Global Public Interest Law Internships: Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative

Faculty:  Professors Karen TokarzLeila Sadat 

In addition to the full semester externships taken for credit through the International Justice & Conflict Resolution Externship [view website], students may elect to intern in the summers in Africa and other countries as part of the school's summer public interest law program.

For more information on Washington University Law’s International programs, click here.

Global Public Interest Law Internships: Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative

The Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative is a student and faculty project developed in 2002, coordinated by Professor Karen Tokarz, Director, Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program [view website], to advance human rights, conflict resolution, and access to justice in Africa; to foster study, research, and professional experiences in Africa for Washington University Law students and faculty; and to offer educational programs on Africa at the School of Law.

Since summer 2002, over 180 Washington University Law students have worked or studied in Africa with assistance from Professor Tokarz.  Students have interned for ten weeks in the summer for legal aid and public interest law organizations, and courts and tribunals in Africa. In their placements, students engage in client interviewing and counseling, community education, negotiation and dispute resolution, human rights research and policy reporting, prison visits, trial preparation, and/or appellate brief writing. Professors Tokarz and Sadat also have assisted students with summer and semester internships in China, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Chile, Panama, Brazil, Italy and The Hague.

Recent externships include:

  • Legal Aid Board in Durban, South Africa, which provides legal assistance on civil and criminal matters to indigent individuals in South Africa.
  • Lawyers for Human Rights in Durban, South Africa, which provides legal services and policy research for refugees and immigrants.
  • Legal Resource Centre in Accra, Ghana, which works with communities to ensure human rights, social progress, and economic development, especially in the areas of civil liberties, health, employment, education, and housing.
  • United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the U.N. Mechanism for Transition in Arusha, Tanzania, were established for the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda and the transition to the local courts of Rwanda.  
  • Fiscalia del Medio Ambiente (FIMA) in Santiago, Chile, an environmental advocacy organization.
  • Beijing Arbitration Commission in Beijing, China, a non-governmental organization that facilitates resolution of cross-border, international commercial disputes.
  • United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Center for Career Development and the Office of International Programs provide support for students working and studying abroad.  The Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute’s Dagen-Legomsky Fellowship program also supports students who work and study abroad.

For more information on The Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, click here.