Western Law is grateful to all of the many donors who support our International Summer Law Internship Program (ISLIP). Two recent sport law student interns share their experiences from their placements at the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal and Sahara Force India Formula One.
Four months that will change your life! Our successful alumni reflect on their internship experiences, a few years into their careers.
Jonathan J. Weisman, Class of 2007
Counsel with Holmes & King in Vancouver, BC
Where did you Intern?
I interned as a clerk with the Caribbean Court of Justice in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, W.I.
Looking back, how do you feel about the experience?
It was a tremendous opportunity. I was able to clerk with an appellate court before graduating, and to consider legal issues which will never come before Canadian courts. The place, people, and work itself were all memorable.
What did you gain from the internship?
The Court was newly-constituted, and ... a significant aspect of the Justices' work was promotional. The Court had selected a capital case for one of its first appeals. Since the drive for the Court's creation came, in part, from controversy over recent judicial treatment of capital punishment, the political and public policy dimensions of the judicial system were on open display...
The openness of the Court to a range of Commonwealth precedent seems more advanced, in a way, than our Courts' preference for local precedents (a luxury afforded, i suppose, to appellate bodies). I was able to learn about a variety of approaches: those of the diverse bench and those of the diverse legal sources.
Did the experience help you get where you are today?
It is eye-catching on a resume. I'm confident it led to more interviews and more interesting conversations in those interviews. It continues to come up at this stage of my legal career, and was a major topic of conversation when I moved firms.
Were there any skills or experiences that you learned that have been useful to you in practice?
I learned what the courtroom looks like from the judge's bench. I learned about what judges are looking for and much about the purpose of their questions. I learned how to write for appellate courts and the ways they assess the precedential value of their incipient judgments. All of that has been useful to me as a litigator.
Carolyn Janusz, Class of 2008
Counsel at Black Gropper in Vancouver, BC
By spending a summer with an organization dedicated to advancing the panoply of workers' rights, I grew to understand the significance of workers' rights as a set of human rights, the observance of which affects the lives of the world's billions of people each and every day. Having entered law school precisely to pursue a career in which I would advance the quality of peoples' lives, my ILO internship thereby focused my career goal to the pursuit of a career in labour law.
Since the internship, that career path has developed to include Canadian and international labour law facets. Within Canada's labour law community, I have participated in Ontario's Ministry of Labour Co-Op program (comprising secondments to the Ministry's legal services branch and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal) and completed articles in a Toronto firm with a strong labour law practice, Koskie Minsky, where I have continued on as a labour department associate. Having developed a core interest in international labour issues, I have also sustained my involvement in international labour law by completing a Masters of International Law concentrated in international labour issues, and through active membership in the Canadian Bar Association's international law section.
The ILO benefits from the program as well. During the internship, the ILO was able to rely on the strong research and analytical skills of a law student in the preparation of the second Global Report on Equality in the Workplace. Throughout my 15 weeks at the ILO, I put these skills towards drafting numerous reports about the legal and political approaches found to eliminate discrimination against women globally and against the Roma within Europe, which were included in the final report. Moreover, as a result of my internship, the ILO gained a partner in the international community's endeavour of achieving equality in the workplace, and universal observance of labour rights. Indeed, after the intensive exposure the internship provided, this global project is one I feel both privileged and bound to contribute my efforts towards.
The most important thing I took from my experience at the ILO that has been invaluable to practicing labour law in Canada is a broad, complex perspective of the "world of labour relations." During the first few years of practice as a new lawyer, I am particularly motivated to learn the skills and develop knowledge of Ontario and Canada's labour laws when I can see my mastering of these skills as a step towards affecting change and contributing to improvement in the world's workplaces. Learning to conduct a cross examination or prepare a written legal opinion becomes part of an overarching global and Canadian project of improving workers’ lives, which was a project I was both familiar with, and have become passionate about thanks to my internship.
That said, I would also have to emphasize that it was wonderful to spend a summer working in a legal setting that is inviting and welcoming to law students and young lawyers. Many of the supervisors at the ILO take on summer interns because they genuinely enjoy their past experiences working with the new generations of lawyers, and are interested in teaching and mentoring students. I appreciated having officials who were passionate about their work "show me the rope" of my first legal memos, business letters, department meetings etc., without being concerned about being hired back for articles or associate positions.
Western Law is grateful to all of the many donors who support our International Summer Law Internship Program (ISLIP). Two recent student interns share their experiences at placements supported by donor law firms.
International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland – Laura Snowdon
My internship at the International Labour Organization was an incredible experience. In the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch, my work focused on issues of non-discrimination, child labour, forced labour, and freedom of association. In an ongoing project I analyzed global trends in violations of the child labour Conventions, to be featured in a forthcoming ILO publication. In a second, highly rewarding project, I researched and made recommendations for amendments to Vietnam’s Labour Code to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender in the workplace. In addition to these projects, the people I met during the summer shaped my experience in Geneva. My coworkers came from many different countries and brought unique voices and perspectives to the table to combat labour exploitation and violations of human rights in the workplace, creating a diverse atmosphere that helps the ILO to be a leader in setting global labour standards. It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of this organization in Geneva, a one-of-a-kind hub for international law and human rights developments, over the summer months.
Burford Capital in New York – Jared Rosenbaum
Spending the summer interning at Burford Capital was incredibly rewarding. Given my interest in business and litigation, this was a perfect placement for me. This was my first exposure to the rapidly growing field of litigation finance, and I developed a real appetite for exploring the surrounding legal issues. My colleagues were extremely bright, talented, and a pleasure to work with. New York is one of the most important financial centres in the world, and is filled with things to see and do. Highlights of the summer include attending court to monitor an investment and participating in an intake meeting with a sophisticated client. My internship provided me with tremendous insight into the market for legal and professional services in the United States, and the business of law firms. I am confident that my experience rivalled that of many of my friends in Toronto, and I highly recommend applying to participate in ISLIP.
Basketball Arbitral Tribunal in Munich, Germany – Blake Hamm
As a lifelong basketball enthusiast, my internship with the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal is a dream come true. I learned from and worked alongside some of Europe's most prominent sports lawyers at Martens Rechtsanwälte, conducting research and learning how disputes are settled within the FIBA system. Interning at the BAT gave me a unique exposure to sport law, contract law, and international arbitration.
This summer was a particularly exciting time to be working in sport law, with doping dominating international headlines ahead of the Olympics in Rio. Most importantly, during my internship I discovered that I can combine my love of sport with my legal studies and realistically practice in the field of sports law.
W.R. Poole, QC International Internship in London, UK – Ashton Wiebe
This summer, I had the opportunity to rotate through four law firms and barristers chambers in London, England. It was an incredible experience, and showed me what the practice of corporate law is like. I was able to work on real client files, attend client meetings, and even watch a case being argued before the Supreme Court. I worked on a number of different types of corporate matters, and also had the opportunity to be part of a human rights case that will hopefully change the law for the better in another country. The practical skills and connections I have made this summer will benefit me for years to come as I embark on my legal career.
Rule of Law Center in Lviv, Ukraine – Julia Sydorenko
Throughout my internship at the Rule of Law Center in Lviv, Ukraine, I was actively engaged with anti-corruption, legal education, and reform projects. Working with the law faculty at a university in Lviv, I contributed to the development of the curriculum for a Masters in Human Rights, the first of its kind in Ukraine, as well as the foundation for a student legal aid clinic structured on the Canadian model. In addition, I attended many conferences, seminars, and workshops that focused on the anti-corruption movement in Ukraine, international humanitarian law and how it relates to the war in eastern Ukraine, and the many layers of judicial reform.
In Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, I had the opportunity to shadow a team of multinational legal experts with an EU Project working on reform at all levels of the judiciary and legal profession. This experience provided me with a unique perspective of how international non-governmental organizations operate from the inside and the intricacies involved in justice sector reform. I assisted with project publications and researched various topics that focused on advocates’ working rights, access to justice, and the right to a fair trial. In this capacity, I was also tasked with analyzing trends in the regulation of EU bar associations and compiled a report aimed at restructuring the regulation of the legal profession in Ukraine. It was invigorating to work alongside some of the world’s leading legal reform experts during such a critical era in Ukraine’s history.
My biggest takeaway was the opportunity to work with passionate and inspirational people, both in Lviv and Kyiv, whose determination and perseverance are nothing less than extraordinary. My internship at the Rule of Law Center was a rewarding learning experience and I would like to thank Western Law’s ISLIP and the Rule of Law Center for this incredible opportunity.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in New York – Elspeth Graham
As an intern for the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York, I have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of international law, multilateralism, and the United Nations system. I worked under the direct supervision of Canada’s legal counsellor to the United Nations. I participated in informal consultations, represented Canada at numerous briefings and events, and engaged in legal research on contemporary issues of international law. In addition to my legal-focused work, I worked closely with the staff at the Mission in the political and development sections. I also facilitated the work of representatives from several Departments of the Canadian government visiting the United Nations for various conferences and events. All those working at the Mission showed me great kindness and support, consequently making my experience all the more enjoyable. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to represent my country, and to have met and worked with such wonderful people. This experience constantly reminded me how important Canada’s role is within the international community.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship in Toronto– Arash Param
My experience with the McCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship at CIBC World Markets has been incredibly rewarding. The internship provided me with an opportunity to learn more about business law. In particular I have worked for the Capital Markets, Retail Banking and Litigation Team at CIBC. I was fortunate enough to receive interesting and intellectually stimulating work that has pushed me beyond my comfort zones in a supportive environment. The business lawyers at CIBC have been great mentors and were very willing to share their knowledge and network with me. I have no doubt that this internship will tremendously aid me in my future endeavors. I would strongly encourage all students interested in pursuing business law to apply.
World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland – Laura Crimi
My internship at the Secretariat for the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the WHO’s first global health treaty, was an exceptionally rewarding experience. The internship program at the WHO was well structured, provided support and encouraged networking amongst interns and staff. As an intern to the Legal, Trade and Protocol Team of the WHO FCTC Secretariat I was able to apply the legal skills that I acquired in first year to conduct legal research addressing the relationship between tobacco related international trade law, public health law and intellectual property in the context of international and national litigation.
I assisted senior lawyers on procedural matters and formal communication with Parties to support ratification or accession of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. This was an exceptionally exciting time to be a part of the FCTC due to the fact that the Protocol will likely be ratified in the near future. I also produced legal documents for the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the FCTC Convention scheduled for fall 2016.
As an intern to the FCTC Secretariat, I attended and aided in preparation for the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly (WHA) at the Palais des Nations, the world’s highest health policy setting body, which consisted of a week-long conference of all WHO member states. This year the main focus of the meeting was on international health regulation, sustainable development goals and tobacco control. Attending the WHA was an unparalleled experience, I was able to sit in on plenary sessions and bi-lateral meetings with high-level officials specific to the FCTC.
Interning with the FCTC Secretariat this summer in Geneva has been an exceptional and unique opportunity. I was able to work at the crux of health and international law and gained valuable insight into the inner workings of an international treaty secretariat.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in Geneva – Kieran Dyer
This summer, I interned with the Legal Affairs Section of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. I worked directly for the First Secretary of Legal Affairs, and my work mainly focused on human rights and humanitarian issues. I had the opportunity to attend international negotiations, panel discussions attended by the High Commissioner of Human Rights, as well as sessions evaluating the human rights situation of many countries around the world. This internship has significantly improved my writing skills, and has exposed me to work in a truly multicultural environment. Most importantly, it sparked my interest in human rights issues, which will be an area I will be focusing on throughout my legal career. Anyone considering a career in international law should strongly consider this internship - it will be an amazing networking opportunity. Geneva hosts various international organizations, the second largest UN office in the world, and thousands of professionals with an interest in international law and global affairs.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Student Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver. – Eric Vice
I was privileged to spend the summer of 2016 in Vancouver working for Goldcorp Inc., one of Canada’s largest mining companies. The role placed me on Goldcorp’s team of in-house lawyers, who are tasked with meeting the complex legal needs of an international, publicly-traded company. I was very pleased with the breath of exposure that I received during this internship. I assisted in matters related to securities law compliance, corporate governance, corporate development, and tax. The variety of work ensured that each day brought new and excited challenges, and that within a short period of time I was able to understand what companies require from their in-house and outside counsel.
I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in corporate law. The mining industry is critically important to the Canadian economy, and mining companies are put under intense scrutiny which grows stronger every year. All this is to say that working in mining is a unique, dynamic and valuable experience. I can say with confidence that the insights I have gained will benefit me going forward.
Sahara Force India Formula One in Silverstone, UK– Justin Black
My time working at Sahara Force India Formula One Team has been an experience like no other. An international sports organization, such as Force India, is faced with a variety of legal matters as the Team races in over twenty different races around the world. Working directly with the General Counsel at Force India provided an in-depth experience into many aspects of law ranging from international compliance research to contract negotiations. Formula One Teams rely heavily on sponsorships, and as such, much of the legal work involved drafting non-disclosure agreements, merchandise licensing agreements, and sponsorship agreements. My time at Force India also involved helping the commercial department, which allowed me to go to the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016, the 2016 British Grand Prix, and the F1 Mid-Season Testing. I highly recommend this internship to any person who enjoys sport (especially motorsports) and wants experience in-house working on all matters related to a world-class organization.
Thornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C. – Nicholas Avis
Working on the Debt Resolution and Insolvency team at the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, was an invaluable learning experience that helped me grow professionally and personally. Over the course of three and a half months, I had the opportunity to delve into insolvency and restructuring law from an international perspective. I analysed foreign legislation, researched and contributed to the development of internationally-accepted best practices for insolvency, collaborated with high-ranking government officials, and worked in an internationally-focused workplace. What impacted me the most about the work I did, was that by promoting insolvency regime reform, I contributed to economic development and poverty reduction in a non-traditional way.
My favourite work experiences were researching and writing a debt resolution guidebook and leading an arbitration-focused study trip to countries abroad. I also enjoyed working with colleagues from around the world as the World Bank Group is a very diverse workplace. Moreover, I loved living in Washington, DC, as I was surrounded by some of United States’ (and the world’s) greatest cultural and historic treasures.
I will always look back on my time in Washington, DC, with fondness. This experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the memories and skills I gained are unforgettable.
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in Geneva, Switzerland – David Chapman
My summer with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland was an amazing experience. I was able to learn about a number of current issues in international intellectual property law, from the point of view of a variety of stakeholders, through my own research and first hand by attending meetings at the World Intellectual Property Organization, which I covered on behalf of the ICTSD. Observing these meetings was especially interesting because it helped to illustrate the many perspectives held by different countries, industry groups and indigenous peoples on the issues discussed.
A particular highlight of my internship was participating in an event held by the ICTSD to allow contributors to a forthcoming publication to present their work, which was a wonderful chance to both learn from and network with a number of academics from around the world, as well as representatives of international organizations and members of various permanent missions. In addition, Geneva is a great place to spend the summer, and I had a great time travelling around Europe on my days off. All in all, my internship with the ICTSD was an incredible opportunity, and one that I would highly recommend to any interested students.
Canadian Red Cross (CRC) in Ottawa – Priya Chopra
Working for the Canadian Red Cross this summer has been a fantastic learning opportunity. For the past three months, I have had the opportunity to sharpen my legal research and writing abilities on cutting edge issues within international humanitarian law (IHL). In addition to receiving an in-depth exposure to IHL, I also assisted with research related to corporate social responsibility. Overall, this internship has been an invaluable experience. It has allowed me to acquire skills and knowledge that I would not have been able to attain in a classroom. To top it all off, I worked with an amazing team that was always quick to provide support and mentorship.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) in Chicago – Adriana Forest
My internship experience at the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative was exciting and rewarding. As an intern at GLSLCI, I conducted research and prepared memoranda outlining the legal status of bi-national Great Lakes environmental law issues including invasive species, drinking water infrastructure, and indigenous rights. I was also intimately involved with the organization’s work surrounding a recent US decision allowing a Great Lakes water diversion. This provided an incredible opportunity to immerse myself in legal research on a pressing and controversial international environmental law topic. My internship not only allowed me to develop my legal research and writing skills, but it also informed my future career goals and aspirations. In addition, having the opportunity to spend my summer in Chicago was outstanding. This was certainly an unforgettable summer experience!
Canadian Red Cross (CRC) in Ottawa - Kimberly Cura
My internship at the Canadian Red Cross in Ottawa was a very enriching experience. I worked in a unit that specializes in Government Relations, (Red Cross) Movement Relations, and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). I was able to put my legal training to good use by researching and writing on current and sensitive issues in IHL, such as Russia's participation in the Ukraine conflict and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the same time, I also worked on interesting non-legal projects involving government funding of humanitarian organizations for disaster relief, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, and CRC corporate partnerships, to name a few. I started my internship at the height of relief operations for the Nepal earthquake, and it was fascinating to witness firsthand how a large, reputable humanitarian organization responds to large-scale disasters. Most importantly, I was made to feel like part of the team from the very beginning, and it was a privilege to work with very talented, enthusiastic individuals committed to the humanitarian cause.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) in Chicago - James Goacher
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a non-profit which is best described as a municipal environmental advocacy and lobbying group. As a coalition of Mayors from cities in both Canada and the United States, the GLSLCI provides them with the tools needed to implement strong environmental policies. During the internship, my main role was to analyze new legislation/regulations, court decisions, and pending legal challenges as they relate to the GLSLCI. Frequently I did parallel analyses of both Canadian and American perspectives on a legal issue. While it seems daunting to learn the nuances of a foreign country's legal system at first, it was an incredible learning experience. My summer at GLSLCI was both fun and educational. Chicago is an exciting, sustainable city that made the internship experience even better. I hope future interns will value the experience as much as I did.
W.R. Poole, QC International Internship in London, UK - Matt Aleksic
London, UK is the world's largest exporter of financial services, and is one of the best places to practice law. The W.R. Poole QC Internship afforded me the opportunity to rotate through four leading City law firms and chambers: Cornerstone Barristers, White & Case LLP, McCarthy Tétrault and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. During the placements, I was able to shadow a barrister in court or at a tribunal, learn about transactions law and public-private partnerships, and participate in student training sessions.
The internship gave me a sense of what I wanted to do with my legal career and of what it takes to break into a world-class legal practice. I'm grateful and feel fortunate to have been given the chance to participate in what I think is the most interesting, rewarding, and valuable summer law student experiences available. I'm confident that everything I learned and the perspective I acquired will be useful to me in future years.
International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland - Jackie Ferreira
Having the opportunity to intern at the International Labour Organization in Geneva is an incredible experience that I am thankful to have had. My work at the ILO was concentrated in the Discrimination unit of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch. I researched different countries' adherence to international labour standards, documented human rights legislation that countries have enacted and regularly contributed to the ILO's website content. In addition, I was involved with the annual International Labour Conference where I contributed to the ILO's "Fifty for Freedom" campaign to end forced labour. In this capacity, I was able to interact with international delegates who represented the Government, employers, and workers of ILO Member States. I am grateful to have been able to experience a large, international work environment while still feeling like an important member of the ILO's Discrimination unit.
Thornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C. - Samantha Pettinato
This summer I interned with the Debt Resolution and Insolvency group at the World Bank in Washington D.C., and it was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. During my time at the Bank I had the opportunity to research insolvency regimes in developing countries, co-author a paper on insolvency in India, plan a panel discussion on international insolvency, and contribute to several papers on alternative dispute resolution. One of the primary projects I worked on was in Zimbabwe, where the Debt Resolution team was advising on potential insolvency law reforms. In association with this project, I participated in an official World Bank mission to Zimbabwe, and also accompanied a delegation to the United Kingdom to study insolvency practitioner regulation and out-of-court workouts.
Through this internship I gained practical experience in both law and business, and learned about the fascinating area of bankruptcy and insolvency. It was wonderful to see the application of law outside of private practice, and to work in a fast-paced environment while collaborating with an international team. This experience has furthered my interest in corporate law, and encouraged me to continue exploring the practice of corporate restructuring.
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in Geneva, Switzerland - Michael Barrett
Spending the summer working for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a student. The ICTSD views the summer intern experience as far more than assisting with the work of the organization. My work was as part of the Innovation & Intellectual Property Group. I followed and attended two IP conferences at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and assisted with editing and writing for two publication series. The legal work I was given was interesting, challenging and rewarding; it improved my core legal skills greatly. However, this was only one of the many beneficial aspects of working for ICTSD. One of my favorite parts of my experience as an intern was working with students from around the world. Each day I spent time with interns from the United States, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, England, and China. Working with such a diverse group truly made my internship an international experience. It benefitted me both personally and professionally and I would recommend it to anyone.
World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland - Amelia Tritter
My experience working at the World Health Organization this past summer was unparalleled. I had the privilege of interning at the headquarters of the WHO in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. My primary task was to assist in developing a technical toolkit for the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. I was responsible for researching alcohol legislation and drafting alcohol policy, and contributed to a publication which is expected to be released by the end of 2015. I also was fortunate to attend the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) at Palais des Nations, which this year focused on the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak. The assignments I worked on this summer were interesting, challenging, and enabled me to apply my legal skills. I was given the opportunity to apply the foundations of the law that I acquired during first year Law to an area of study that I have experience in and am passionate about.
The WHO Internship Program is well developed and encourages networking among other interns and employees. With the assistance of Human Resources, the interns conduct weekly educational seminars, social events, and have a buddy program that helps incoming interns transition to WHO and Geneva. Opportunities such as these reflect the attitude of WHO - to foster personal and professional growth among students from around the world. This opportunity put forth by the International Student Law International Program (ISLIP) has been the highlight of my 8 years at Western University.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in Geneva - Chris Pejovic
During my internship with the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, I was lucky enough to experience many things, including: life in Geneva, an international city with nearly unmatched importance; the many multi-faceted aspects of international law, ranging from Environmental Law to the Law of Armed Conflicts and everything in between; and a network of good friends from across Canada and around the world. My work in the Legal Affairs section of the Mission was extensive and awe inspiring; being able to participate in the Canadian delegation to the 29th session of the Human Rights Council, Canada's International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) hearings, and other conferences was enlightening. This internship truly provided me with an amazing experience and the best summer of my life. The skills and experience I gained from this internship, including legal research and writing skills, negotiation and communication skills, time management skills, and leadership skills, will surely be beneficial in any legal career path I choose to take.
Burford Capital in New York - Jonathan Rand
This summer I was fortunate to be selected as the first Western Law student to participate in an internship placement at Burford Capital, a publicly traded company that specializes in litigation finance. The majority of my internship involved conducting legal research and drafting briefs on several related topics with respect to the third party funding of litigation. Apart from my legal research, I also spent a considerable amount of time in the lending department where I prepared presentations on Burford's core functions, researched competition and made recommendations for developing and expanding the settlement funding service. Getting exposure to a successful and rapidly growing company, applying my backgrounds in finance and economics as well as improving my legal research skills all while spending the summer in New York was almost too good to be true. On the whole, my internship at Burford Capital was an unbelievable experience and one I will always remember fondly as one of the best summers of my life.
Canadian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York - Brandt Chu
Interning at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, in New York City, was by far the best experience I have had so far while in law school. Never did I imagine that by attending Western Law I would have the opportunity to represent Canada at the UN Economic and Social Council or write memos on the international issues of our times.
I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of multilateralism and international law, participate in informal consultations, and represent my country at high-level political events. Canada's lead legal counselor to the UN was my direct supervisor. I assisted him with legal research, provided him briefing notes, and attended numerous meetings and conferences with him or on his behalf. In addition, I had the opportunity to represent Canada at development and political related events and temporarily managed the Mission's bilingual social media presence. The internship taught me the importance of professionalism and cordiality. My time at the Mission helped me re-define my career goals and enabled me to build life-long friendships with people from around the world.
Basketball Arbitral Tribunal in Munich, Germany- Kendra Swallow
The Basketball Arbitral Tribunal internship provided an invaluable experience in sports law and in understanding the different mechanisms of international arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. At the BAT, I learned about the various elements of sports law including contract disputes, doping, team selection, player transfers and international coordination among multiple teams and events. I provided reports on common BAT issues, attended meetings and was brought in to assist the law firm with other files as well. Also, I was given the opportunity to undertake a major reporting project which permitted me to flex my legal analysis skills into synthesizing a useful report for BAT arbitrators in the future.
Working in sport law is unique. It is an interesting mix of contract work, policy work, negotiation and arbitration, and labour and employment law. I am thankful for this experience and am extremely glad to have undertaken the internship in Munich, Germany, working both on BAT and general sport law work for the amazing lawyers at Martens Rechtsanwälte. Anyone interested in sport, entertainment or simply international or contract law would benefit from this internship.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Student Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver - Jasmine Qin
My summer internship at the head office of one of the largest global mining companies gave me a taste of what it is like being an in-house counsel. I worked closely with both the regulatory and legal departments. My role in supporting the in-house counsel centered on understanding the business needs of the company and providing legal input to meet those business needs. In the Regulatory Affairs department, my work focused on compliance and recent developments in laws and best practices for corporate disclosure and governance. This internship allowed me to understand what a public company needs from lawyers and how to work with different stakeholders in tackling multi-faceted problems. These are value-added experiences which I can leverage in the future.
Sahara Force India Formula One in Silverstone, UK - Brent Thomas
My internship at Force India Formula One was a truly amazing experience. Force India is one of the ten teams that compete in the Formula One Championship, considered by most to be the world's premier motorsports championship. It was a truly unique opportunity to be immersed in the behind-the-scenes operation of a race team. Although this internship is, in large part, a sports law internship, it is an opportunity to have a high level responsibility and a lot of exposure to commercial law while working in an in-house legal environment.
This internship gave me the opportunity to gain some extremely valuable, practical legal experience in a truly unique setting. The majority of the work that I performed was contract and commercial based. On a daily basis I was involved in the drafting of a variety of commercial agreements. Additionally, working in an in-house legal environment meant that I was exposed to a diverse range of legal issues including IP, pension agreements, property leases, and regulatory work. This internship experience allowed me to apply and broaden my legal research and writing skills, and gave me the opportunity to develop professional skills that I will carry forward in my future career.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship in Toronto - Dilara Alpli
My summer internship was with the in-house legal department of a client of McCarthy Tétrault. It provided an amazing opportunity to learn about many different facets of business law while gaining a better understanding of the evolving role of in-house counsel. This placement was a dynamic experience in which no day was ever the same, as I had the opportunity to work in all of the department's working groups including Wholesale and Business Banking, Wealth, Technology and Operations, Litigation and Employment and Personal Banking. The internship provided me with an invaluable experience working in the field of corporate law. I was able to develop critical legal skills in a supportive and collaborative environment with lawyers who were enthusiastic to teach me. Through this placement, I significantly improved my legal research and writing skills relevant to the field while also gaining an extensive understanding of Canadian banking and commercial law. I believe these skills and this preliminary knowledge base will prove helpful when working for similar institutional clients at the firm level in the future. I highly recommend this internship to any students interested in business law.
UNDP & TEDA in Beijing and Tianjin, China - Grace Zhang
My summer internship was split between working at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Beijing and the Technological Economic Development Area (TEDA) International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Tianjin. At the UNDP, I was part of the Energy & Environment Team and worked under the national coordinator for the Global Environment Facility's Small Grant Programme (SGP). In this placement I worked on a project related to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and through another I was able to see how SGP projects addressed the problem of how to preserve aspects of traditional culture for ethnic minorities that were unsustainable.
At the ICC, I learned a lot about the financial situation in China and its impacts on trade around the world. I also was able to examine the Market Access Database compiled by the European Commission and understand more about import and export rules, trade barriers, and procedures for competition issues. It was interesting to learn about the procedures through which trade disputes are resolved in front of World Trade Organization (WTO) panels.
I found that my experience at the UNDP and TEDA ICC was very rewarding and would recommend students to apply if they want to work on their research, translation, and self-learning skills. Having spent the majority of my time at the UNDP, I can say that there is much to offer in terms of seeing how the largest intergovernmental organization in the world operates and learning about the realm of international environmental law.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP International Student Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver – Brook Wong
This past summer, I interned at the head office of a global mining company in Vancouver. My work was largely divided between two managers: the corporate secretary and the senior corporate counsel. The internship was sponsored by Cassels Brock and Blackwell and I was able to communicate with some of the lawyers in the firm’s Vancouver office.
My experiences provided first‐hand insight into what sophisticated issuers are looking for from outside counsel. Working under two managers gave me a unique breadth of experience and exposure to the law. I was able to work on projects ranging from regulatory updates to contract review and assisting with negotiations. I learned a lot about how in-house legal counsel works at one of Canada's largest companies. For someone interested in business law (and especially mining law), this internship is an exceptional way to spend the summer.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in Chicago – Scott Kerr
My summer experience at the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) was an interesting and rewarding one. The GLSLCI is a not‐for‐profit organization which serves as a coalition of Mayors from cities in both Canada and the United States and as an environmental advocacy group. GLSLCI’s most important event of the year is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which takes place in June. Mayors from all over the region come together to learn about the latest science, to hear from various advocacy groups, and then ultimately to vote on motions. As an intern, I was able to attend and help organize this year’s AGM which was held in Thunder Bay.
On a day‐to‐day basis, I was tasked with researching and writing memo’s regarding anything that the organization needed, or may need in the future. This included everything from research on international law to writing‐up talking points for Mayors to use during interviews. If you like thinking about the interconnection between the environment and economics, the GLSLCI is a great place to be able to do that kind of work.
Embassy of Canada, Trade Policy Section in Washington D.C. – Artour Rostorotski
This internship with the Canadian Embassy is a wonderful opportunity to learn about international trade law and policy. It provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and to understand the inner workings of the U.S. government and international diplomacy. While my work primarily focused on trade issues, I also received assignments related to agricultural trade and technology. I attended congressional hearings and think tank events, where I took detailed notes and prepared reports about new developments in trade issues of interest to the Embassy. These included international trade agreements that are currently being negotiated between the US and other countries, emerging political and legal issues in commerce-related technologies as well as international financial transactions and investments.
The internship allowed me to develop research and critical analysis skills that apply directly to writing good quality legal memos and conducting legal research.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York City – Lizzie Barrass
During my internship at the Permanent Mission in New York City, I worked closely with the entire humanitarian and development sections to coordinate coverage of negotiations and events, and to assess the need for a Canadian response to developments in negotiations. The experience of following negotiations from start to finish underlined the importance of the interplay of international law, domestic policy, and personal diplomacy. I attended meetings at the UN and prepared reports on several multilateral negotiations of documents to be adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly, and other high-level bodies.
I gained many valuable skills during my ISLIP internship. In addition to expanding my knowledge of Public International Law, I learned about the domestic and foreign policy priorities of the Canadian federal government by working on pressing humanitarian issues and social policy priorities.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship in Toronto – Jeremy Lin
My internship was with the in-house legal department at a client of McCarthy Tétrault. I was placed in the Wholesale and Business Banking group and was also able to work with the other three legal groups, which provided a diverse and rewarding experience. I had the unique opportunity to attend court for a lawyer in the Litigation and Employment Group. During this assignment I produced a “watching brief” which consisted of a detailed report of the testimony given during the pre-trial motions, combined with my own observations regarding witnesses’ credibility, the judge’s opinion of counsel and their witnesses, and the counsels’ strengths and weaknesses.
This internship is an extremely valuable experience to use as a starting point for your legal career and as a way to actively learn and develop as a young professional. The entire team is made up of supportive and kind professionals who are willing to give you as much responsibility as you wish to assume. I believe that my internship has served as a valuable introduction to the role of a summer student and will serve me well in my future endeavors.
Thornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C. – Christian Vieira
My internship with the World Bank Group in Washington D.C. was an exceptional experience. I quickly gained a solid understanding of the Debt Resolution team’s fast-paced and exciting work. One of the major projects I worked on was for Trinidad and Tobago, where the Debt Resolution team helped to facilitate the establishment of a national insolvency regulator within the country, in order to provide an oversight function for the recently proclaimed Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
As part of this project, our team travelled to Trinidad and Tobago for an informative workshop and information sessions with the newly established Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency. I presented before the Supervisor of Insolvency and multiple officials within the country’s Ministry of Finance. This experience provided me with unique insight on the enactment of new legislation and creation of government offices from the perspective of policy-makers. Due to the strong similarities between insolvency legislation in Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, I hope to benefit from the hands-on experience I have gained for use in future practice.
International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland – Jessica He
My internship placement was in the department of Fundamental Principle and Rights at Work within the International Labour Organization (ILO). During the International Labour Law Conference, I sat in on plenary discussions where delegates from different governments, employer groups, unions and NGOs debated various parts of a proposed protocol to strengthen efforts to eliminate forced labour. I was there to witness the voting process and the adoption of this new international legal instrument. The opportunity to sit in the United Nations halls and witness the ILO tripartite parties negotiate, discuss, disagree, and eventually compromise was a fascinating experience.
The best ongoing perk was working in a multicultural workplace. On a daily basis I collaborated with colleagues from different nationalities and cultures. I was able to exchange ideas with individuals who often did not share the same political, social or cultural backgrounds. This difference allowed us to work together to construct the most holistic approach and expanded my own perspective on many professional and personal issues. I truly believe that the ILO is one of the best environments to experience a multicultural workplace and see how effective collaborations can create well-rounded solutions to suit the dynamic needs of ILO member states.
Constitutional Court of the Judicial Yuan in Taipei,Taiwan – Calvin Ho
My internship placement was with Justice Lo, a Justice of the Constitutional Court in Taiwan and an international law professor and director of the Asian Center for WTO & International Health Law and Policy (ACWH). My work revolved around research assignments given to me by Justice Lo on issues in the areas of constitutional and international trade law. One memo involved using a comparative law analysis of constitutional cases from many jurisdictions, including Canada, the United States, Germany, Turkey and India. Other research dealt with international law concepts such as indirect expropriation and international human rights.
There are many useful skills and experiences which this internship provided to me. I became more self‐disciplined working by myself, and I learned to step outside my comfort zone and try new things in Taiwan. On the skills side, I solidified my experience doing legal research and writing, and improved my fluency in Mandarin.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland – Chelsea Smith
My internship at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations and Conference on Disarmament in Geneva was truly an extraordinary experience. Although each day was exciting and enriching, the highlights of my internship were definitely the disarmament conference on lethal autonomous robotic weapons, the 7th session of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The three weeks of the Human Rights Council were incredible. It was great to meet lawyers and law students from around the world, and helping to encourage state delegates to sign as co-sponsors for the Canada-led annual resolution on violence against women was a very rewarding experience.
Through my internship, I strengthened many of my professional skills, including my writing and communication skills, my interpersonal and networking skills, my time-management and organizational skills, my ability to work as a member of a team, and my research skills. This internship provided me with a valuable and personal look into the internal and everyday workings of the United Nations, and allowed me to learn a lot about international relations and cultural sensitivity as well. I learned so much during this internship and was further inspired to seek a bilingual career in public international law.
W.R. Poole, QC Bar Fellowship in London, UK – Neha Chawla
My internship focused on various aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency law and involved placements at four different law firms in London, England: South Square Chambers, White & Case LLP, McCarthy Tétrault, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. At South Square, I was able to shadow a barrister and attend court proceedings at several different levels of court: Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and a County Court. At another placement, I sat with a solicitor in the bank finance group and followed the transactional work and client proceedings such as drafting, client meetings, and discussions with the other party’s legal counsel. At other law firms, I participated in training sessions, including one on preparing witnesses for court.
These internship placements were some of the most rewarding experiences relating to my career thus far. To be in a legal environment after first year was a great opportunity to practically apply the knowledge that I had learned, especially from contracts class. I highly recommend this internship, as I believe it is an excellent opportunity both for career development as well as personal growth.
Department of Justice, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Section in Ottawa – Rozmin Mediratta
It was truly a pleasure to work at the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Section (the “Section”) this summer. The Section works on both citizenship revocations and criminal investigations, making the work being done very interesting and multifaceted. Students are provided with exposure to both criminal and civil work.
My internship was a challenging and rewarding experience. It has allowed me to enhance my legal research and writing skills and gain some hands-on experience. For anyone seeking a career in the field of international criminal law, this internship connects you with leaders in the field and access to their knowledge and advice.
Sahara Force India Formula One in Silverstone, UK – Mikolaj Niski
My summer internship with the Sahara Force India Formula One Team was nothing short of amazing. Force India’s headquarters are located in a little town called Silverstone. In the middle of the British countryside in the Northamptonshire county, Silverstone is the home of the legendary race-track which hosts the British Grand Prix in mid-July every year. I was lucky enough to be able to watch a substantial part of the Grand Prix weekend activities, including the race itself.
Nearly all the work I did this summer was commercial and contract-based. I was seated in the commercial department where the main focus is on sponsorships. I was able to follow the entire negotiation process and could witness a sponsorship deal come to fruition from the initial phone call or lunch meeting to finally signing on the dotted line. While much of my work was centred around these sponsorship agreements, they never felt monotonous because every deal was different from the previous one. Aside from the commercial side of things, I also did a lot of work with agency agreements, licensing agreements and some intellectual property work. I was involved in a wide scope of work and I really enjoyed that the level of trust I was given exponentially grew throughout the summer. I learned a huge amount through this internship and I am very thankful that I was able to take part in it.
Basketball Arbitral Tribunal in Munich, Germany – Curtis Merry
This past summer I had the unique opportunity to be a trainee at one of the largest sports law firms in Europe: Martens Rechtsanwalte. I worked mainly with the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal, with other work coming on a sporadic basis from sources such the Court of Arbitration for Sport and projects completed by the firm for various international bodies. The firm held a reunion party for previous interns, where I was able to learn more about the high profile cases undertaken by the firm in the areas of soccer and other Olympic sports.
Over the summer I developed a special interest in sports law, a field that I had formerly imagined was only a pipe dream to practice in. Working with the firm developed several of the connections which will be helpful if I choose to work in the field.
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) in Toronto & Embassy of Canada in Rome, Italy – Marlee Brillinger
The first part of my internship placement took place at the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association (CME) in Toronto. CME is a non profit trade association that represents the interests of Canadian manufacturers and exporters. During my placement at CME, I was able to utilize my background in international business to conduct research on Canadian trade policy and export markets. I also learned a lot about marketing and business development.
During the second half of my internship, I was an intern in the trade section of the Canadian Embassy in Rome, working with the Trade Commissioners on a variety of projects. My internship at the Embassy was my first experience working for the government and provided a good introduction to how an Embassy is run and its organizational structure.
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands – Laura Meschino
The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ) is a very well‐respected women’s human rights organization that monitors and advocates for greater gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other domestic mechanisms, including peace negotiations and justice processes.
The majority of my work during the first half of my internship consisted of legal monitoring and research on several of the conflict situations currently before the International Criminal Court (ICC), with a specific focus on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Mali. During the second half of my internship, my work focused on projects related to the WIGJ’s 2014 Gender Report Card on the ICC (the “GRC”).
Looking back on my experience, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of the WIGJ Legal Team and to contribute to the meaningful and important work of this organization. Working in The Hague this summer challenged me to think outside the box, beyond the confines of the classroom, and gain valuable practical experience within the field of international law.
Canadian Red Cross in Ottawa – Larissa Fulop
This summer, I interned in the Government Relations, Policy, and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) unit at the Canadian Red Cross (CRC). In June, I attended and helped coordinate the University of Ottawa/CRC IHL Summer Course. The course was offered in both French and English, and I was tasked with attending and reporting on the French language session. This was a great way to brush up on my French and put it to good use in a very practical context.
Much of the work I did was based on interpreting and applying conventions or statutes, both international and domestic, and integrating my political science skills into the way I approached certain assignments. A short piece I wrote on the protection of cultural property during armed conflict, with a particular focus on the effects of the Syrian conflict on its cultural, was e-mailed out to the department as the monthly “IHL Hot Topic” e-mail.
It was refreshing to gain exposure to this kind of legal work, and I now have a greater understanding of how multidimensional and varied the practice of law can be. The work done at the Red Cross is fulfilling, relevant, and diverse, and truly helped to prepare me for the many challenges I will encounter in whatever career I ultimately pursue.
Great Lakes and St.Lawrence Cities Initiative Internship - Caitlin Cross
This internship provides a wonderful opportunity to research and engage with a variety of environmental topics and issues that affect communities in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence region. The research projects I worked on included the environmental impact of nuclear waste storage, and pipeline regulations. I also attended the annual conference held this year in Marquette, Michigan.
This internship not only provided me with great and relevant experience, it also made me more informed on issues that could potentially affect my community. Through this internship, I was able to learn more about environmental regulations in Canada, and it furthered my interest in environmental issues.
International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland - Julie Weller
My internship took place in the department of DECLARATION, which focuses on the four fundamental principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO): the elimination of child labour and forced labour and the promotion of workplace diversity and freedom of association. Within DECLARATION, I worked with a small team on the promotion of workplace diversity. I worked on a number of projects, including one focused on promoting gender diversity in a country through modifications to its legislation. I enjoyed attending sessions at the International Labour Conference on Social Discussion and Application of Standards. Through this ILO internship, I gained invaluable experience drafting documents, researching and interpreting legislation from different countries and working in a team.
International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland - Catherine Caldwell
The ILO is part of the United Nations and focuses on protecting workers’ rights and is responsible to three constituent groups: the employers, the government and the workers of each Member State.
This internship helped me learn more about public international law and labour laws in particular countries. One project I worked on involved researching the situation of migrant workers and racial discrimination in a certain country.
Given the increasingly globalized economy, an understanding of international labour conventions and an ability to read and understand domestic labour laws with facility is important for labour and employment lawyers representing clients with international business interests.
Caribbean Court of Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago — Heather Barnes
As an intern with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), I was asked to research relevant points of law, edit drafts of decisions and write decision summaries. I had the pleasure of working through numerous drafts of one of the Justice’s decisions from the earliest stages. This was an excellent process to be a part of, as it helped me to see behind the curtain of decision writing, as well as allowed me to see how the Justice’s legal opinion developed and adjusted as he worked through the issues. When this decision was finalized, I was asked to write the Executive Summary for the court. The experience of working at an international tribunal is invaluable. The attentiveness of the Justice in working with me to develop my legal writing skills was excellent. I am confident that the connections I made, the knowledge I gained, and the skills I developed will be greatly beneficial to my future career.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland - Kimberly Ruiter
This internship was an incredible opportunity. On the World Trade Organization (WTO) side of the Permanent Mission of Canada, I worked on a research project and attended WTO meetings. I also attended a number of conference sessions at the Economic and Social Council and at "Strengthening Compliance in International Humanitarian Law." The highlight of the internship was participating in the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions. I was assigned to cover meetings on a wide variety of topics and drafted reports summarizing the events. This internship exposed me to what a career in international law could be like and enhanced my research and writing skills.
Basketball Arbitration Tribunal in Munich, Germany – Liam Kelley
The Basketball Arbitration Tribunal (BAT) is hosted by the law firm Martens Rechtsanwälte in Munich. During the internship, I worked on BAT case briefs and memos regarding player-agent regulations, player transfer and disciplinary decisions. I also drafted several research memos outlining Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) jurisprudence.
While I am most passionate about basketball, I am also interested in sport law more generally. At my request, I was able to work on a high-profile soccer case involving match-fixing. This internship experience has given me an in-depth understanding of sport law issues, which will be an asset in any future work in that field.
Larry J. Innanen International Student Internship in Economic Law at the Bank of China and Mayer Brown JSM in Hong Kong, China – Maggie Xu
My role at Bank of China was as a summer visiting intern. I was introduced to the many departments at the Bank which included exposure to debt issuance, global market securities (including derivatives, especially negotiations for derivatives contracts), and litigation (such as fraud-related litigation involving the Bank). At Mayer Brown, I was part of the team of summer students and worked in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, debt issuance and IPO. These two internships helped me tremendously, not only in the substantive skills I have learned by being exposed to different areas of business law and watching different lawyers' practice styles, but also in the relationships I have made. Everyone was extremely friendly and hardworking, and the environment inspired everyone to be their best and to stay dedicated to their profession.
Thornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C. - Matei Olaru
Undoubtedly, the most engaging and exciting project during my internship, as a consultant in the Debt Resolution and Business Exit group of the International Finance Corporation, was traveling to Bangladesh to help draft an amendment to the country’s Civil Procedure Code. The amendment focused on strengthening a new mandatory mediation law that the government had passed a few months before. Over the course of nine days, we met with elected government officials, High Court and Supreme Court judges, members of the local Bar and the drafting wing of the Supreme Court, to gain input, make recommendations and ultimately begin the drafting process.
Working with the World Bank is perhaps one of the most exciting ISLIP opportunities. From an experience perspective, you touch several areas of law and business internationally in a very short amount of time. Chances are you’ll also get to travel to a developing nation where you’ll meet with business, political and legal leaders.
Cassels Brock International Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver - Megan Lem
This past summer, through the Cassels Brock Mining Finance internship, I worked at the head office of a global mining company and divided my time between work relating to regulatory affairs and legal work. I experienced the practice of law under real-world conditions and in real-time at the world's fastest growing senior gold mining company. This experience has given me a real taste for the practice of business law in the extractive industries, but has also sensitized me to the similarity and portability of legal principles between industries.
Council of the Great Lakes Region in Toronto - Mitchel Boughs
The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a new nonprofit, launched in the spring of 2013. My work involved drafting documents for this nascent organization, including a memorandum of understanding, a business plan and bylaws. I am pursuing a career in the field of environmental law and this experience of learning about non-profits and regional planning from the inside will be invaluable to me. Increasingly, regional planning involves much more than transportation, infrastructure and zoning issues. The environment and sustainability are quickly becoming top priorities to all stakeholders, public or private, involved in planning. The context I now have about this corner of environmental field will serve me well in my legal future.
Council of the Great Lakes Region in Toronto - Leonard Tan
My primary project during the internship was to determine options for the Council of the Great Lakes Region to obtain charitable status. I reviewed laws and regulations in both Canada and the US, since this is a bi-national organization. I also worked on reviewing the bylaws, and drafted wording for some new ones in relation to the charitable status project.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP International Internship in Business Law in Toronto - Sharon Au
My internship at a client of McCarthy Tétrault was a great opportunity for me to learn about the inner workings of one of the largest financial institutions in Canada. During the summer, I did work for all four practice groups – personal banking, wholesale banking, litigation/labor & employment, and wealth/technology. This allowed me to have a well-rounded summer in which I could see what different lawyers in different practice groups do on a day-to-day basis. Through this internship, I was exposed to the importance of the relationship between in-house counsel and their Bay Street counterparts. It was a very valuable experience and provided me with the opportunity to do real, and interesting, legal work at a place where people were happy to teach and provide constructive feedback.
Asian Institute of International Financial Law, University of Hong Kong - Vivian Li
During my summer internship, I worked with a number of faculty members at the Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL). I conducted research on executive compensation and the moral critiques of law & economics. I was also able to attend conference sessions, guest lectures and workshops held at the HKU Law School. This internship experience has been so inspiring and exciting, and I am so thankful to have been granted this opportunity to be in Hong Kong for the summer.
Larry J. Innanen International Student Internship in Economic Law at the Asian Institute of International Finance Law, University of Hong Kong – Ari Lokshin
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Hong Kong this summer. I learned a lot of substantive legal knowledge about Hong Kong law and politics and I also learned about Chinese and Hong Kong culture. (They are surprisingly different). I gained invaluable knowledge of Hong Kong law and politics in general, and more specific knowledge of tax and property law. I also was able to constantly work on my research skills and to develop a strong independent work ethic.
I believe these skills will definitely contribute to my success in the future. As Asia’s leading financial centre, such intimate knowledge of Hong Kong law is a very valuable asset at my disposal.
International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland – Elba Bendo
During my internship, I worked in the non-discrimination branch of the Programme to Promote the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (DECLARATION). My assignments were related to advancing the principles of non-discrimination in employment and occupation.
One of the most rewarding experiences was attending the 2012 International Labour Conference (ILC). I especially enjoyed working at the kiosk because I had the opportunity to speak with delegates from all over the world and familiarize myself with the other areas of Declaration: forced labour and freedom of association. Interning at the ILO is a valuable asset to those students who are interested in practicing labour and employment law but it can also be helpful to those that hope to practice in other areas.
Cassels Brock International Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver – Daniel Stober
The Cassels Brock Mining Finance Internship is truly a unique opportunity to gain hands-on, practical legal experience at one of Canada’s most successful companies. The skills that I developed in my internship will serve me well in my future legal career, and the opportunities to develop relationships with top Canadian executives are unparalleled. Not only did I have a fantastic summer living in Vancouver, but I also returned with a real understanding of the direction I wanted my legal career to take. While this internship should be a top priority for anyone interested in business or corporate law, I believe that the experience it provides will stand out no matter what area of law you are interested in.
Caribbean Court of Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago – Harold Godsoe
At the CCJ, I learned a great deal about international court operations, and the kinds of broad judicial problems that challenge emerging nations and economic regions. I learned about how judges approach novel international and comparative law problems– especially in conversations with two of the Justices. I had the opportunity to observe some litigation, contribute to some of the brilliant judgments of the court, and examine some capable and not-so-capable submissions from diverse counsel. Finally, I made friends and contacts in an interesting and growing area of the world.
Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP - World Bank Group International Student Internship in Bankrupcy and Insolvency Law in Washington, DC – Nina Plotnik
The internship was a unique and inspiring experience that allowed me to observe and participate in different country projects and assess their impact on the economy. This led me to develop a deeper appreciation for the role of bankruptcy and insolvency regimes in private sector development across the globe. Working under the guidance of the group leader and his team of experts was a learning opportunity like no other. Through the internship, I enhanced and sharpened my research and analytical skills, communication and presentation abilities, time-management and multi-tasking capabilities. I have no doubt that this internship prepared me well for my future career.
World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland – Jaime Cardy
My summer interning at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, was an incredibly rewarding experience. Although I have a background in health, I had very limited exposure to the interesting and evolving intersection between health and human rights until this summer. My knowledge regarding the UN and its member organizations was also rather limited (to what I had learned in Public International Law) until I actually started working for one of those organizations. Now, I have a much more in depth appreciation for the work that takes place on the international stage by nongovernmental organizations.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP International Internship in Business Law in Toronto – Saqib Butt
Interning at a client of McCarthy Tétrault was an extremely useful learning experience. Working on Bay Street with in-house counsel for a major financial institution allowed me to gain insight into the practice of law that very few students and young lawyers get to experience. This internship was invaluable for meeting many veteran lawyers and beginning to learn the differences between many of the major law firms in downtown Toronto.
UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, The Netherlands – Scott Robinson
My internship took place in the Trial Chamber II of ICTY. I was assigned to a case that provided both unprecedented substantive and procedural issues that made working on the case very interesting. My work with the team began during the start of the final trial judgement drafting – and I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to write several sections of the judgement. As someone passionately devoted to the field of public international law, I am incredibly grateful and fortunate to have been involved in the work of the Tribunal and the United Nations this past summer.
Spending the summer in The Hague itself was fascinating and allowed me to further my contacts in international law. I was able to attend regular lectures, seminars and events at various international organizations and societies. These opportunities do not present themselves in areas elsewhere. As someone very interested in international law, with a desire to practice in the field in some sense for a career, there was no better place in the world than The Hague for me to intern.
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in Vienna, Austria – Michele Qu
This internship provided a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of the practice of international law and the effort of the United Nations spent in harmonizing international trade law. More importantly, I gained more valuable perspectives in terms of which areas of international law I found more interesting and thus would like to be specialized in.
As an intern, I prepared UNCITRAL official documents and publications that circulate to various state governments, drafted responses to answer questions asked by high-ranked national officials, and prepared Commission’s meeting documents. Through working and interacting with the legal officers and the other interns from all over the world, interesting legal topics were discussed, such as comparing the EU’s regional approaches in harmonizing private law and the UN’s universal approaches in harmonizing international trade law.
Embassy of Canada to the United States, Economic and Trade Policy Section, in Washington, DC and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters in Toronto– Jonathan Preece
My work at the Embassy greatly expanded my understanding of Canada-US trade and investment relations and, more specifically, the dynamic relationship between trade policy, politics and law. I developed a more thorough understanding of the legal regimes that govern international trade and how domestic interests shape trade policy. Attending Senate and Congressional hearings in Washington also exposed me to the American legislative process and how US law can affect Canadian export industries. At a professional level, my work at the embassy provided valuable insight into how a legal education can be used outside private practice and made me aware of the opportunities that are available to law graduates in the Foreign Service.
My work with CME gave me a distinctly private-sector perspective. Interacting with CME members and other industry associations provided me with an opportunity to see how manufacturing industries are affected by legislation, and conversely, how organizations such as the CME affect Canadian trade policy.
Department of Justice – War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity Section in Ottawa – Rahul Menon
My internship with the Department of Justice was eye-opening in many respects. I was able to work with well known international law scholars and practitioners. I also had an opportunity to work in the RCMP’s war crimes section for a week while conducting research on a file. Further, my colleagues gave me valuable career advice and tips on how to approach a career in international criminal law.
Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative – Noah HobsonNot having taken environmental law previously, completing this part time legal internship has affirmed my interest in environmental law and strengthened my understanding of municipal, provincial and federal government. After attending the GLSLCI annual conference, I quickly learned that municipal governments are the ones in the trenches being the first point of contact for disgruntled citizens, as well as ground zero for the implementation of federal and provincial policies. This internship would benefit anyone interested in pursuing a career in environmental law, climate change law, water management, municipal law/politics and public service provincially or federally.
Cassels Brock International Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver - Braden Jebson
I gained tremendous practical experience while interning at a client of Cassels Brock. In addition to the development of practical legal skills, this internship provided excellent networking opportunities. I had the opportunity to work with a number of senior members of management of the company as well as a number of the Board of Directors.
This internship is unique in that it provides solid benefits to multiple legal markets. While it provides excellent experience for a student interested in corporate law and securities, working for an industry leader stands out and leaves you well positioned for whatever avenue you choose to pursue.
Caribean Court of Justice, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago - Kristine Spence
As someone who has an interest in international law and litigation, I found the experience to be invaluable. I learned a lot about international comparative law, and had the unique benefit of working for both an international tribunal and an appellate court. I had the opportunity to see a number of advocates in action and to read their written submissions which gave me a realistic idea of what a litigant's job entails. Working directly with one of the Justices was also an experience that I would not trade for anything. It is not often that a person gets to work directly with a judge, or to have conversations with them on legal topics.
Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York - Madeleine Gorman
For students that have a genuine interest in international law, government or NGO employment or work outside the traditional firm system, this is an incredible opportunity! Without going out of my way, I had the opportunity to meet true experts in their field, international prosecutors and representatives from incredible organizations like Amnesty International, the International Centre of Transitional Justice, the World Bank and Human Rights Watch.
This summer I learned a great deal about my personal legal passions, strengths and weaknesses. When I returned to classes in the fall, I recognized just how deeply the internship impacted me and how much I have learned about international law, diplomatic relations and the way the world works behind closed doors.
Canadian Embassy, Trade Policy Section, Washington D.C. and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Toronto - Jeff Claydon
For students interested in pursuing a career in international trade policy, this internship provides unique insight into how Canadian trade policy is established, and how the Canadian government interacts with the United States in trade negotiations/disputes. Further, it provides exposure to how power ful trade interest groups engage government and influence the development of trade policy. Students interested in trade law should strongly consider taking this internship.
Larry J. Innanen International Student Internship in Economic Law at the Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development, Chinese University of Hong Kong - Evelyn Wong
The internship at CFRED was a great experience for me. For one, it taught me to work independently and to research efficiently. While I was given a lot of freedom and ownership over my research, my supervisor also provided me with a lot of guidance with regards to what other considerations I should be researching. This advice and tips taught me to look at things from different perspectives, and also taught me how to make better use of my resources. Another advantage of the internship was the great range of work and projects I was able to participate in. Without a science background, it would have been difficult for me to ever become involved with such an interesting intellectual property project, in firms or elsewhere. However, my supervisor gave me the opportunity to work in great detail with a project that not only involved intellectual property concerns, but also trade law as well. While both areas were new to me at the beginning of my internship, the expectations quickly pushed me to learn the new areas of law to my best ability. I firmly believe this experience has shaped me into a better worker and researcher.
International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland - Sarah Smith
My experience this summer has been invaluable. I met talented and friendly people from around the world with a diversity of experiences and perspectives. I have been exposed to a truly global perspective of labour law, which will undoubtedly inform my future practice.
My major project this summer was a guide for employers and union leaders on how to combat racial discrimination in their workplaces. This is practical information I will use when I am representing employers and unions. In addition to this information, I also developed "soft skills" such as the ability to work independently and as part of a team, cross-cultural communication, and networking skills. I have also gained familiarity with reading and interpreting labour, employment, and human rights legislation from other countries. I am confident that this experience will open doors for me professionally, and serve me well in future practice.
Robert White International Student Internship in Labour Law at the International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland - Ben Prichard
I believe the future of labour law will necessarily be international. Having the opportunity to make lifelong friends and contacts that will be working in labour across the globe will surely prove invaluable to my career. Moreover, having a sound understanding of how an organization as important as the ILO functions from the inside will prove useful in my career as a labour lawyer.
Wildeboer Dellelce LLP World Exchange Internship at the London Stock Exchange, London, UK - Lauren Lefcoe
I can undoubtedly say that this was my best work experience to date. The breadth of work I received and my involvement in novel legal research and transformative business initiatives was challenging and intellectually enriching from both a business and legal perspective.
Gaining insight into the operations of such a dynamic and successful international stock exchange was a phenomenal way to enhance my legal education and explore the field of corporate law. I also found working at the LSE a valuable experience in terms of learning to adjust to the office environment. The legal department involved me in some very complex assignments and entrusted me with significant responsibility. I was able to improve my networking skills while interacting with other departments and lawyers from other firms in London. Working in such a diverse setting taught me how to communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences, including lawyers and business executives.
Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP World Bank International Student Internship in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law at International Finance Corporation, Washington DC - Michael Shakra
The internship introduces the student to world-class insolvency experts and is useful in solidifying a great knowledgebase on global and cross-border insolvency practices. The broad objective of my work during the internship was to assist with reforms that support private sector development through debt resolution work. Much of the work I performed during the summer focused on researching the technical aspects of insolvency law across several global regions. This included preparing research memos on both existing and draft laws in areas such as MENA, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe.
World Health Organization - Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights Department, Geneva, Switzerland - Melody Jahanzadeh
In researching the intersection between health and human rights, I really broadened my understanding of a very new field and gained an understanding of how different areas fit together and complement one another. I was also able to hone my researching and writing skills, and gained insight into how to effectively negotiate. These are skills that are crucial in the legal profession, and this internship has provided me with a skill set that I believe will benefit me throughout my career.
I learned not just how the WHO operates, but how the UN system functions as a whole and how different agencies work together to bring about change. The opportunity to attend so many UN sessions was particularly valuable, and is not something I likely would have ever been able to experience without this internship. I was able to contribute to a World Health Assembly draft resolution that will be the first of its kind, and learned a great deal from my colleagues, who were all extremely intelligent and accomplished. This experience was definitely an advantage during the articling recruitment, and all in all was a really incredible experience.
World Bank Inspection Panel, Washington, D.C. - Matthew Irish
The internship was fantastic. I am interested in environmental and international law and I was able to explore both of these areas through my work with the Panel. I was able to have direct involvement on the Inspection Panel's findings on multi-billion dollar projects that had huge impacts on communities in the affected countries. The experience has broadened my scope of international law and how international financial institutions play a role in shaping both national and international law.
Canadian Red Cross, Ottawa - Stephanie Doucet
From the moment I began working, I was immersed in the world of the Red Cross. The Haiti meetings I attended were a great experience, as I was able to meet people from other national societies and experience the way in which they coordinate together on movement wide projects. I also really enjoyed participating in the International Humanitarian Law summer course at the University of Ottawa.
Caribbean Court of Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago - Michelle Hoffmann
This internship was an incredible experience, and will be immensely useful for my future career goal of working in international law, but would also be useful in private law. Throughout the course of my internship I was involved in a wide range of topics, like criminal, constitutional, corporate, employment, international and sports law. I acquired knowledge of the legal issues across jurisdictions, and was often asked for the Canadian perspective, which gave me a good understanding of the approach in Canada as well. This internship would be a great experience for anyone who is looking to improve their legal research skills, hear feedback on litigation strategy from the perspective of a judge, and get experience working in an international legal environment.
Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York - Danielle Koehn
This summer I had the privilege of being the Legal Affairs Intern at the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City, where the United Nations Headquarters is located. As someone who has always been fascinated by the United Nations, this internship was a phenomenal experience that combined law, international relations, and national policy. I really enjoyed looking at the Canadian perspective of international issues which arose at the United Nations to see how potential negotiations, declarations and resolutions would affect our country and how our country could affect the outcome of an international issue.
Being in the United Nations and representing Canada's position was an extremely interesting and enlightening experience. Getting exposed to the international community at the UN and in interactions with other NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and IGOs (intergovernmental organizations) has really opened my eyes to the variety of careers that interest me legally.
British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) in London, U.K. - Jesse Harper
My internship developed out of an arrangement between the UWO International Law Internship Program and Fasken Martineau's Secondment Program (where I otherwise worked for the summer). As such, the internship was for a shorter period of time - only four weeks.
The research that I was able to carry out during my short time at the Institute not only helped me develop my skills but also developed my interest in the field of private international law. Finally, it gave me insight into another potential area for me to pursue in my career by working within a largely academia-based organization, an opportunity that would be hard to obtain otherwise.
Canadian Embassy, Trade Policy Section in Washington, D.C. - Philip Turi
I was extremely fortunate to have spent my secondment at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.. Upon my arrival, I was most impressed by the young, dynamic and compassionate group of Canadians assembled at the Embassy; each with their own unique story and Canadian pride. I was lucky enough to sit in on a Senate hearing in my first week on the job. In addition, I was impressed by the unique advocacy role played by the Embassy and its staff. As my secondment progressed, it became increasingly clear that working with American policymakers on behalf of Canadians required an in-depth understanding of the U.S. political system. Perhaps more importantly, it requires creative messaging that serves to elicit the domestic benefit to be gained from listening to and working with Canada.
World Health Organization (WHO); Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights Department in Geneva, Switzerland - Ana Rodriguez Garcia
This internship was extremely useful for my future career goals. It provided me with the opportunity to learn many new things that will, without a doubt, be very useful in my career in the future. It also gave me the opportunity to meet great people. Networking was a big part of the internship.
This internship also opened my eyes as to how the WHO actually functions. It helped me to think about my future career goals and to re-evaluate them. It gave me an idea of what I should be working on at this point to be able to attain these goals and the many different paths there are to get to where I want to go.
International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland - Julia Nanos
Working at the International Labour Organization was a particularly rewarding experience not only because of the diversity of projects and issues with which the team dealt with, but also because the team in Declaration was willing to involve interns in every facet of a given project and entrust students with significant responsibility beyond mere research.
I was also given the opportunity to volunteer to undertake a significant legal and non-legal research project on HIV and AIDS discrimination in the workplace.
It will be immensely rewarding to see my ideas and even my own words in the 2011 Report, and to hopefully see them being discussed at next year's Conference (which I have been invited to attend should my schedule permit).
World Bank Inspection Panel in Washington, D.C. - Katheen Chung
My work included conducting research into the international environmental treaties applicable to a given member state of a Panel investigation. Based on this research, I compiled a report, intended to be included in the Panel's final investigation report, on the obligations of the nation to uphold its responsibilities under international law. This was a great opportunity for me to learn more about my particular interest in environmental law as applied to the actions of the World Bank and the role of the Inspection Panel.
The opportunity to immerse myself in the daily goings-on and functions of a multilateral organization as large as the World Bank was notable in allowing me to gain insights into the practice of international human rights and environmental law, make useful contacts for the future and solidify my interest in environmental law.
An internship with the Panel might be of particular interest for those students interested in international law, human rights and/or sustainable development.
Cassels Brock International Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver, B.C. - Zohar Barzilai
I can tell you that working at a client of Cassels Brock was an absolutely amazing experience. Working in the head office of the second largest gold mining company in the world, and in beautiful Vancouver of all places, was a recipe for a great summer. From exposure to top-level transactional work, to working with members of the legal, tax, regulatory and risk departments, to the many networking opportunities available, this internship proved to be an invaluable experience
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in Vienna, Austria - Katerina Minaeva
This internship has given me an incredible opportunity to better understand the structure and work of the United Nations. Harmonization of international trade law is a not a simple endeavour and requires cooperation from a number of parties for a successful ratification.
I can now better appreciate the time and effort necessary to draft a single article in a given model law or a convention capable of receiving global support. This complex undertaking is not possible without a well researched foundation that is produced in the offices of the UNCITRAL Secretariat. As a result, it was rewarding to see my research used directly by the legal officers to support the working papers and resolutions needed to further a new legislative tool or a revision of a current model law or convention. The interaction with the legal officers and the bright interns from all over the world made the months in Vienna that much more interesting and memorable.
International Law Internship Program Self-Proposed Internship - Rural Women Making Change in Guelph, ON; North Bay, ON & Atlanta, GA - Heather Alexander
My internship was unique among the positions supported by the ILIP during Summer 2010 for three reasons: firstly, the internship was self-proposed, secondly, I was able to design the project I worked on all summer, and thirdly, the internship implicated work with a regional organization that had not previously been affiliated with Western Law. I spent my summer working as a researcher with "Rural Women Making Change" (RWMC), a University-Community research group headquartered at the University of Guelph.
I produced a paper and power point presentation that I delivered as part of the "Women in Development for Institutional Empowerment" panel session at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society in Atlanta, Georgia .on August 13, 2010. This conference trip was subsidized by RWMC. My presentation went extremely well, and my research was praised for its marriage of legal scholarship, anthropological methodology and rural sociological perspectives. I was invited back to present next year, and I was invited to rework this paper into a chapter for publication in a serial produced by the Rural Sociological Society
This experience has enabled me to work on the cutting edge of interdisciplinary research, to present my work to scholars from across the globe, to broaden my audience through the prospect of publication, and to provide my informants with an opportunity to contribute to positive social change; each of these outcomes is invaluable regardless of whether I pursue a career in advocacy or academia, and for that I thank the ILIP!
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) Internship - Andrea Yau
This internship allowed me to put the legal skills I had learned in the past two years of law school to use in a real life setting, and most importantly, it allowed me to do so with work that I found to personally gratifying. I found that my assigned projects required me to think outside the box, and to take unconventional research methods when the answers were not readily available in the library or on the internet. I enjoyed this aspect of the internship immensely as I found the process of finding the solution almost as satisfying as the solution itself. I really enjoyed the opportunity to pursue my interest in environmental law, and I found that this internship really brought environmental law to life for me, and I appreciated the chance to grapple with these issues under the guidance of an expert organization like the GLSLCI.