International Justice and Conflict Resolution Externship

Faculty: Professors Karen Tokarz and Leila Sadat 

The INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & CONFLICT RESOLUTION EXTERNSHIP provides students with the opportunity to learn international criminal law and practice, conflict resolution theory and practice, and advocacy, while interning for a semester with lawyers practicing before international courts and tribunals, international judges, and lawyers in international conflict resolution offices, government offices, and non-governmental organizations.

In the externship, students gain structured, hands-on experience in international litigation, conflict resolution, and advocacy through their work under the direct supervision of international judges or attorneys, with oversight from Washington University Law faculty.  Students engage in extensive legal research and fact investigation; draft legal memoranda relevant to cases under submission by the courts and policy reports for government offices; interview clients, witnesses, and relevant constituencies; and participate in negotiations, mediations, hearings, trials, and other proceedings.

Students in the externship have the opportunity to develop advanced skills in legal research and writing, fact investigation, interviewing and counseling, negotiation and dispute resolution, litigation, and policy making in international arenas.  Students are required to work in their placements on a full-time basis (40+ hours per week, at a ratio of 4 hours of work per 1 hour of credit, depending on the number of credits, for a total of 11-12 credits) for no fewer than 13 weeks, and to produce a minimum of five major legal memoranda or reports.  Prior to the beginning of each externship, the supervising faculty member negotiates an agreement with the externship supervisor and student as to the specific nature of the work the student will perform in her/his placement.  Throughout the semester, the student is evaluated as to progress toward meeting her/his learning goals.

The externship includes required reading specifically geared to the law and procedure of the court, tribunal, or conflict resolution office; a required pre-trip orientation; individualized learning agreements agreed to by the student, supervising faculty member, and externship supervisor; reflective journals submitted bi-weekly by students that are reviewed by the faculty supervisor, who provides feedback to the students; and regular contact between the faculty members and the field supervisors during the semester.  Students are required to produce a minimum 10 page final paper at the conclusion of the course, in which they analyze the work of the court, tribunal, or office and address an issue of law, policy, or practice relevant to the placement, in light of the reading material and the students’ experiences.

Students also are encouraged to enroll in Supervised Research (2-3 credits) in which students produce a research paper at the conclusion of the course that analyzes in depth the work of the court, tribunal, or office and/or addresses an issue of law, policy, or practice relevant to the placement, in light of the reading material and the students’ experiences.  Students enrolled in Supervised Research are required to produce a minimum of 20 pages of polished research and writing for 2 credits or 30 pages for 3 credits.

Placements are with international organizations and in government and non-governmental offices.  These placements may include the Prosecution, Defense, and Civil Party offices and the chambers of individual judges at international courts and tribunals, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; the supreme appellate or constitutional court of foreign States such as India; and UN, Embassy, and non-governmental organization offices that engage in conflict resolution and advocacy in countries such as in South Africa, Ghana, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Professors Karen Tokarz and Leila Sadat direct the practicum with the goal of enhancing substantive learning in international and comparative criminal law, practice, and procedure; conflict resolution theory, policy, and practice; advocacy; and professional responsibility.  Through the externship, the faculty hope to help students better situate what they are learning about law in the U.S. within the global universe of law; expose students to legal systems outside their own and to the borrowing and transmission of legal ideas across borders; and introduce students to the emerging role of international tribunals, international conflict resolution agencies, and non-governmental bodies.

For more information about the externship, please contact one of the faculty program directors listed above.

STUDENTS: Click here to view information about the International Justice and Conflict Resolution Externship. This handout provides general information that will be helpful for you to know before registering.