Five University of Virginia School of Law students recently joined their peers from other leading U.S. law schools and abroad to explore cutting-edge issues in public and private international law. 

The fifth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program brought together 56 students Feb. 24-25 in Washington, D.C.

UVA Law professor Paul Stephan; third-year law students Thomas Kinzinger, Karl M. F. Lockhart and William Phalen; and S.J.D. candidates Mauricio Guim and Hsin-Hsuan Lin participated in the event, which allowed students to hear from prominent legal professionals and public servants.

Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, and Jared Genser, founder of Freedom Now, spoke at the program.

The students worked closely with faculty advisers from each of the participating law schools – which also included Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Michigan, NYU, Penn, Stanford and Yale – on workshop research papers tackling issues ranging from human rights to monetary law.

"I felt honored and inspired to work with so many exceptional faculties and fellows from other leading law schools,” Lin said. “It was such a fascinating, wonderful academic feast.”

Phalen said the program was a unique opportunity to network with other law students, professors and practitioners working on international law topics. On the first day, students received feedback from fellows and professors on an executive summary they prepared for the seminar.

"My executive summary topic was inspired by my work as a research assistant to Professor Myron Nordquist at the Center for Oceans Law and Policy here at UVA," Phalen said. "Discussions with Professor Nordquist about the recent South China Sea arbitration award guided and refined my paper topic over the past eight months. The program was great at combining students with a diversity of interests within the international law field, from law of the sea to international investment law."

The 56 Cutler Fellows were the largest, most diverse group to date, collectively representing 26 countries, including Australia, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador and Iran, as well as the United States.

Among the featured events, a faculty panel discussed “The First Year of the Trump Administration: What to Expect?” featuring Stephan, William Burke-White of Penn Law, Rachel Brewster of Duke Law and Allen Weiner of Stanford Law.

Stephan, who directs the Law School’s Graduate Studies Program, is John C. Jeffries, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law and John V. Ray Research Professor of Law. He is also a coordinating reporter for the “Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States.”

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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