International Legal Studies
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STUDIES PROGRAM
Vanderbilt’s International Legal Studies Program prepares students to practice law in a global environment through substantive coursework, integrated experiential learning, extensive externship opportunities, and opportunities to work on the Journal of Transnational Law and with student organizations. The program offers an array of elective courses addressing topics in international law as well as opportunities to gain practical experience through externships and in Vanderbilt’s well-regarded International Law Practice Lab. Its core faculty includes respected scholars with expertise in key areas of international law. The program also brings top legal practitioners and scholars to Vanderbilt each year to teach short courses and deliver lectures. Prepare to Practice Law in a Global Environment Students in the International Legal Studies Program may choose among more than 25 elective courses addressing the full spectrum of 21st century international legal issues, including corporate, commercial and trade law; intellectual property law; law and regulations governing banking, securities and investment; comparative constitutional law; environmental law; criminal law; human rights; litigation; foreign relations; counterterrorism; European Union law; and international arbitration. Short courses on special topics are offered each year. Students also participate in small, faculty-led reading groups on highly specialized issues. Gain Concrete Experience in the International Law Practice Lab Students in Vanderbilt’s innovative Practice Lab do substantive legal work under the direction of Professor Michael Newton for such clients as the United Nations; the U.S. Departments of State, Homeland Security and Defense; the governments of Afghanistan, Kosovo, Israel and Uganda; the Sierra Leone Special Court; and the International Criminal Court. They have also supported domestic attorneys and judges in Kenya, Peru, Russia,
Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Vanderbilt students drafted guidance for U.N. peacekeepers to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation and supported the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime in developing a case digest for use by prosecutors investigating human trafficking. Practice Lab work has supported terrorist prosecutions and helped litigate human rights cases on behalf of the American Bar Association’s Justice Defenders Program. In 2015 and 2016, Practice Lab students are supported the Commission for International Justice and Accountability’s investigation of atrocities in Syria and advising the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Criminal Advisory Service.
“I began looking more closely at Vanderbilt because of the strength of its International Legal Studies Program. The expertise and knowledge of the faculty is incredible, and the Vanderbilt in Venice summer program allowed me to take more international and comparative law classes than I could during a semester.” RACHEL JOHNSON | Class of 2018 | Raymonde I. Paul Scholar After Vanderbilt in Venice, Rachel spent the remainder of summer 2016 working at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. She is vice president of the International Law Society in 2016–17.
International Legal Studies Faculty
Scholarships and Stipends Vanderbilt offers scholarships for students interested in studying international law as well as financial support for summer and semester externships. Admitted applicants who apply for the Raymonde I. Paul Scholarship in International Legal Studies are considered during the scholarship awarding process. Stipends to help students pursue externships are funded by the Ones W. Polk II International Studies Stipend and by grants from Vanderbilt’s Summer Stipend Program and the Nichols Humanitarian Fund. The International Student Travel Fund supports student travel for research, conferences and competition. Pursue an Externship in International Law Vanderbilt’s International Legal Studies Program enables students to gain valuable experience working with legal professions at international institutions, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. During 2015 and 2016, Vanderbilt Law students worked at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland; the World Intellectual Property Organization, also in Geneva; the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands; the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability in Brussels, Belgium; the Irish Center for Human Rights in Galway; 9 Bedford Row, a criminal litigation firm in London; and with other organizations. The International Legal Studies website lists many more externships where students have served in recent years.
After attending Vanderbilt in Venice, Meg Fowler ’18 spent the second half of her summer working in the Peace Palace in The Hague for the International Bar AssociationInternational Criminal Court Project.
Ingrid Brunk Wuerth directs the
Ganesh Sitaraman’s research
International Legal Studies Program. She is a widely published expert on foreign affairs, war powers, international law and comparative constitutional law. She is a member of the American Law Institute and of the State Department Advisory Committee on International Law.
addresses foreign relations law, international law, the separation of powers and institutional design. In summer 2009, he was a research fellow at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Daniel Gervais focuses on Program director Ingrid Wuerth, who teaches Foreign Affairs and Public International Law, is currently serving as a Reporter for the fourth Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. She is a member of the American Law Institute and the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on Public International Law.
Margaret Artz ’13 cites her International Arbitration course through Vanderbilt in Venice as helping her secure a summer position with the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. She accepted a permanent position with the firm after graduation and was on leave during 2015-16 serving as a law clerk to Judge Jane B. Stranch ’78 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
international intellectual property law, having spent 10 years researching and addressing policy issues on behalf of the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, and the Copyright Clearance Center.
Larry May is a political philosopher who has written on conceptual issues in collective and shared responsibility, normative issues in international criminal law, professional ethics, and the Just War tradition.
Kevin Stack writes on administrative law, regulation, separation of powers, presidential powers, European Union administrative law, and the theoretical foundations of public law. He was recognized with the ABA’s 2013 Annual Scholarship Award for the best published work in administrative law for his Michigan Law Review article, “Interpreting Regulations.”
Yesha Yadav’s research interests lie in the area of international financial and securities regulation. Before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty, she was legal counsel with the World Bank in its finance, private-sector development and infrastructure unit.
Timothy Meyer’s current research examines the interaction of international and local rules on energy subsidies, the role of science in international lawmaking, the relationship between international energy institutions and climate change institutions, the codification of customary international law, and the creation of non-binding “soft law” obligations rather than binding treaty obligations.
Learn more about the International Legal Studies Program.
Michael A. Newton is an expert on
Charlie Trumbull ’06 completed an assignment as the U.S. State Department’s Acting Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure in April 2016. Charlie joined the State Department, where he is an attorney adviser, in 2008, after clerking on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
accountability and conduct of hostilities issues. He developed and teaches Vanderbilt’s innovative International Law Practice Lab, and develops externships and other educational opportunities for students interested in international legal issues. Before entering the academy, he served in the U.S. State Department in the Office of War Crimes.
Professor Michael Newton co-edited a book of essays, Prosecuting Maritime Piracy, released in 2015 by the Cambridge University Press.
The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, published by Vanderbilt Law students since 1967, ranked fifth among all specialty law journals in the Washington & Lee 2007-14 ranking of all student-edited law journals.
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