Info session: Winter Term Opportunities Abroad

HLS offers 2Ls, 3Ls and LL.M. students the opportunity to spend Winter Term abroad, pursuing internationally focused independent clinicals or research and writing projects. Come learn about finding a clinical placement, developing a research and writing proposal, and applying for funding through the Winter Term International Travel Grant program, as well as registration and deadlines.

Register here with your Harvard email address to receive the Zoom link.

Harvard Law School welcomes its LL.M.s., S.J.D.s., and exchange students

Three members of the LL.M. Class of 2022 gather on campus during LL.M> Orientation

Three members of the LL.M. Class of 2022 meet on campus during LL.M. Orientation. Photo:  Lorin Granger

On August 18, Harvard Law School officially welcomed the LL.M. Class of 2022. Representing 64 countries and jurisdictions, from Argentina to the U.S.A., the class includes 184 new students and 33 LL.M. candidates returning from the LL.M. class of 2020–2021 to complete their studies in person. Together, they will spend the upcoming academic year pursuing a Master of Laws degree on Harvard’s reopening campus.

In addition, seven students are beginning their studies for the S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) degree, the law school’s most advanced degree. These new candidates join 49 continuing S.J.D. students.  Together, they represent 28 countries or jurisdictions.

HLS is also welcoming seven international students from the law school’s exchange partner schools in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These exchange students will spend the fall semester or the academic year pursuing J.D.-level studies or doctoral-level research.

Read “A new academic year begins, one step at a time” on Harvard Law Today.

A Chayes Fellow checks in: Kit Lea Cheang ‘23

Kit Lea Chang '23

Kit Lea Cheang ’23 is working remotely this summer from her home in Singapore

I am spending this summer as a 2021 Chayes International Public Service Fellow, working at the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) office of TRIAL International, an NGO headquartered in Geneva that fights impunity for international crimes and supports victims in their quest for justice. TRIAL International’s office in BiH promotes transitional justice in BiH by improving access to justice and redress for survivors of grave crimes, including sexual violence survivors, families of missing persons, and former camp detainees.

So far, I have been working on a comparative legal research project on how states have issued public apologies to victims of war crimes, systemic discrimination, violence, and other acts of wrongdoing. This will contribute to TRIAL International’s overall advocacy and strategic litigation efforts to implement the UN Committee Against Torture’s landmark 2019 decision condemning Bosnian authorities for their failure to fulfil obligations towards a sexual violence survivor.

Learning from the TRIAL International BiH team’s work with survivors of sexual violence has brought the knowledge I gained from taking Public International Law in my 1L spring semester to life. I have gotten a glimpse into how complex the work of transitional justice can be. Although the Bosnian War ended more than 25 years ago, the work of seeking reparations and redress for sexual violence survivors from the war is far from complete (according to United Nations estimates, there are between 20,000 and 50,000 survivors of rape, which was used as a tool of genocide, from the war). I have also seen how a combination of resilience, heartfelt dedication, sensitivity to survivors’ needs and perspectives, and willingness to work empathetically with all relevant parties including prosecutors’ offices, courts, and the government has allowed the TRIAL team to achieve incremental steps of progress for survivors. For instance, for the first time, a survivor of wartime rape received compensation from her perpetrator in March 2020. TRIAL International continues to work on improving the practice of awarding compensation and other reparations to survivors.

It has also been refreshing to work with an NGO in the field of human rights for the first time, and to learn from how an NGO mobilizes for a cause they believe deeply in. Before law school, I worked with Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues of international security and nuclear weapons. It has been fascinating to examine and reflect on international law and international relations from the human rights angle, and to grapple with how international and domestic institutions both enable and obstruct the pursuit of justice for survivors of human rights violations.

Meet the 2021-2022 ILS Post-Graduate Fellow

Isabella Victoria Ariza Buitrago LL.M. ’20 has been awarded the inaugural 2021-2022 International Legal Studies Post-Graduate Fellowship, designed to support graduating HLS students or recent graduates who will be clerking or interning at an international or foreign regional/supranational court or tribunal. Ariza Buitrago, a Colombian attorney, will undertake a 12-month clerkship with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a regional tribunal whose objective is to interpret and apply the American Convention on Human Rights. Her work will include collaborating in the drafting of resolutions and the preparation of materials necessary for the public and private hearings held to monitor compliance with judgments by the Court.

Ariza Buitrago earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of the Andes. She volunteered with Teach for Colombia, helping to encourage university students to consider teaching for two years in public schools in Colombia’s poorest regions. After her LL.B., she taught English and literature for two years, and co-organized Youth says YES! (Jóvenes por el SÍ), a social movement that conducted discussions about Colombia’s peace treaty with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a former guerrilla group involved in the Colombian conflict. Later, as a litigator in a Bogotá-based law firm, she prepared memoranda and assisted in drafting lawsuits for civil litigation. Since graduating from HLS, she has served as an HLS Public Service Venture Fund Fellow, working with the Corporate Accountability Lab. Among other contributions, Ariza Buitrago helped organized the NGO’s Corporate Liability & Sustainable Peace Lab, a social lab that unites 40 participants from different transitional justice contexts and aims to answer the question of how to hold companies accountable after they have financed and benefited from armed conflict.

Information about the 2022-2023 International Legal Studies Post-Graduate Fellowships will be posted here soon.