Law Students: Come to Copenhagen

The Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and PluriCourts – Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order is hosting a high-level summer school for PhD students working on international law and with a special interest in interdisciplinary studies of international law and its social and political context. We particularly welcome students and scholars who are writing up a PhD thesis that involves an interdisciplinary study of one or more international courts.

The iCourts/PluriCourts summer school is based on the principle of participant contributions to the knowledge community.

This means that students who sign up for the summer school are expected to contribute to discussions and to participate in the exercises that are part of the learning program.

As you learn more through active participation, the summer school requires of you that you will be willing to share your work through presentations and to share your intellectual curiosity with others by asking questions and giving comments to other participants.

Participation and expenses: The course is offered free of charge but the participants carry out expenses relating to travel and accommodation.

iCourts will offer 5 scholarships to be awarded with regard to the quality of the projects. The grants will cover travel and accommodation during the conference.
If you wish to apply for an iCourts grant, please send a mail to PhD@jur.ku.dk indicating your motivation for participation and enclosing a budget and proceed to register as below.

Deadline for submission
1 April 2015. Please use this registration form.

A Look Back and a Path Forward: Reflections on Six Months of Progressive Lawyer

The Author
The Author

On October 6th, 2014 I launched Progressive Lawyer, a 100% solar-powered website designed to connect lawyers and law students with social justice organizations and law firms involved in social justice work. As this is roughly the sixth month anniversary of its launch, I would like to briefly discuss why the site was created, what has been achieved so far, and what plans I have going forward. And as will become clear, the most exciting thing is that it is not just me involved with Progressive Lawyer any more. There are now some talented and inspirational people involved with the site, and I will introduce them here and discuss how you can get involved. But first, let me go back to the “why” behind Progressive Lawyer.

Like many law school graduates, for a variety of reasons I am not actively practising law. The path I took was perhaps as much a reaction to the area of law I found myself in (personal injury litigation) as to what law school inflicted on me, but needless to say I am not alone. According to the latest statistics from the American Bar Association, only 62.2% of the Class of 2013 were employed in a position that required passage of a Bar exam, and the legal job market is sluggish and has been for awhile.

But that is not why I left the law.

I left the law because I found it difficult to find a position that matched my values, that gave me a reason why being a lawyer was such a noble profession. In fact I forgot why I went to law school, and by the end of my articles (a form of mandatory internship here in Canada} I wanted nothing to do with the law.

As I went through my post-law school career I didn’t think much about it, but as I got older, the constant attacks on the profession – some justified but many not – started to gnaw on me. Not all lawyers are “money-grubbing ambulance chasers,” I would patiently explain to friends and colleagues. There are incredible lawyers doing incredible work out there. “Prove it” would come the response. And so I set out to show people that not all lawyers are the ugly stereotype.

I started reading about social justice lawyers and social justice lawyering, and started thinking about how I could contribute, could give back something to a profession I had essentially walked away from. It was through this research that I came across an article that was to directly kickstart Progressive Lawyer. The article was titled “Letter To A Law Student Interested in Social Justice,” by William P. Quigley, a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. In my opinion? It should be required reading to any law student and lawyer practising today. I encourage you to read it, but in essence it describes how the practice of social justice law is difficult, frustrating and often not very glamorous but at the same time is perhaps the most rewarding possible way to use your law degree.

And I was inspired.

The purpose behind Progressive Lawyer is to connect lawyers and law students to social justice organizations and law firms practising social justice work. Continue reading “A Look Back and a Path Forward: Reflections on Six Months of Progressive Lawyer”

International Law Social, Ottawa, March 12

The International Law Social is designed to provide an informal atmosphere for lawyers, students, and professors working in international law in Ottawa to meet, network, enjoy some great food and even better company.   Initiated by the International Law Group at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa in the Fall of 2013, this Fall and Winter event has quickly become a major success.
 It is an excellent opportunity for students to meet international lawyers from government, law firms, NGOs and businesses. They can learn, first-hand, about real life practice and career opportunities in international law. Similarly, practitioners can interact with professors and lawyers-to-be in an informal setting and network with colleagues in the international law field whom they do not normally see in their day-to-day lives.   For everyone, the International Law Social is an enriching and fun experience.
 Hosted and sponsored by the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL),  uOttawa’s International Law Group (ILG), the International Commercial and Trade Law Student Association (ICTLSA) and the International Commercial and Trade Law Mentorship Program (ICTLMP),  the Social will be held at:
 Location:

Laurier Social House
244 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa
Date:  Thursday, March 12, 2015
Time:   5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Light snacks will be served.