I am currently a first year law student at Boston University School of Law. I am potentially interested in pursuing a specialization in international law, but they do not allow us to choose any classes until second year, so I won't be able to fully explore my interests or to figure out my specialization until then. I do know for certain that I am going to study abroad the first semester of my third year either at Oxford or Bucerius Law School, which is in Hamburg, Germany. I only studied abroad for the summer in Prague while I was still at Penn, which was an amazing experience, but I regretted not taking a full semester or year abroad. So I hope to rectify that by taking advantage of abroad programs in law school. I am currently exploring public interest job opportunities abroad for this coming summer. Although I'm not sure of what firms or organizations I will look into yet (it is still early), here are some places students from BU law have worked at previously: International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (Netherlands), International Legal Affairs Division, Ministry of Justice (Korea), Amnesty International Japan, Cambodian Defenders Project, Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic (Berlin, Germany). My long term career plans are to enter the private sector working at a large law firm upon graduation from law school, hopefully spending a year or two while working at an abroad office of the firm in Europe (I was a European History double major with IR and I studied German for a year at Penn my senior year out of pure interest and I hope to continue studying German by auditing undergraduate German classes while in law school and through going abroad). A lot of new legal territory is being forged in Europe as the EU continues to expand and I would love to be a part of it. I'd then be interested in working as in house counsel at some corporation, potentially in the auto industry like, for example, Mercedes Benz of North America. But that long term "plan" is certainly subject to change.
-Shane St. Hill, Class of 2007
After graduating from Penn, I received a job in the executive branch and moved to Washington D.C. I worked for the Office of Government Ethics, which ensures that executive branch employees comply with disclosure, bribery and election regulations. I specifically worked in the international department of the office, which helped foreign governments create ethics programs and implement anti-corruption laws. Our department also represented the U.S. Government in multilateral meetings, to provide answers on U.S. ethics and corruptions laws and regulations.
I am currently a first-year associate at Patton Boggs, LLP, a leading international law firm in Washington, D.C. I work primarily on international commercial transactions and public policy projects. Before joining the firm, I attended Georgetown University Law Center. While there, I focused on international law and worked part time at the State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training.
After graduating Penn in 2002 with a B.A. in International Relations (and minors in Chinese, Political Science, and Diplomatic History), I went to work at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington as a researcher for Dr. Bates Gill, the Freeman Chair in China Studies. While at CSIS, I worked on several China-related projects. In particular, I coordinated the Freeman Chair's project on China's Emergence in Central Asia. As such, I was the principal author of China's New Journey to the West: Report on China's Emergence in Central Asia and Implications for U.S. Interests (August 2003). Since then, I have been published widely on China-Central Asia relations and have given presentations at Chinese and American think tanks and government departments on this topic.
After leaving CSIS, I founded the China-Eurasia Forum (CEF), a research organization focusing on China’s relationship with its neighbors. The group was supported by several U.S., Chinese, and Central Asian think tanks. I ran this program for two years. CEF is now run by SAIS’s Silk Road Project and publishes the CEF Quarterly. I currently serve as a Senior Advisor. At the same time as starting the CEF, I moved to Beijing to attend the IUP language program at Tsinghua University for a year. Following this year in China, I began my studies at Georgetown.
-Matthew Oresman, Class of 2002
After graduating from Penn I decided to go to law school with the hope of eventually practicing international law in some capacity. I went to the University Of Washington School Of Law. For my first summer I worked for an Italian law firm in Milan, Italy as a summer associate and for my second summer I worked for a law firm in Seattle, Washington working on both domestic and international corporate issues. I am set to graduate in June, 2008 with a concentration in the international legal track and have accepted my position at Perkins Coie in Seattle, where I will be working in corporate law and, hopefully, and specifically international corporate law.
-Adam G, Class of 2005
I am now a commercial litigator in an international law firm. The International Relations major influenced my career path by focusing my interests on international issues and politics across the globe. From my studies, I increased my analytic ability in areas that interested me and I was able to gain a breadth of knowledge on pertinent topics that I now deal with all the time in my career. The courses I took at Penn in the IR major -- especially writing my senior thesis -- spurred my interest in the legal aspects of international relations while at the same time honing my ability to use my analytic and writing skills which are extremely important in law school. Representing foreign clients in commercial transactions and international arbitrations is something that I could not be doing today without having majored in IR at Penn!
-Andrew H. Reynard, Class of 2002
My IR degree proved invaluable to my immediate career after graduating Penn as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. My thesis on the formation of the Association of Southwest Asian Nations (ASEAN) enabled to understand the complexities of this region when I was deployed there. During my service, I lived in Japan, and was deployed to Thailand and was also deployed off the coast of Indonesia during the civil uprisings in 1999. Because of my coursework, I was able to confidently assist my chain-of-command in understanding these regions and their respective history. One of the highlights of my service was serving as an adjunct professor of U.S. History and teaching service members about U.S. foreign policy during WWII. After the military, I went to law school, and am currently a commercial litigator at a large national law firm. I can truly point to the IR program as developing my ability to critically analyze problems and develop alternatives for my clients. The multi-dimensional nature of the IR program exposed me to several different disciplines, thus enabling me to see the "big picture." The IR program honed my research and writing skills and has made into a successful litigator.
-John Mueller, Class of 1996