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Wayne Law students have more international opportunities than ever before

May 15, 2013

The opportunity for law students to work and study abroad has never been better at Wayne State University Law School, where the robust Program for International Legal Studies continues to expand and thrive.

Nine Wayne Law students will be traveling this summer to England, the Bahamas, the Netherlands, Mexico and three locations in India. They will advocate for human rights, intern at top international law firms, study with some of the world's leading international law scholars and much more.

Four students earned International Public Interest Law Fellowships, and will spend their summers living in developing countries engaged in advocacy on a broad range of human rights issues. Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend to cover travel and living expenses for up to two months of work.

IPILF recipient Joshua Aprile will work in Mexico City for Mexico Unido Contra la Delincuencia. The organization seeks to strengthen the rule of law in Mexico and assist both police and victims in responding to the high level of criminal activity in certain parts of the country.

“This is the first time we’ve placed an IPILF student in Latin America, and we are thrilled that a well-respected organization like MUCD has agreed to take our students as interns,” said Professor Gregory Fox, director of the Program for International Legal Studies.

Aprile, who grew up in Marine City, earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in political science from Grand Valley State University, and expects to earn his law degree next year. He hopes to practice international litigation and arbitration after graduation. Wayne Law’s strong Program for International Legal Studies drew him to the school in the first place, he said.

“For me, this fellowship is an excellent opportunity to apply my legal education in a positive way that genuinely helps people, and to receive an amazing cultural experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Aprile said.

IPILF recipient Yunjoo Goze, who is from Andong, Korea, is already in New Delhi, India, beginning her work with the Dalit Foundation, where other Wayne Law interns have worked in the past. The foundation works to end discrimination against Indian Dalits, often referred to as “untouchables.” The group suffers from pervasive forms of discrimination, which the foundation seeks to end by using the courts and efforts to raise social awareness of the problem.

“I just arrived a few days ago, and it has been pretty hectic,” Goze said via email. “I’d like to gain firsthand experience working with international human rights through the fellowship. I’ll be working for empowerment of Dalit communities in India. Dalits are the lowest rung of the caste system.”

She spent last summer working with Wayne Law’s Transnational Environmental Law Clinic. She hopes to work in the field of international environmental law after graduation next year.

Law student Adam Taylor, who calls Monroe his hometown, is another IPILF recipient. He’ll work with People's Watch in Madurai, India, where other fellowship winners have been placed in past years. People's Watch is one of the most respected human rights organizations in India, issuing reports on all aspects of Indian political and social practices, and serving as a liaison to international monitoring bodies at the United Nations and elsewhere

Taylor said he’ll be writing reports about human rights violations and also be “out in the field,” attending hearings and researching patterns of abuse.

“This fellowship will provide me with a hands-on, real world experience for how international law functions,” he said. “I will get to see how international law copes with humans and the multitude of issues and viewpoints that we bring to the table. It will allow me to further grow as a person by expanding my exposure to different cultures and philosophies.”

And it will give him experience he hopes to apply after graduation next year toward a career working overseas “in a field that helps people from different nations work together toward business, environmental or human rights goals,” he said.

Taylor holds a Michigan teaching certificate and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in social studies and history for secondary education. After graduation from EMU, he spent a year teaching English at a middle school in South Korea.

IPILF recipient Karinne Marcolini will work at the Crisis Centre in Nassau, Bahamas, another group that has hosted Wayne Law interns in the past. The Crisis Centre assists victims of domestic violence, a pervasive problem seldom noticed in a country dominated by the tourist trade. The center provides legal assistance to victims and runs public campaigns to delegitimize spousal and child abuse and to empower victims to leave their abusers.

“I will get a lot of exposure to the Bahamian court system, and I hope to do some writing and research for the Crisis Centre, as well,” Marcolini said. “This fellowship is an amazing opportunity and my first step toward a career in public interest law. I’m interested in environmental law, but I’m excited to see what other opportunities there are.”

Like Aprile, she said she chose Wayne Law because of the Program for International Legal Studies and the opportunities available to its students.

Marcolini, whose hometown is Grosse Pointe, expects to graduate from Wayne Law in 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations, political theory and constitutional democracy from Michigan State University. She plans a career in public interest law in Detroit.

Several other Wayne law students will be going abroad via initiatives created by the Program of International Legal Studies.

 *Zachary Rowley of Bay City will work as an intern in the Office of the General Counsel at Tata Motors in Mumbai, India. Tata is the largest manufacturer of automobiles in India. Rowley will be working on legal issues arising from Tata’s supply chain and distribution network.

*Nicholas Jones of Hopkins will work as an intern at one of Mexico’s leading law firms — Barrera Siqueiros y Torres Landa in Mexico City. This is a first-time placement for Wayne Law. With 25 different practice areas, the firm is consistently ranked as a leader in the Latin American legal market.

*Eric Shovein, who grew up in Grosse Pointe Woods, as recipient of the Freeman Fellowship, will attend the prestigious Hague Academy of International Law in the Hague, Netherlands. The academy is the academic branch of the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court. Each year Wayne Law sends one student to the academy, to be taught by the world’s leading international lawyers in courses on either public or private international law.

*Zachary Van Horn of Traverse City and Steven Helton of Riverview will spend several months in London, England, as interns in the international arbitration practice group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. The internship was made possible by Gary Born, a partner at Wilmer Hale and one of the world’s leading practitioners and scholars of international commercial arbitration. Born received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address at Wayne Law in 2012. Fox and Wayne Law Professor Paul Dubinsky both worked for Wilmer Hale’s predecessor law firms earlier in their careers.

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