director of the Law School’s International Human Rights Law Clinic and Human Rights Program.

“The students' experiences in these internships calls attention to the quality of their legal education, especially research and writing,” Hurwitz said. “Whether or not they choose a career in international law and/or human rights, a legal internship abroad signals to future employers that the student is more than likely intrepid and independent-minded, not to mention bright.”

Ben Pulliam, a rising second-year student, was awarded the Class of 1957 South Africa Human Rights Fellowship, and will spend the summer working in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the Center for Applied Legal Studies.

“They do work in areas such as education and environmental law, and that’s kind of what attracted me to the position,” Pulliam said.

It will be Pulliam’s second extended stay in South Africa; he studied abroad as an undergrad in Stellenbosch, and said he looks forward to returning to the country.

“It’s not going to be a typical summer job,” he said. “Aside from the work, a lot of effort goes into the logistics of it — finding a place to live, transportation and other things.”

Not all of the students and graduates working in international law are traveling abroad to do so. Ravi Sharma, who graduated in May and was awarded the Monroe Leigh Fellowship, will begin work in September in Washington, D.C., on national security policy.

Sharma planned to work with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is responsible for handling international agreements and treaties.

“I really want to learn about the legislative process, see how it works, see how the process occurs internally,” Sharma said. “It’s one thing to sign the treaty, it’s another thing to ratify the treaty, and the legislative process is a very important part of that. I see myself pursing a government career in the long term, so I’m curious to see what offices at this point are doing international law work.”

Sharma, who will clerk with federal Judge John Gibney of the Eastern District of Virginia beginning in the winter, said he also hopes to participate in the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, which focuses on international development programs.

The Monroe Leigh Fellowship in International Law was established by Monroe Leigh's family and friends to encourage students to gain valuable international law experience. John Stephenson ’11 is the other recipient this year, and will work in Johannesburg.

In addition, three students are working in Arusha, Tanzania, for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: John Akin, Kathleen Greenstreet and Leily Faridzadeh.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, and now I have the opportunity,” Faridzadeh said in April (More). “I will be working with international judges on the cases of people who committed genocide throughout Rwanda.”

The work will include helping judges with opinions, as well as attending trials and working on legal research and writing, she said.

Reported by Rob Seal

Human Rights and Public International Law Summer 2011 Student Internships

Institute for International Law and Human Rights, Washington, D.C.
Alec Knight ’13
Lauren Petrosky ’13

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania
Leily Faridzadeh ’12
John Akin ’13
Kathleen Greenstreet ’13

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, The Hague, Netherlands
Laura Smith ’13

Center for Applied Legal Studies, Gender Unit (University of Witswatersrand), Johannesburg, South  Africa
Ben Pulliam ’13
Class of 1957 South Africa Human Rights Fellow

SECTION27, Johannesburg, South Africa
Rachel High ’13
Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellow

Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Peter Kozaczuk ’13
Blackstone Legal Fellow

Postgraduate Student Fellowships

International Court of Justice Traineeship Programme, The Hague, Netherlands
Antonis Antonopoulos ’11 (More)
Orrick International Law Fellow

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, D.C.
Ravi Sharma ’11
Monroe Leigh Fellow in International Law

SECTION27, Johannesburg, South  Africa
John Stephenson ’11
Monroe Leigh Fellow in International Law