International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

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clay7676
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International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby clay7676 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:34 am

My ultimate, dream career would be working for the International Court of Justice. More Realistically, even though I heard it is very competitive field, I would like to work for an NGO, or some type of IO (UN, EU, etc, etc). I am fluent in Spanish and English which could help me extensively with inter-America organizations. I love to travel and explore and dealing with treaties, immigration, international business law, boundary disputes, human trafficking, human rights, democracy promotion, etc. Anyway, two questions..

1. Basically, which of the two schools would be best recommended for this somewhat open-ended career in "international law"? Or, would another be more appealing to you all? I don't have my LSAT scores yet, but for hypothetical purposes let's say they are 165-172 and GPA is 3.85.
2. How difficult, in reality, is this field and are the opportunities opening up with the forever expanding globalization that is undeniably happening? More specific, to my interest in travel and inter-America prospects.

THANKS.

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jbagelboy
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:35 am

inb4 "get an LSAT" and "lolwut international law dumbass"

I guess long story short, I would go where you have minimum debt so you can keep your options open since all of these goals are quite elusive -- unless you get HYS (possible with a 3.8+), in which case a couple of the many "practice areas" you suggested may become at least remotely possible. Georgetown has a full tuition Scholars program for PI interested students; you could apply and see if it works out.

Understand that "international business law" and "human rights" will be mutually exclusive when padding your resume. Int'l business means one of two things: 1) working at the foreign office of a US or anglo firm, which is a large firm track requiring competitive lateral w/ specialization, or 2) working as in-house counsel for a company with a lot of foreign activity, which would be after working for a large firm and probably prior industry experience required/recommended. This work is also incredible tiresome and involves far less pomp than it sounds -- jetlag blows, and if you've done the international work trip thing as I have, you get over it pretty quickly.

Real PI positions/employers will be deterred if you show a preponderance for the firm work stated above. So cross some stuff off your list. Immigration rights law would be domestic in nature, and it would involve either prosecuting poor latino's and trying to deport them, or defending poor latino's from deportation (either as a PD or as pro bono).. again, no debt would be a good place to start for this.

"International Human Rights" is a thing, but its mostly just a publicity stunt for prestigious law schools who can claim to send their students to externships abroad for a summer working on "human rights"; there are not real jobs in this field though barring a few niche positions for Yale grads.

Also attorneys don't work on "treaties", they are the purview of the US Senate and the State Department. What do you think "boundary disputes" and "democracy promotion" are? Again, these are not legal fields and they do not require attorneys (unless you are talking about shitboomer politicians who happen to have JD's).

Most of the work you listed is performed by MBA's, MPP's, or people working at various levels in federal agencies or the executive. Are you sure a Juris Doctor degree is what you are looking for?

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:40 am

jbagelboy wrote:inb4 "get an LSAT" and "lolwut international law dumbass"

Also attorneys don't work on "treaties", they are the purview of the US Senate and the State Department. What do you think "boundary disputes" and "democracy promotion" are? Again, these are not legal fields and they do not require attorneys (unless you are talking about shitboomer politicians who happen to have JD's).


JAG officers sometimes work on this kind of thing; drafting SOFA agreements with foreign governments so we can base troops in their territory, etc. It's the kind of thing, though, that people might get to do here and there very late in their career.

As you mentioned, I think the only type of "international" law people can readily break into is probably immigration law.

Redfactor
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby Redfactor » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:36 am

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Last edited by Redfactor on Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WhatDidIGetMyselfN2
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby WhatDidIGetMyselfN2 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:20 am

1) Many people don't believe international law exists, and you will get used to that. That being said, when you say you want a career in international law, that doesn't communicate much. It looks like you're trying to identify some particular areas of interest, so that's good, but the areas you've named are a little all over the map.

2) I would encourage you to look beyond just UVA and GULC. As you haven't taken the LSAT yet, you should consider a few schools beyond the T14. I hope you'll do well, but in the event that you do not, you should have a few other schools in mind that have active international programming and curriculum. If you're looking at GULC and UVA, maybe you could consider a few other DC area schools.

3) Regardless of what schools you're considering, take some time to look through the courses offered at each. Most schools allow you to sort classes by subject area, and if you sort by or search for a key term like "international" or "foreign," you should have the opportunity to see a) substantively what the school offers and b) how much of it they're really offering in any given semester. If you're truly interested in focusing on international law, you won't want to go to a school that offers two international-related courses each semester. Also, I think this would be a great opportunity for you to see what it means to study international law.

4) You'll find that international law is generally split into Private International Law and Public International Law. Issues such as human rights and boundary disputes are common subjects of Public International Law. International business could mean many things, but it's almost certainly all traditionally considered Private International Law. The two are not always mutually exclusive. That is a common view, and it is true many who have dedicated their lives to human rights would wonder why you've handed them a resume full of corporate work. But not all Public International Law jobs are the same, and that is something easily overlooked by those who have no sincere interest in or knowledge about international law. You could work anywhere on the spectrum from grassroots, on the ground, getting your hands dirty, making no money, and working with victims face-to-face to working at a policy level. Working at the policy level - and, in the international law context, this does not necessarily mean the US Government - would not be impossible after working for a BigLaw firm for a few years. In fact, it's common.

5) Here are some things to research.

- International Arbitration. This area is growing, and it's growing quickly. Arbitration is used in both Private and Public International Law, and there are many firms who do both. Check out Arnold & Porter, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Allen & Overy, Cleary Gottlieb, and Linklaters, among others. You will find many firms list "International Law" as a practice area, and a few list "Public International Law" (A&P, for example). Some firms are particularly strong in sovereign representation (Public), if that's what you're after. Others are particularly experienced in commercial disputes (primarily Private, but there are often state-state disputes). Most are well versed in investor-state disputes which implicate bilateral investment treaties (Public and Private). Columbia is all over this field.

- Corporate Social Responsibility. If you really want to see someone who is working to bring Public and Private together, do a little research on John Ruggie at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was appointed to a special post at the UN and created a framework for CSR that was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly. His goal is to define the responsibilities of states, multinational corporations, and individuals in protecting human rights, communities, and the environment. Oh, by the way, John Ruggie is on the Board for Foley Hoag. Foley Hoag is a firm that punches in above its weight out of its Boston HQ. It's one of the few firms I know of that advertises CSR as an actual practice area. Along the same lines, do some research on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Many firms have this as a specific practice area, but almost all of them are defending corporations. Keep that in mind.

- If you're genuinely interested in treaties, there are a number of attorneys that work at the State Department, and their job is to interpret proposed treaties, report their interpretations to the Senate, and develop domestic implementation plans for adopted treaties to ensure compliance. There aren't many jobs here. There are, however, firms that are well-known as lobbying outfits. You could look down that road. I'm not sure what you'll find.

- If you're more into the NGO gig, start by checking out the Center for Constitutional Rights and EarthRights International. EarthRights, coincidentally, was co-founded by an UVA Law alumna. Actually, the CCR and EarthRights worked closely together on the recent Kiobel case. I suggest you read about the Kiobel case, which was just decided by the SCOTUS. It will encourage you that there is significant, high-profile, and rewarding international legal work to be done. It's just not very common. Oh, by the way, John Bellinger was highly involved in that case as the former Legal Adviser to the Department of State. John Bellinger is now a Partner at A&P.

Once you've done a little research, sorted out some possible paths, and gotten yourself motivated - go study for the LSAT and then crush it. You won't know which schools to consider until you've got a score in hand. And not a practice score.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:23 am

Wanting to work for the ICJ is the 22-year-old version of "I wanna be an astronaut," and going into international law to do so is like buying a $250k lottery ticket and calling it a life plan.

An international lawyer's job probably looks something more like "We're trying to process a transaction through Bank X in the US, what consequences does that carry under English foreign law?" or "What do we need to do with our model loan agreements to make sure they're compliant with regulations in Bolivia?" That's obviously an oversimplification, but those are the kinds of areas where international law jobs actually exist.

Suggested new rule: Before determining a "dream career", a prospective applicant should find ONE instance of someone holding that position who attended a school they could potentially go to.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:51 am

WhatDidIGetMyselfN2 wrote:1) Many people don't believe international law exists, and you will get used to that. That being said, when you say you want a career in international law, that doesn't communicate much. It looks like you're trying to identify some particular areas of interest, so that's good, but the areas you've named are a little all over the map.

2) I would encourage you to look beyond just UVA and GULC. As you haven't taken the LSAT yet, you should consider a few schools beyond the T14. I hope you'll do well, but in the event that you do not, you should have a few other schools in mind that have active international programming and curriculum. If you're looking at GULC and UVA, maybe you could consider a few other DC area schools.

3) Regardless of what schools you're considering, take some time to look through the courses offered at each. Most schools allow you to sort classes by subject area, and if you sort by or search for a key term like "international" or "foreign," you should have the opportunity to see a) substantively what the school offers and b) how much of it they're really offering in any given semester. If you're truly interested in focusing on international law, you won't want to go to a school that offers two international-related courses each semester. Also, I think this would be a great opportunity for you to see what it means to study international law.

4) You'll find that international law is generally split into Private International Law and Public International Law. Issues such as human rights and boundary disputes are common subjects of Public International Law. International business could mean many things, but it's almost certainly all traditionally considered Private International Law. The two are not always mutually exclusive. That is a common view, and it is true many who have dedicated their lives to human rights would wonder why you've handed them a resume full of corporate work. But not all Public International Law jobs are the same, and that is something easily overlooked by those who have no sincere interest in or knowledge about international law. You could work anywhere on the spectrum from grassroots, on the ground, getting your hands dirty, making no money, and working with victims face-to-face to working at a policy level. Working at the policy level - and, in the international law context, this does not necessarily mean the US Government - would not be impossible after working for a BigLaw firm for a few years. In fact, it's common.

5) Here are some things to research.

- International Arbitration. This area is growing, and it's growing quickly. Arbitration is used in both Private and Public International Law, and there are many firms who do both. Check out Arnold & Porter, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Allen & Overy, Cleary Gottlieb, and Linklaters, among others. You will find many firms list "International Law" as a practice area, and a few list "Public International Law" (A&P, for example). Some firms are particularly strong in sovereign representation (Public), if that's what you're after. Others are particularly experienced in commercial disputes (primarily Private, but there are often state-state disputes). Most are well versed in investor-state disputes which implicate bilateral investment treaties (Public and Private). Columbia is all over this field.

- Corporate Social Responsibility. If you really want to see someone who is working to bring Public and Private together, do a little research on John Ruggie at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was appointed to a special post at the UN and created a framework for CSR that was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly. His goal is to define the responsibilities of states, multinational corporations, and individuals in protecting human rights, communities, and the environment. Oh, by the way, John Ruggie is on the Board for Foley Hoag. Foley Hoag is a firm that punches in above its weight out of its Boston HQ. It's one of the few firms I know of that advertises CSR as an actual practice area. Along the same lines, do some research on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Many firms have this as a specific practice area, but almost all of them are defending corporations. Keep that in mind.

- If you're genuinely interested in treaties, there are a number of attorneys that work at the State Department, and their job is to interpret proposed treaties, report their interpretations to the Senate, and develop domestic implementation plans for adopted treaties to ensure compliance. There aren't many jobs here. There are, however, firms that are well-known as lobbying outfits. You could look down that road. I'm not sure what you'll find.

- If you're more into the NGO gig, start by checking out the Center for Constitutional Rights and EarthRights International. EarthRights, coincidentally, was co-founded by an UVA Law alumna. Actually, the CCR and EarthRights worked closely together on the recent Kiobel case. I suggest you read about the Kiobel case, which was just decided by the SCOTUS. It will encourage you that there is significant, high-profile, and rewarding international legal work to be done. It's just not very common. Oh, by the way, John Bellinger was highly involved in that case as the former Legal Adviser to the Department of State. John Bellinger is now a Partner at A&P.

Once you've done a little research, sorted out some possible paths, and gotten yourself motivated - go study for the LSAT and then crush it. You won't know which schools to consider until you've got a score in hand. And not a practice score.

This is excellent advice.

OP, I would also just highlight the fact that the fields you listed as interests really have nothing to do with one another except that they take place outside the U.S. I would honestly assess what it is you're interested in. It sounds a bit like the main thing you want is that your work takes you abroad. If so, then I'd find another path. Join the Peace Corps or something. Don't go to law school. The primary purpose of a JD is that it lets you practice law in the United States. There are international jobs but they are rare and are not going to fall into your lap; I would imagine they are nearly impossible to get if you don't have more specific interests and qualifications than merely working in some sort of international capacity.

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TheThriller
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby TheThriller » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:46 pm

Uva and Georgetown probably won't get you there. Harvard, Yale and Standford just might everything goes your way.

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clay7676
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby clay7676 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:27 pm

g
Last edited by clay7676 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:49 pm

removed for OP
Last edited by jbagelboy on Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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clay7676
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby clay7676 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:09 pm

g
Last edited by clay7676 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cron1834
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Re: International Law- UVA or Georgetown?

Postby cron1834 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:39 pm

Space Law - Cooley or Florida Coastal? Cooley has the giant alum network, but FC is pretty close to NASA on the Cape. What do you think, guys?




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