Cravath Fellows pursue law projects around the world

Since the Cravath International Fellowships were launched in 2007, more than 170 students have traveled to 69 countries during Winter Term as Cravath Fellows, pursuing clinical placements or independent research with an international, transnational, or comparative law focus. In 2018, ten Cravath Fellows traveled to nine countries; four of the students (left to right: James Toomey ’19, Alexis Wansac ’19, Filippo Raso ’18 and Niku Jafarnia ’19) recently shared their stories with Harvard Law Today.

Photo credit:  Lorin Granger/HLS Staff Photographer

Snapshot: Katalin Dobias LL.M. ’13

During her LL.M. year at HLS, Kati greatly valued her work with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Rights Clinic. Her winter term independent clinical with the Refugee Rights Clinic at Tel Aviv University brought her to Israel at a critical time:  Kati explained that Israel has only recently become a country of destination for refugees, and the country is in the process of developing its laws, policies and indeed its positions on refugee rights. More urgently, her first client, a HIV-positive South Sudanese man with three young children, was facing immediate deportation. The Clinic’s efforts were successful, resulting in a temporary residence permit for the family on humanitarian grounds. “The strategy for an eight-month case is very different from what happens when someone is facing a two-week order,” Kati said. “It was great that I could make a contribution in two weeks.” Her work in Israel involved both direct client service (drafting affidavits, researching country conditions and precedents, and preparing clients for hearings) and policy research (helping with a position paper that advocates for the development of a Convention Against Torture procedure in Israel). Kati recognized the challenges of translating classroom and clinical work into the field: “I had to learn to walk a very fine line respecting religious, cultural and political sensitivities to be able to help our clients,” she remembered. Still, her winter term in Tel Aviv has “greatly reaffirmed [her] commitment” to working with refugees after graduation:  “That’s why I came to Harvard, and that’s why I’m a lawyer.”

(Please visit “Winter Term 2013: Snapshots from Students” to read about other recent projects.)

Snapshot: Emily Balter ’13

As an undergraduate, Emily studied art history at Princeton; at HLS, she has developed an interest in the ways that law and morality intersect. Her winter term 2013 project — to research and write a paper assessing the role and place of morality in the restitution of art looted during the Holocaust — took her to London. Her research focused on the Spoliation Advisory Panel, a government entity that was formed to consider, in an extra-judicial setting, restitution claims concerning artworks hung in Britain’s national museums. “Once the Panel has made its recommendation, the tension between moral and legal obligations is in stark relief,” Emily noted. During her time in London, she interviewed British attorneys representing Holocaust survivors and their heirs, as well as counsel representing British museums and representatives from major auction houses. “The moral questions that come before the Panel are so nuanced and often difficult to answer — much more so that I had expected before beginning this project,” Emily explained. Her paper also looks at the moral judgments that were made in establishing the Spoliation Panel and others like it in Europe, and at whether the moral questions identified and considered by the Panel should become part of U.S. law and factored into judicial decision-making.

(Please visit “Winter Term 2013: Snapshots from Students” to read about other recent projects.)

Cravath Fellow Victor Ban, JD ’13, on spending winter term in Japan

Victor Ban “I’m spending J-term in Japan researching agricultural trade policy. Specifically, I’m interested in Japan’s shift from multilateral negotiations in the World Trade Organization to bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement (“EPA”) negotiations and the extent to which this structural transition in international law has impacted policy dynamics. I’m in the middle of a quick trip to Tokyo, where I’m meeting with government officials and picking up some documents and books. Meetings today were very helpful; officials from two agencies, normally on opposite sides of the agricultural liberalization debate, gave a fairly consistent and candid picture of the transition to EPAs, and also shared insights on trade policy more generally. Tomorrow, I’ll meet with an interest group representative well versed in EPA matters and then head to the National Diet Library.

Many thanks to the Cravath International Fellowship Program and the International Legal Studies team for making this project possible.”

To learn more about Cravath International Fellowships, please click here.