Lexington, VA • Friday, May 05, 2006
Dean David Partlett has announced the establishment of the Transnational Law Institute, to be housed in the School of Law and to begin limited activities and planning next academic year. The Institute will have a rotating directorship and a board of advisers that includes faculty within and outside the School of Law. Professor Mark Drumbl will be the Institute’s first director.
"Our graduates face legal practice that is rapidly globalizing. The Institute will preserve W&L's long-standing tradition of teaching excellence and anchor it within this contemporary context,” said Drumbl. “It will also consolidate W&L's reputation as a dynamic scholarly force in international and comparative law."
Professor Mark Drumbl
The central goal of the Institute is to support and coordinate a variety of pedagogical methods that will contribute to the quality of the legal education the School of Law offers its students. One initiative is a writing-intensive Colloquium Seminar in Global Legal Studies. The Colloquium Seminar will provide a capstone course focusing on third-year academic legal writing. It will channel outside speakers into a coherent pedagogical strategy and involve student response to the written and oral work of distinguished scholars.
A second initiative involves assisting up to one or two students per year who may assume internships involving international or comparative law matters in organizations of their choice, such as the U.S. government, the United Nations, a public interest group, or any of the international courts. These students will be designated Institute Summer Associates, and two have already been named for summer 2006. Nick Devereux, Class of 2007, will serve as an intern for legal counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee in Washington D.C., and Mohamed Younis, also Class of 2007, will serve as a trainee with African and Mid-East Refugee Assistance, a not-for-profit association in Cairo, Egypt.
A third initiative will be to serve as a coordinating mechanism for global scholars who will come to W&L for short periods of time to teach intensive courses. Other pedagogical initiatives under longer-term consideration include:
- offering a special course in which W&L students develop practical legal writing skills by drafting legal briefs and memoranda to be used by prosecutors or defense counsel in trials undertaken at the Iraqi High Tribunal (the entity prosecuting Saddam Hussein), the International Criminal Court, the Yugoslav or Rwanda Tribunals, the Sierra Leone Special Court, and domestic entities involved in counter-terrorism prosecutions;
- developing a practical fact– and transaction–based course, anchored to the traditional curriculum, that would present transnational legal issues in a client-based context to upper-year students.
The Institute also will serve to augment the scholarly life of the entire Washington and Lee community. Leading scholars and policymakers whose work will comprise the focus of the Colloquium Seminar also will be called upon to present their work to faculty assembled from each of the University's constitutive units.
More information about the Institute will be available soon on the School of Law website at http://law.wlu.edu.