On Thursday, 7 January 2015, DAS Lerner was the featured speaker on a panel sponsored by the AALS International Legal Exchange Section, with co-panelists Associate Dean for International Affairs Jeffrey Thomas (University of Missouri School of Law at Kansas City), Dean Fernando Villarreal Gonda (Faculty of Law of the University of Monterrey, Mexico), and Dean Haluk Kabaalioglu (Yeditepe University School of Law in Istanbul, Turkey). The panel was chaired by George Edwards, who is the C.M. Gray Professor of Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law.
DAS Lerner oversees the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (J1-EVP), in the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The J-1 EVP annually brings 300,000 foreign citizens to the US to study, build skills, and teach.
In her remarks, DAS Lerner explained different types of diplomacy – government to government, government to people, and people to people – and emphasized how important it is for U.S. and overseas law schools to internationalize their campuses and curricula, and to be involved in exchange programs – sending and receiving law students, faculty and staff.
DAS Lerner emphasized the J-1 EVP, and how this State Department initiative is a mechanism for law schools and their universities to create their own inbound international programs. She stressed the importance of sending law students overseas as interns to gain practical work experience in an international setting, how foreign governments increasingly seek to create special bilateral internship and other exchange mechanisms with the US, how foreign governments use the J-1 EVP to accomplish exchange goals, and how sponsors can become involved in those efforts through their participation in the EVP.
DAS Lerner discussed the U.S.-Mexico bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on internships and the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative.
Her powerpoint presentation identified numerous important statistics, and mentioned various ECA-funded programs and the State Department’s new study abroad office.
DAS Lerner holds a Juris Doctor degree (JD), is a member of the California bar, and before becoming Deputy Assistant Secretary of State was staff counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (chaired by then Senator John Kerry), where she handled human rights, refugees, migration, trafficking in persons, gender equity, international exchange and public diplomacy. Earlier, she was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and the Regional Office in Kirkuk, where she worked on a range of issues, including trafficking in persons and congressional affairs. She was a legal and human rights advisor to the Organization of Security in Europe (OSCE) Missions in Croatia and Kosovo, handling minority and property issues, human trafficking and women’s legal rights issues, and was an OSCE long-term election supervisor in Bosnia and Croatia. She also worked as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi.
Associate Dean for International Affairs Jeffrey Thomas from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, addressed technical aspects of law school international partnerships.
He discussed partnership documentation, partnership agreement terms, personnel, university relations and approvals, exchange structures, creative ideas for exchanges, and joint research. He distributed sample Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Memorandum of Agreement (MoA).
Associate Dean Thomas has been a member of the UMKC law faculty since 1993, teaching insurance law, terrorism and insurance, law and culture, introduction to American law and U.S. legal skills, and other subjects. He also administers the school’s LL.M. program for international students, and has negotiated many partnership agreements between his school and overseas institutions.
He is a J.D. graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he was Executive Editor of the California Law Review.
Fernando Villarreal Gonda, who is Dean of the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, Mexico, discussed different types of International Partnership Agreements. He emphasized “diversification”, as he contends that partnerships must benefit the full range of stakeholders. He discussed challenges in maintaining partnership arrangements, with those challenges coming in various shapes and sizes.
As a representative of a non-U.S. law school, he focused on outbound perspectives (outbound to the U.S.), but he also discussed reciprocity – with students from the U.S. and elsewhere traveling to Mexico to study.
Dean Fernando holds degrees from Harvard Law School (LL.M.), the University of Monterrey, and the University Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris I). He is founding professor of the Free Law School of Monterrey, and teaches Private International Law and electives such as Customs and Trade Arbitration Law and Dispute Resolution. He is a practicing lawyer of 20 years standing, and has served as negotiator on numerous treaty and other inter-governmental consultations, and worked, for example, as Head of Dispute Resolution of the Undersecretariat for International Trade Negotiations in SECOFI, and as negotiator of the Dispute Resolution Chapter and the Model Rules of Procedure and the Code of Conduct for Panelists of the FTAs. He was involved in negotiating the Protocol on Dispute Settlement of the 1980 Montevideo Treaty, drafting reforms of the Commercial Code regarding arbitration, and negotiating the Intellectual Property Chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Since 2002, Haluk Kabaalioglu has been Dean and Professor of Professor of Commercial Law and the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law of Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Dean Haluk spoke about a famous letter from Alfred Einstein's to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, how many German Jewish professors took refuge in Turkey and taught at Ankara and Istanbul universities in the 1930s and 1940s, and how overseas professors contributed to the development of law in Turkey by, for example, drafting the Turkish Commercial Code.
Dean Haluk spoke about the early 1960s cooperation with Istanbul University Law Faculty and Columbia University, with notable Columbia professor taking residence in Turkey, including Professors Allan Farnsworth, Richard Gardner, Hans Smit, Walter Gellhorn, William Cary, and others.
Dean Haluk also spoke of more recent exchange programs, including through Erasmus through which Yeditepe has 86 agreements, that benefit Yeditepe and other European law faculties. And, he spoke about how a Yeditepe Law and Washington College of Law collaboration, EU law summer schools, the Penn State summer program on US Law and Advocacy at Yeditepe, joint LL.M. programs Loyola New Orleans, and cooperation with Chinese and Russian universities.
Dean Haluk is himself a product of international legal exchanges. Though he was born in Turkey, he spent his high school years in Huntington Beach, California. He holds graduate degrees Columbia (LL.M.) and Brussels (LL.M.). He spent a year at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School’s Center to Study Financial Institutions & Securities Markets, was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Virginia School of Law, was a "Doctoral Scholar" at The Hague Academy of International Law, and a Jean Monnet Fellow at European University Institute in Florence. His undergraduate and PhD degrees are from Istanbul University.
Dean Haluk is past president of the European Law Faculties Association (ELFA), and has lectured at over 60 different universities abroad.
Professor Edwards introduced the panel, highlighting the role of various stakeholders involved in international legal education, in the public and private sectors, in the U.S. and overseas. He drew linkages among the backgrounds of the other panelists, highlighting tensions, challenges, synergies, and surprises on the panel's agenda. Professor Edwards drew upon his many years involved in international legal education, including his visits to and presentations at approximately 3 dozen U.S. State Department affiliated EducationUSA Advising Centers, in as many countries. These Advising Centers, which number about 450 in almost 200 countries, are located at U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, Fulbright Offices, Bi-National Commission Offices and other locations, and are used by local students in those countries who wish to study in the U.S. Professor Edwards' presentations at these Centers have focused on how overseas students can study law in the U.S.
George Edwards is Special Assistant to the Dean for Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Programs and the C.M. Gray Professor of Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He is founding Faculty Director of the Indiana law school’s Program in International Human Rights Law, that has organized over 200 internship placements in 56 countries on 6 continents, with students working 10 – 12 weeks at non-governmental organizations, governments, or inter-governmental organizations on a range of international human rights law issues. He founded the school’s Military Commission Observation Project that has sent dozens of IU McKinney Affiliates( faculty, staff, law students and graduates) to monitor hearings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (live, in-courtroom hearings) and Ft. Meade, Maryland (live video-links into the Guantanamo Bay courtroom). (For more information about out project, click here and to read IU Affiliates' blog posts from Guantanamo click here.
Before joining the Indiana faculty, Professor Edwards worked at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law’s Centre for International and Comparative Law, and taught at City University of Hong Kong and for the Hong Kong Law Society. Before that, he worked as a lawyer at the Wall Street firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, and as a law clerk to Judge Cedarbaum of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Professor Edwards holds a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from Harvard Law School, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Associate Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. While a student at Harvard, Professor Edwards spent one summer working for a law firm in Bangkok, Thailand, and also worked as an intern in Ethiopia and Sudan on famine related issues, and for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Professor Edwards is the author of LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student’s Guide to U.S. Law School Programs, that offers guidance to anyone interested in overseas students coming to the U.S. to study law. The LL.M. Roadmap book and online portal – www.LLMRoadMap.com – have been well-received around the globe. Over 100 U.S. State Department affiliated EducationUSA Advising Centers around the world own copies of LL.M. Roadmap,.
Professor Edwards is also principle author of the Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual for U.S. Military Commissions, and author of the forthcoming book The Guantanamo Bay Reader.
The AALS International Legal Exchange Section panel was well-received by the audience, who had more question and comments than the panelists had time to address. Hearty one-on-one and group discussion were held following the panel, spilling over into the lunch hour.
The panel was very well attended, particularly given that a sizable number of panel hosts (members of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on International Legal Exchange) attended a Field Trip to the United Nations rather than attend this panel. Also, attendee numbers were down for the panel since the AALS had scheduled a second panel at the same hour on related topics (partnerships with Asian law schools).
Fortunately, the panel was recorded with a link to the sound being available through the AALS website – www.AALS.org. You are welcome to visit the AALS website and listen to the podcast of our panel!