Jordin Albers, 3L, International Clinic Summer 2013
Placement: South African Human Rights Commission
Cape Town, South Africa
During my internship I worked at the AIDS Legal Network in Cape Town, South Africa. In this capacity, I was able to gain practical experience in the field of human rights and to gain an appreciation for the ways in which my legal skills can benefit people internationally. This proves invaluable, as I intend to pursue a career in international human rights law following my graduation in a year. I wrote an article that was published for the Durban AIDS Conference in South Africa. I was then able to discuss the article with other international advocates as I attended the conference, and it was a fantastic networking opportunity for me.
The internship at Baker & McKenzie allowed me to develop a feel for what services an attorney can offer to a company that intends to transact business internationally. Baker’s summer program is set up to introduce interns to the firm and all of its various areas of practice. I was given opportunities to rub shoulders with attorneys from many areas of the “international practice” and participate in the work that they do. The firm gives interns the opportunity to work under a mentor in one or two areas of practice. In the corporate area I learned about the process of setting up and maintaining a business presence in Mexico. I was able to help fill out corporate documents and reports to the government and see how corporations and other business entities are organized in Mexico. I worked with several different associates in the corporate area and saw contract work, international investment, government permits, anti-trust, etc. Later in the foreign commerce practice area I did research on customs valuations and on a business the firm is courting. I learned about the importance of classifying imported products correctly to avoid fines and pay the lowest in customs possible.
During my time at SWEAT I had the opportunity to work several different projects. The work provided me with a better understanding of cross-cultural legal paradigms and how to construct legal arguments that appeal to a wider array of cultures and international legal theories. One project on which I had the pleasure of working placed me on a working group for The Committee on Gender Equality (CGE), a Chapter 9 instrument of the South African Constitution. When the CGE announced support for SWEAT’s policy on sex work in South Africa there were numerous conservative activist organizations that wrote papers condemning the CGE and demanding a reversal of the policy. I was tasked with fact checking these rebuttal papers and providing the CGE’s Working Group on Sex Work with the facts relevant to sex work in South Africa. The international law skills that I developed at S.J. Quinney were particularly adept for this task, and although it was necessary for me to gain a new understanding of law in order to determine what was relevant to the South African discussion, the education and training I received from the faculty of the Center for Global Justice ensured that I was capable of gaining that understanding.
Gage is profiled in the first 2:15 minutes of this YouTube promotional video from the Volunteer Adventure Corps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrdPmoWUr_E.
I had the opportunity to better understand the legal landscape in Moscow by meeting with attorneys and researching laws from the US and Russia and how they impact business and the practice of international law in Moscow. Some of my early research dealt with Russian anti-corruption laws and their effect on international businesses that want to come into Russia. Later in the internship I worked on an enormous distribution matrix involving cross border movement of goods, establishing foreign legal entities from various nation-states, direct sells platforms, and legal issues regarding accounting, taxes, customs and compliance issues. I researched new and updated laws on customs, taxes, and foreign investment to make sure our clients were informed concerning the most recent changes and how these changes might impact business decisions.
During my internship, I worked in the Finance, Dispute, and Corporate departments that are common at most international firms. I was also given a workload of 8-10 hours per day that is typical of new associates. While in the corporate team I performed due diligence of large-scale business acquisitions, drafted and edited pitches for multimillion-dollar mergers, and participated in other various document review. In the Finance department I drafted, reviewed, and edited offering memorandum of a billion dollar investment fund and wrote a guidance note for a client on the advantages and disadvantages of Wakalah or Islamic agency relationships. In the Disputes department I drafted several guidance notes regarding laws in the GCC, reviewed multimillion dollar sales and services contracts for errors, edited and drafted memorandum in Arabic for a Bahrain court filing, and met with clients to discuss their current cases. My Arabic language skills also allowed me to uniquely contribute in each department allowed by translating multiple court documents from English to Arabic or vice versa, reviewing Arabic documents, and communicating with Arabic attorneys. Griffin’s blog during the internship.
Julia Chamberlin, 3L, International Clinic, Summer – Fall 2012
Placement: International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, Netherlands
Julia was assigned to the complex war crimes case Prosecutor v. Ratko Mladic. She prepared witnesses for trial by examining their past testimony and statements and logging key names of victims and perpetrators. She also worked on a Proof of Death project that attempts to identify victims in order to add their names to the indictment list. Supervising faculty: Wayne McCormack
Bo Chen, 3L, Arranged Clinic, Summer 2012
Placement: Jones Day, Beijing, China
This was Bo’s second international placement; the summer following his 1L year Bo did an internship with Baker & McKenzie in Beijing. During the internship, Bo researched corporate law issues, drafted service agreements, and participated in several trademark infringement investigations. Bo also prepared memos for the Mergers & Acquisitions group, one of his areas of interest. Bo says that his internships have helped him to understand the Chinese legal system and to recognize how to do his work in connection with government agencies. Bo plans to return to China following graduation. Supervising faculty: Christian Johnson
Stephen Foxley, 3L, New Ventures Clinic, 2011-2012
Current Non-Clinical Placement: Lassonde Social Entrepreneurship Center
Stephen worked on the pilot project for the University of Utah’s just-announced Lassonde Social Entrepreneurship Center. As part of this project Stephen travelled to Ghana last summer to develop the mobile banking strategy for Opportunity International, a not-for-profit microfinance institution. He is now developing a multi-disciplinary study that will measure the socioeconomic impacts of private education finance in that country.
Stephen’s earlier placement through the New Venture Clinic—at the Lassonde New Venture Development Center—led to his current funded position at the Social Entrepreneurship Center.
Zoraya Gappmaier, 3L, Civil Clinic, Summer 2012
Placement: Notary Office, Bucaramanga, Colombia
Zoraya arranged this placement with help from a professor in her undergraduate studies. The placement fit within the context of a Civil Clinic because of the intensive client interactions that Zoraya had while working on a wide range of civil legal issues. She prepared by studying books her supervisor sent her on Colombian law and brushing up on her Spanish! In Colombia, the notary is a private all-service law office that specializes in civil law. Legal issues include family law, estate planning, social security, property law, and business law. Notaries even register new-born babies and children in hospitals and clinics! Zoraya’s supervisor provided a broad experience for her so that she would understand the cultural significance of notaries in Colombia, a country that suffers from an endemic of fraud and government corruption. The existence of notarized documents and contracts provides substantial protection because forging notarized documents is a constitutional crime that could result in prison and fines. Supervising faculty: Linda F. Smith
Gage Hansen, 2L, International Clinic, Summer 2012
Placement: Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center, New Haven, Connecticut
Gage was assigned to work on the Apostates project, which documents abuses by the Iranian government under Sharia law. The project included reviews of alleged incidents of the Iranian government to intimidate, arrest, torture, and /or kill citizens because of their conversion away from Islam. Gage reviewed relevant law and built a database of public records compiled through research of alleged abuses, finishing with a legal analysis of the results. Supervising faculty: Wayne McCormack
Chris is assigned to an organization focused on human rights. His work has included researching various South African laws and providing commentary on South African bill proposals. Shortly before Chris arrived in Johannesburg, Marikana miners went on strike to protest low wages. They were fired upon, resulting in 34 deaths and many more injuries. Since his arrival, Chris has worked on human rights issues surrounding the massacre, including field work. Chris has also researched issues involving gender equality, including a case regarding how the poor sanitation condition of some schools has an adverse effect on girl learners. Supervising faculty: Hinckley Institute of Politics and Erika George
Andreo worked in the legal department of an agency whose mission is to promote Serbia as a location for foreign investment and a market from which to source goods. His duties included assisting investors by reviewing contracts, preparing informational packets, and addressing issues surrounding business registration, licenses, permits, and other legal documentation. He also assisted investment specialists in maintaining the investor and exporter databases. To complete these tasks, Andreo researched potential FDI laws in other countries and international trade agreements. The results had to be presented in language that an investor could understand without legalese. Andreo also attended meetings and worked directly with clients as part of the investment team. Supervising faculty: Erika George
Amy Powers, 3L, Hinckley International Clinic, Summer 2012
Placement: South African Human Rights Commission, Cape Town S. Africa
Last summer Amy became the first law student to participate in the graduate international internship program of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. In her role as an international research associate, Amy worked on legislation concerning domestic law, torture, and disability rights and prepared a report on sex trafficking. She also attended parliamentary hearings and human rights events. Supervising faculty: Hinckley Institute of Politics