why is international law a myth

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IAFG
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:48 am

romothesavior wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:And to be fair, when 0Ls talk about wanting to do "international law"...usually we all know what they mean.
Exactly. When I hear "international law," almost every time it is in reference to some sort of NGO job or mythical experience doing nationbuilding in Africa. Same thing with constitutional law. The people who say, "I am really leaning towards international law, or maybe constitutional law or something like that" aren't thinking about a V50 with an international office or doing s1983 plaintiff's cases. I'd imagine a huge chunk of these people would be repulsed at the thought of working at some big slimy law firm defending the evil corporations.

Until they get through 1L and OCI is looming. Then they all get in line to defend corporations.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does international law include cross-border insolvency or m&a? if so, you definitely don't need to be top of the class at yale or harvard to do this (speaking from experience). You probably do need some demonstrated interest in living and working abroad on your resume, though.

Nope. That's domestic law in foreign legal systems.

Also, I tend to agree with worldtraveler on this one. For about a solid stretch of my time on TLS, it would annoy the hell out of me when there was an "international law" thread by somebody with a 3.9/177, a Fulbright, a 27 month stint in the Peace Corps, and a 6 years of experience in microfinance and development work in sub-Saharan Africa. Inevitably, a ton of 1Ls and 0Ls (who themselves wouldn't even have the slightest chance at these jobs) would rush in to the thread and start screaming "zOMFG there's no international law, Anna Ivey says so (see linkz!), stfu and gtfo!!1!"

The reality is that jobs in this area do exist, but they exist in very small quantities. Worldtraveler hits the nail on the head - if you haven't effectively broken into the field by building the appropriate resume of experiences prior to attending a top-notch law school, the odds that you will make it based on your big shiny JD at a program that touts it's world-class international curriculum are approximately slim-to-none. But for some people, these jobs are a realistic possibility. For those that have significant experience/degrees and connections in the area and know enough about what they're getting in to to have realistic expectations, the jobs are there. For those that see practicing international law as an opportunity to play a less-militant, more-intellectually driven James Bond while traveling the world and preventing international genocide and human rights atrocities, they're in for a very disappointing dead end to their career.

shoeshine
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby shoeshine » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:34 pm

Literally, this thread gets started once a month.

Use the search function.

msuz
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby msuz » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:41 pm

romothesavior wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:And to be fair, when 0Ls talk about wanting to do "international law"...usually we all know what they mean.
Exactly. When I hear "international law," almost every time it is in reference to some sort of NGO job or mythical experience doing nationbuilding in Africa. Same thing with constitutional law. The people who say, "I am really leaning towards international law, or maybe constitutional law or something like that" aren't thinking about a V50 with an international office or doing s1983 plaintiff's cases. I'd imagine a huge chunk of these people would be repulsed at the thought of working at some big slimy law firm defending the evil corporations.

So basically what you are both saying is, usually you know what they mean by knowing that they do not know what they mean.

Anonymous User
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:57 pm

c3pO4 wrote:im not talking about the "all law is international" type of stuff biglaw firms do. i'm talking about ilaw as in working at an NGO or the UN or something. that's what most people think of when they say they want to go to law shool to do international law


My sister works for the UNHCR as a representative for asylum seekers in the UK. She's american born and raised. And she did not go to a top law school. Is this not what people may be referring to? If so, it's certainly possible, just extremely niche.

Similarly, in the same way the to get a public interest job you need to have a strong history of PI-minded work, you need to have a extremely strong background in this kind of thing (both academic and professional) to get involved. For example, my sister got a masters in 'forced migration'.

So perhaps then the answer is you're not going to be a K-JD and immediately get a similar job, it's going to require years of immersion and focus outside of law school. But it's not a MYTH.

northside
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby northside » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:59 pm

OP (and anyone considering working for NGO/aid work) I strongly urge you to tell whoever it is that is interested in such things to take a summer and intern in whatever country/issue they're passionate about. Aid work is NOT as glamorous as the media makes it seem. Though it certainly is rewarding in the end, it is an extremely emotionally taxing/draining field that is seldom as shiny as it seems.

I worked for an organization that worked alongside a famous one that gave shoes to kids who needed them. Though the youtube videos and MTV specials made it look all great you find out pretty quick that its not as rosy as it seems.

My destroyed dreams of aid work are what led me to law school and one day if those two passions of mine happen to intertwine I'll be happy, but I guarantee your dreams of doing real aid work (and not just alternative spring breaks but WORK) will be challenged once you're there and I'd hate for anyone to fork up the cash for law school before finding that out.

There are people who are cut out for it, but of the 11 interns that I worked with that summer only ONE has continued on working in humanitarian aid.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My sister works for the UNHCR as a representative for asylum seekers in the UK. She's american born and raised. And she did not go to a top law school. Is this not what people may be referring to? If so, it's certainly possible, just extremely niche.

Similarly, in the same way the to get a public interest job you need to have a strong history of PI-minded work, you need to have a extremely strong background in this kind of thing (both academic and professional) to get involved. For example, my sister got a masters in 'forced migration'.

So perhaps then the answer is you're not going to be a K-JD and immediately get a similar job, it's going to require years of immersion and focus outside of law school. But it's not a MYTH.


Not to rain on your parade, but if you actually read the thread, this is kinda what everyone's been saying. While my next comment is not directed at you, I swear whiners on TLS always say how the 'culture' of TLS says one thing (ALWAYS ONLY T14 OR BUST LAWLZ)...but in reality, this is probably more due to the fact that these whiners are only skimming threads or titles or something. There are a few people that extreme, but generally I have found TLS advice to be even-handed when enough information is given.

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roguey
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby roguey » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:13 pm

Anonymous poster whose sister works for UNHCR, can you pm me? I am extremely interested in that kind of work and have a background in it, just kind of lost on where to look. Thank you!

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romothesavior
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby romothesavior » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:56 pm

msuz wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:And to be fair, when 0Ls talk about wanting to do "international law"...usually we all know what they mean.
Exactly. When I hear "international law," almost every time it is in reference to some sort of NGO job or mythical experience doing nationbuilding in Africa. Same thing with constitutional law. The people who say, "I am really leaning towards international law, or maybe constitutional law or something like that" aren't thinking about a V50 with an international office or doing s1983 plaintiff's cases. I'd imagine a huge chunk of these people would be repulsed at the thought of working at some big slimy law firm defending the evil corporations.

So basically what you are both saying is, usually you know what they mean by knowing that they do not know what they mean.

Yes.

mrloblaw
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby mrloblaw » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:12 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
mrloblaw wrote:Define "international law" in such a way as to exclude hundreds of legal jobs that any above median T14 kid that can speak a few languages has a passing shot at (Int'l law does not include practicing American law in Shanghai, working on cross-border deals with a NY firm, etc.). Restrict the definition solely to the ridiculously small subset of jobs that are most glamorous.

Wtf. "International law" is a body of law. If you are practicing American law, you are not practicing international law. Practicing American domestic law in another place doesn't magically transform it into another type of law. This is like arguing that since NFL Europe was played in Europe, it was actually soccer.


An American partner who is based in the London office of his firm and travels to Paris, etc. to work on deals for a particular client may not practice (international law), but he does practice (international) law. Maybe the 0Ls I speak to are unique (I tend to avoid total morons), but I've never met anyone who said "I want to practice international law" to mean "I never want to touch a body of law other than the Hague/Geneva Conventions, etc. in my practice."

Actually, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people that dumb want to go to lawl school. Nevermind.

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IAFG
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:18 pm

TBF 99.5% of 0Ls (and 1Ls and even many 2Ls) don't understand what it is they're saying they want to do, whether they say they want biglaw or say they want corporate litigation or say they want criminal defense or say they want international human rights law.

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Borhas
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby Borhas » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:30 pm

I still don't get why people want to do international law even if it existed as a obtainable route, I mean, sounds like a lot of work related travel, which would be a PITA.

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AreJay711
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Re: why is international law a myth

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 pm

Borhas wrote:I still don't get why people want to do international law even if it existed as a obtainable route, I mean, sounds like a lot of work related travel, which would be a PITA.


This is what I don't get. I thought the great thing about being American is that international law doesn't apply to you.




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