Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

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twenty
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:42 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
girlmonster wrote:Worldtraveler, I read where you mentioned that you received a dual degree. My ultimate career goal is to work for an NGO, ideally in research/advocacy. Do you think a dual degree would confer an advantage? If so, what dual degree program do you think I should pursue (e.g., JD with a MIA, MPA, MA in Middle Eastern Studies, etc.)?


It depends what you want to do, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It's certainly helpful and I'm glad I did it but man it was a pain.

The main benefits of a dual degree are:
one more summer of experience and to make connections
access to fellowships for grad students (might be cheaper)
better connections to profs involved in related issues like development/politics
better LOR writers because grad students know faculty better
courses on related issues (econ, theory courses)
opportunity for language study
doing a thesis that might get published/give you research experience
more likely to get teaching experience, which might prove beneficial
you can mess with 1Ls and tell them you failed your first semester so had to repeat it, hence the 4th year.
eligibility for certain jobs that want MAs and not JDs

Downsides:
less flexibility. you can't study abroad or intern a semester. might not get to take every course you want
you will be BUSY fitting a 5 year program into 4 years. may prevent you from interning and doing everything you want to do. you also might go crazy.
might cost more
it's a year of your life when you could be starting your career
you will see people in the law school and they will say WTF are you still doing here.
you will barely remember your 1L curriculum when you take the bar
Look at all the posts about 3LOL and having no work. that will not be you. You will not have 5 day weekends or blow off class for months.
grad students are really fucking pedantic and annoying, especially in the humanities/soc sci.


This is an excellent pro/con list.

The one thing it's probably worth pointing out for anyone interested is that it is FAR easier to get good grades in hum./ss. graduate programs (as a general rule) than in law school. I think the curve at Georgetown is A- for most graduate programs.

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BlueLotus
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:50 pm

twenty wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
girlmonster wrote:Worldtraveler, I read where you mentioned that you received a dual degree. My ultimate career goal is to work for an NGO, ideally in research/advocacy. Do you think a dual degree would confer an advantage? If so, what dual degree program do you think I should pursue (e.g., JD with a MIA, MPA, MA in Middle Eastern Studies, etc.)?


It depends what you want to do, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It's certainly helpful and I'm glad I did it but man it was a pain.

The main benefits of a dual degree are:
one more summer of experience and to make connections
access to fellowships for grad students (might be cheaper)
better connections to profs involved in related issues like development/politics
better LOR writers because grad students know faculty better
courses on related issues (econ, theory courses)
opportunity for language study
doing a thesis that might get published/give you research experience
more likely to get teaching experience, which might prove beneficial
you can mess with 1Ls and tell them you failed your first semester so had to repeat it, hence the 4th year.
eligibility for certain jobs that want MAs and not JDs

Downsides:
less flexibility. you can't study abroad or intern a semester. might not get to take every course you want
you will be BUSY fitting a 5 year program into 4 years. may prevent you from interning and doing everything you want to do. you also might go crazy.
might cost more
it's a year of your life when you could be starting your career
you will see people in the law school and they will say WTF are you still doing here.
you will barely remember your 1L curriculum when you take the bar
Look at all the posts about 3LOL and having no work. that will not be you. You will not have 5 day weekends or blow off class for months.
grad students are really fucking pedantic and annoying, especially in the humanities/soc sci.


This is an excellent pro/con list.

The one thing it's probably worth pointing out for anyone interested is that it is FAR easier to get good grades in hum./ss. graduate programs (as a general rule) than in law school. I think the curve at Georgetown is A- for most graduate programs.


at some schools, courses taken outside the lawl school end up on your transcript, but are not calculated into your GPA.

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twenty
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:54 pm

I would imagine most/all law schools do not allow you to calculate in graduate classes to your law school GPA. My only point being your "fundamentals" work you have in graduate school will not be like 1L over again -- you won't be getting 5 day weekends like with 3LOL, but it will still be a walk in the park compared to 1L.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:15 pm

twenty wrote:I would imagine most/all law schools do not allow you to calculate in graduate classes to your law school GPA. My only point being your "fundamentals" work you have in graduate school will not be like 1L over again -- you won't be getting 5 day weekends like with 3LOL, but it will still be a walk in the park compared to 1L.


Sort of. The problem is that you have so many classes to fit in that you will be working your butt off. One semester I wrote 5 thirty page papers.

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BlueLotus
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:17 pm

girlmonster wrote:Thank you, worldtraveler and BlueLotus! Imma calm down on the super-specific and repetitive questions.


No prob, keep the ?s coming!

By the way, since you're focusing on in Middle East policy, you may be interested in this new-ish org, which was interviewing at EJW CCF in D.C. last fall; they offer summer fellowships abroad. 3 of the fellows are from CLS:
--LinkRemoved--

On a side note, absolutely attend EJW CCF whether you get a formal interview or not--table talks can be a valuable way to make connections and I know a TLS'er who got her PD jerb thru table talks alone. There were not many other IHR orgs there though; mostly PD and domestic civil legal aid.

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girlmonster
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby girlmonster » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:17 am

worldtraveler wrote:It depends what you want to do, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It's certainly helpful and I'm glad I did it but man it was a pain.


This list is exactly what I needed to see, so thank you for making it. The main advantages that have been tempting me are the language study opportunities and tighter connections with other profs in related to the field. Now that those are validated, I'm most likely going to apply for the dual degree. But first, I'm going to check with my school about their FLAS availability for the language I want to study.

BlueLotus wrote:By the way, since you're focusing on in Middle East policy, you may be interested in this new-ish org, which was interviewing at EJW CCF in D.C. last fall; they offer summer fellowships abroad. 3 of the fellows are from CLS:
--LinkRemoved--

On a side note, absolutely attend EJW CCF whether you get a formal interview or not--table talks can be a valuable way to make connections and I know a TLS'er who got her PD jerb thru table talks alone. There were not many other IHR orgs there though; mostly PD and domestic civil legal aid.


Thanks for the org recommendation! I actually hadn't heard of that organization before (which really makes me feel like I've become out of touch, because I'm Palestinian myself), so I'm definitely going to cyber-stalk them before table-stalking them at EJW CCF. Do you think it's worth attending my 1L year?

Also, the descriptions of the fellows on the Palestine Works site are unbelievably impressive. :shock:

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BlueLotus
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:29 am

girlmonster wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:It depends what you want to do, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It's certainly helpful and I'm glad I did it but man it was a pain.


This list is exactly what I needed to see, so thank you for making it. The main advantages that have been tempting me are the language study opportunities and tighter connections with other profs in related to the field. Now that those are validated, I'm most likely going to apply for the dual degree. But first, I'm going to check with my school about their FLAS availability for the language I want to study.

BlueLotus wrote:By the way, since you're focusing on in Middle East policy, you may be interested in this new-ish org, which was interviewing at EJW CCF in D.C. last fall; they offer summer fellowships abroad. 3 of the fellows are from CLS:
--LinkRemoved--

On a side note, absolutely attend EJW CCF whether you get a formal interview or not--table talks can be a valuable way to make connections and I know a TLS'er who got her PD jerb thru table talks alone. There were not many other IHR orgs there though; mostly PD and domestic civil legal aid.


Thanks for the org recommendation! I actually hadn't heard of that organization before (which really makes me feel like I've become out of touch, because I'm Palestinian myself), so I'm definitely going to cyber-stalk them before table-stalking them at EJW CCF. Do you think it's worth attending my 1L year?

Also, the descriptions of the fellows on the Palestine Works site are unbelievably impressive. :shock:


Yes, I would recommend attending as 1L--I wish I did. 1Ls can only do table talks, as NALP forbids them from applying to jerbs until December 1. It's a good way of putting yourself on employers' radars. Treat the table talk as if it were an interview--suit up, bring your resume, and be prepared with 2-3 thoughtful ?s to ask. You seem like a strong candidate based on what you've told us about your background!

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:32 am

girlmonster wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:It depends what you want to do, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It's certainly helpful and I'm glad I did it but man it was a pain.


This list is exactly what I needed to see, so thank you for making it. The main advantages that have been tempting me are the language study opportunities and tighter connections with other profs in related to the field. Now that those are validated, I'm most likely going to apply for the dual degree. But first, I'm going to check with my school about their FLAS availability for the language I want to study.

BlueLotus wrote:By the way, since you're focusing on in Middle East policy, you may be interested in this new-ish org, which was interviewing at EJW CCF in D.C. last fall; they offer summer fellowships abroad. 3 of the fellows are from CLS:
--LinkRemoved--



On a side note, absolutely attend EJW CCF whether you get a formal interview or not--table talks can be a valuable way to make connections and I know a TLS'er who got her PD jerb thru table talks alone. There were not many other IHR orgs there though; mostly PD and domestic civil legal aid.


Thanks for the org recommendation! I actually hadn't heard of that organization before (which really makes me feel like I've become out of touch, because I'm Palestinian myself), so I'm definitely going to cyber-stalk them before table-stalking them at EJW CCF. Do you think it's worth attending my 1L year?

Also, the descriptions of the fellows on the Palestine Works site are unbelievably impressive. :shock:


What kind of Middle East human rights issues are you interested in? Any particular countries/regions?

There are actually quite a few jobs working on ME issues but it's also a competitive field since lots of government strivers think becoming a ME expert is their path to power, or something.

I'm also working on projects in Yemen and Afghanistan right now, so if you want to spend a summer trying not to die let me know.

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girlmonster
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby girlmonster » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:10 pm

worldtraveler wrote:What kind of Middle East human rights issues are you interested in? Any particular countries/regions?

There are actually quite a few jobs working on ME issues but it's also a competitive field since lots of government strivers think becoming a ME expert is their path to power, or something.

I'm also working on projects in Yemen and Afghanistan right now, so if you want to spend a summer trying not to die let me know.


"A summer trying not to die" sounds wonderful. Seriously. My main interests are the Levant and Egypt, but I think that's just because those countries are what I'm most familiar with. Unfortunately, it seems the prevalence of "government strivers" (what an excellent description) is really heightened in those areas. Obviously those countries (and the region as a whole) implicate a host of civil and political rights concerns, but in terms of specific interest, I'm especially drawn to assisting refugees. I'm also highly interested in mental health concerns among refugees and others who have experienced human rights abuses, but I realize that's a much more nascent field and doesn't have as much structure and support.

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guano
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby guano » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:20 pm

I don't know if it matters, but, the Supreme Court of South Africa takes on a number of foreign law clerks every year.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:28 pm

girlmonster wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:What kind of Middle East human rights issues are you interested in? Any particular countries/regions?

There are actually quite a few jobs working on ME issues but it's also a competitive field since lots of government strivers think becoming a ME expert is their path to power, or something.

I'm also working on projects in Yemen and Afghanistan right now, so if you want to spend a summer trying not to die let me know.


"A summer trying not to die" sounds wonderful. Seriously. My main interests are the Levant and Egypt, but I think that's just because those countries are what I'm most familiar with. Unfortunately, it seems the prevalence of "government strivers" (what an excellent description) is really heightened in those areas. Obviously those countries (and the region as a whole) implicate a host of civil and political rights concerns, but in terms of specific interest, I'm especially drawn to assisting refugees. I'm also highly interested in mental health concerns among refugees and others who have experienced human rights abuses, but I realize that's a much more nascent field and doesn't have as much structure and support.


There are tons of options to do refugee law. Actually, among IHR jobs refugee law is probably the easiest one to work in because the need never goes away and it's so closely related to immigration law that there really isn't any doubt as to whether it really exists.

In Cairo I know of two organizations that do refugee work: St. Andrews and AMERA. Both did have summer programs at one time; I don't know about now. St. Andrews was working with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, which is at most law schools now. I don't know if they're still affiliated or not. They seem incredibly disorganized, which is not uncommon.

In Israel there are a lot of refugee organizations as well, whose funding and security situation is much more secure. Some of them post opportunities on PSJD.org occasionally.

Jordan also has about a million NGOs, almost all of which don't have a formal intern program but if you track down an email address and harass them, they will take you as an intern.

UNHCR also takes interns, although getting a field office placement generally requires contacting that direct office, and some specific person at that office. Harassing professors and people in immigration non-profits is generally the best way to find one. I did that for the Nairobi office and it took about 4 months of bothering people to set it all up.

All of the Arabic speaking refugees are also flooding into Turkey, and there are organizations in Turkey, especially Istanbul, with opportunities.

The most interesting would be if you find a way to work in Morocco or Mauritania on Western Sahara issues which would give you great experience but be a giant pain to try and organize, and you would likely have to lie on a visa application to do it.

During law school I went with the strategy of always doing field work and showing that I didn't want to sit in an office and really wanted to fully understand human rights problems. I operated with the idea that if I worked in rough conditions, it would send the message that I could work anywhere and in any situation without problems, and that strategy worked. It obviously has its drawbacks in terms of personal safety though and working in the field can give you less contacts and different legal skills than with an organization in NY or DC.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby girlmonster » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:51 pm

I... I love you. I actually want to do field work throughout my career; that's what draws me to the field (although of course there's also going to be a lot of sitting on my ass, reading, and writing in the future). I'm taking all of your recommendations to heart. I had never considered Turkey or the Western Sahara before, and actually having a list of organizations and a strategy is an immeasurable help. I'm definitely going to be re-reading your post(s) several times over the next few years.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:40 pm

Anyone here do a Boren Fellowship? Thinking of doing one for Hindi.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby quijotesca1011 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:38 pm

Last edited by quijotesca1011 on Sat May 03, 2014 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:33 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Anyone here do a Boren Fellowship? Thinking of doing one for Hindi.


I did a Boren Scholarship as an undergrad, but not the graduate one.

The downside to those is you have to commit to a year of federal service, but that isn't a problem if you might want to work for the gov in the future anyway.

Is Hindi on the Critical Language Initiative? That one also gives you money to study languages but doesn't give you the service obligation.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:17 pm

Myself wrote:I'm actually looking to do international animal sports law. Can someone help me out here?

User has been warned for trolling a useful on-topic thread.



I work in BIG DRESSAGE LAW, ask me anything.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:17 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone here do a Boren Fellowship? Thinking of doing one for Hindi.


I did a Boren Scholarship as an undergrad, but not the graduate one.

The downside to those is you have to commit to a year of federal service, but that isn't a problem if you might want to work for the gov in the future anyway.

Is Hindi on the Critical Language Initiative? That one also gives you money to study languages but doesn't give you the service obligation.


Hindi is one of the qualifying languages. However, I would say it's a bad idea to turn down the summer legal aid internship I already accepted for a chance to learn a language that I may not even use on the jerb. And from what I gather from the website, you have to be enrolled in school to be eligible so I don't think I'd have a chance to ever do CLI. :|

I would say I am currently at an intermediate level, so hopefully some sort of software program can help get me up to advanced/fluent!

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:59 pm

Does Peace Corps offer legal positions? The enviro prof at my school taught at an Ethiopian law school in Addis Ababa as a PCV, but that was way back in '68-'70.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:21 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Does Peace Corps offer legal positions? The enviro prof at my school taught at an Ethiopian law school in Addis Ababa as a PCV, but that was way back in '68-'70.


As far as I know, they do not.

But a lot of universities in developing countries recruit Fulbright Scholars for their law schools, and unlike most Fulbright Scholars you don't have to have tons of law teaching experience to get the position. You can also do a regular Fulbright student one and teach at a university.

And anyone wanting to do more work with international governments or human rights policy needs to check out the Fulbright Clinton Fellowship. It's shockingly not very competitive for some of the countries.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby koalacity » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:47 pm

worldtraveler, I just wanted to thank you for all of the incredibly helpful and specific information you've provided ITT and in the general PI one.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby questionsandanswers » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:29 am

Thank you for this thread! It's very informative.
I have a question - when doing public int'l law (so far i'm interested in statebuilding, development, that kind of stuff - I'm an IR major) in a specific part of the world, do you find that having a U.S. law degree is better than having a law degree from a school in that particular region? I'm deciding between my home country and the U.S. atm and I can't figure out the answer.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:20 am

questionsandanswers wrote:Thank you for this thread! It's very informative.
I have a question - when doing public int'l law (so far i'm interested in statebuilding, development, that kind of stuff - I'm an IR major) in a specific part of the world, do you find that having a U.S. law degree is better than having a law degree from a school in that particular region? I'm deciding between my home country and the U.S. atm and I can't figure out the answer.


Depends on the country and what you want to do. This question is really too vague to answer.

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby queequeg » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:52 pm

Beyond generally needing to do way more research about this, I have a fairly narrow question about merits. I'm French-fluent, interested in West African issues, but nervous about pigeonholing myself and while I have good international experience, including time spent living in Africa, its not as professionally and single-mindedly oriented around development issues as it might be. It also hasn't left me with a great network of contacts. I might be able to get NYU's IILJ scholarship which can include a (domestic) LLM and where faculty work with you a lot to push you towards publishing as a student. But I'm also really interested in Columbia's program with the University of Paris, where you get two years in France and a French LLM. Does anyone have a sense of which of these two programs would give me more of an edge in working in, say, public international law? (Debt load is another question- if Columbia doesn't offer no money then it'd be crazy to turn down the IILJ, but for purposes of this question pretend debt is equal for each). I'm a bit put off because everyone at Columbia seems surprised when I express my interest in studying in France, but it seems like an unparalleled opportunity for getting involved in European and international institutions.

Also I've heard about tax bombs going off at the end of your 10 years in PI because of forgiven debt. Can anyone elucidate me about this?

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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:00 pm

I can't speak to your aspirations, but the "tax bomb" reference is this: There are 2 income-based repayment plans available for US federal student loans, which cap your payments at a certain percentage of your income, and then after either 20 years or 25 years of payments (depending on the plan), if your loans aren't paid off, whatever else you owe is forgiven. However, you have to pay tax on the amount that's forgiven, as if it's income, which people refer to as the tax bomb. However, if you work in the public sector, you can get the remainder of your student loans forgiven after 10 years of payments (Public Service Loan Forgiveness), and there's no tax bomb - you're not taxed on the amount that's forgiven.

Short answer: if you get your loans forgiven through PSLF, you don't need to worry about a tax bomb.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:45 pm

queequeg wrote:Beyond generally needing to do way more research about this, I have a fairly narrow question about merits. I'm French-fluent, interested in West African issues, but nervous about pigeonholing myself and while I have good international experience, including time spent living in Africa, its not as professionally and single-mindedly oriented around development issues as it might be. It also hasn't left me with a great network of contacts. I might be able to get NYU's IILJ scholarship which can include a (domestic) LLM and where faculty work with you a lot to push you towards publishing as a student. But I'm also really interested in Columbia's program with the University of Paris, where you get two years in France and a French LLM. Does anyone have a sense of which of these two programs would give me more of an edge in working in, say, public international law? (Debt load is another question- if Columbia doesn't offer no money then it'd be crazy to turn down the IILJ, but for purposes of this question pretend debt is equal for each). I'm a bit put off because everyone at Columbia seems surprised when I express my interest in studying in France, but it seems like an unparalleled opportunity for getting involved in European and international institutions.

Also I've heard about tax bombs going off at the end of your 10 years in PI because of forgiven debt. Can anyone elucidate me about this?


Your outcomes from either program would probably be similar. I would say take whichever one is cheaper or that you like better.




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