Western Law Internship Program (WLIP)

Western Law student at the UN Permanent Mission

The Western Law Internship Program (WLIP) was launched in March 2006 to provide Western Law students with interesting, substantive, internships with a strong intercultural or international component. WLIP encourages students to expand their law knowledge beyond the classroom, in a professional legal environment.

In many of the internships, interns are asked to research and analyze domestic, international, and comparative law issues for their organizations. In addition, interns may be asked to assist in court, United Nations sessions, or international, governmental, non-governmental or client meetings. WLIP internships have consistently improved students research and writing skills, as well as their marketability in our increasingly global economy.

The number of internships and placement locations change annually, but usually 10 to 15 internships are offered each year. Internships take place between May and August and last 10-12 weeks. Interns receive a stipend to cover basic expenses during their internships including travel, accommodation, and visas.

During the internship, interns provide monthly reports in addition to an extensive final report at the end of their internship summarizing their experience.

Interested students are invited to attend WLIP information sessions held in the Fall of each year. Information sessions are advertised through the SLS.

More information, including how to apply, can be found on Atlas, Western’s platform for international programs.

For questions about the Western Law Internship Program (WLIP), please contact Western Law's International Program Office at lawintl@uwo.ca or 519-661-2111, ext 83831.

Internship Opportunities 

Examples of Previous Student Placements

Students have participated in internships with a focus on Public Law, Indigenous Law, Sports Law, Business Law, International Law and more. Below is a small sampling of placements that have been offered since the inception of the program in summer 2006. Please note that the internships listed below are for illustrative purposes only. WLIP cannot guarantee that a student will be placed with a specific organization for an internship in any given year.

Reflections from Past Interns

Quotes from 2021 Participants

Sarah ChenMcCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship – Sarah Chen

Throughout the summer, I was able to reach out to lawyers working in different areas of law at CIBC. Because of the internship’s flexibility, I was able to take part in numerous projects, including provincial cannabis and insurance research, implementing comments on an offering memorandum and identifying potential concerns in contract clauses. Working with an in-house team was also an immersive experience, in which I learned how various business departments in a financial institution rely on legal advice and solutions. Understanding the nexus between a company's strategic goals and legal prudence will prove helpful in my future career. This internship has helped affirm my interest in business law. In addition, as I was able to experience a wide variety of work, I narrowed down specific areas of corporate law in which I am interested in working during my 2L summer. This internship is a valuable experience for any student interested in business law who would like to learn more about practical legal issues! I am thankful to McCarthy Tétrault, CIBC and WLIP for providing a rewarding summer internship.

Rachel HennickCanadian Red Cross – Rachel Hennick

My experience as an intern for the Canadian Red Cross superseded my expectations. I can honestly say that, despite the internship being conducted entirely remotely, I have gained invaluable experience and further developed my legal research and writing skills, and have had a fabulous time doing it! The Canadian Red Cross is part of one of the most prestigious humanitarian networks globally and maintains a robust internship program. Throughout my internship at the Red Cross, I had the opportunity to work in the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) division, an area of law that primarily deals with armed conflict. This experience was unique, as working with the Red Cross allowed me to discover an area of law that combines my ability to grow as a legal advocate and my passion for public interest work. Some of my favourite assignments included attending the United Nations annual event, Protection of Civilians Week, and assisting the legal team in researching and preparing a legal memorandum on the Arms Trade Treaty. Throughout my twelve weeks as an intern at the Red Cross, I gained invaluable exposure to a legal setting and further developed my legal research and writing skills by assisting in developing policy papers and legal memoranda. Each assignment also equipped me to acquire the tools and exposure to become a competent and diligent legal advocate and learn to balance a big-picture mindset with a detail-oriented one. This internship has shown me that I can combine my desire to have a promising legal career and make a difference. While it is unknown whether I will practice IHL in the future, I have gained important practice skills to achieve my goals.

Jonathan NgIntegrated Legal Services Office (Debwewin Summer Law Internship) – Jonathan Ng

This past summer, I was placed at the Integrated Legal Services Office (ILSO), a Legal Aid Ontario clinic located in Ottawa. ILSO provides eligible low-income people with services in areas such as family law, immigration law, landlord-tenant issues, and Ontario Disability Support Payment claims. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my internship was entirely remote, however I still had many opportunities to apply legal learnings in practical settings. Working on projects such as a Humanitarian & Compassionate application for a refugee family, an Ontario Disability Support Program appeal, and a workshop comparing Canadian and Indigenous legal traditions all presented unique challenges that were incredibly fulfilling. I also had the opportunity to work in a client-facing role as I called and interviewed clinic clients. This much responsibility was initially intimidating, but as I became comfortable, I gained confidence and was better able to identify relevant information and explain concepts. Being able to manage client relationships, as well as conduct legal research and write submissions, are all transferrable skills that I am sure I will be able to use throughout my career.

Alexandra WalkerPermanent Mission of Canada to the World Trade Organization – Alexandra Walker

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Canada’s Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Interning at the Mission remotely allowed me to expand my professional skills and gain a window into international trade law as a career path. I was able to observe negotiations first hand, collaborate on drafting remarks and participate in discussions and research projects on some of the most vital current issues at the WTO. Learning about the legal architecture which underpins international trade law in a professional environment added a depth of understanding difficult to achieve through academic study alone. It was particularly compelling to see WTO Members grapple with issues raised by COVID-19 and plan for pandemic recovery. I highly recommend this internship for anyone who has an interest in government work or international law. It has been an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience.

Valerie ChengRama First Nations (Debwewin Summer Law Internship) – Valerie Cheng

I completed my internship with Rama First Nations through the Debwewin Summer Program this summer. I was drawn to the opportunity to gain practical experience to supplement the more theoretical Indigenous studies I had been learning. I was not only able to draft legal research memos, but was given the opportunity to draft leases, contracts, and various legal documents. I am confident that these experiences will translate to transferable skills in my future career. In addition, the internship allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of more grounded impacts that the justice system has on the Indigenous community. This has contributed to a wider perspective on how to contribute to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal field.

Liam DartNishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation (Debwewin Summer Law Internship) – Liam Dart

This summer I had the privilege of being placed at Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services (NALSC). I worked primarily under the Staff Lawyer, conducting legal research and creating public legal education presentations. These projects not only gave me the opportunity to improve my legal research skills but allowed me to gain client-focused experience in addressing prevalent issues and improving legal education in Northern Ontario. Due to the ongoing pandemic, I completed my internship remotely, which presented some challenges that I did not anticipate. This pushed me to be direct when asking questions and to take initiative in asking for more work. I also worked on drafting a memorandum focusing on the use and development of Impact of Race and Culture Assessments in sentencing hearings featuring Black Canadians. This allowed me to learn and research an evolving area of the law that has been applied, much like R v Gladue, to address over-incarceration and systemic discrimination. The NALSC internship has not only fostered my interest in several practice areas, it has allowed me to become a better advocate by furthering my cultural competency and providing the opportunity to apply evolving legal concepts.

Hannah DownardUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Canada – Hanna Downard

My internship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Canada (UNCHR) was truly remarkable. Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to hone legal research, writing, and advocacy skills which I believe will serve me well in my legal career ahead. As an intern, I completed interesting and meaningful work. This ranged from analyzing trends in refugee claimants’ cases to better aid future applicants, to writing a variety of memoranda on topics such as statelessness, unaccompanied minors, and gender-based violence. A highlight from my experience was working to draft submissions reflecting UNHCR’s position on proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Board’s guidelines for deciding gender-based refugee claims. This project was gratifying as it will ultimately inform the IRB’s approach to gender-based refugee claims, aiding future refugees. Through my internship, by better understanding how UNHCR works to advocate for refugees and uphold international obligations, I have gained important insight into international refugee law, human rights law, and Canadian policy in practice. I have had the opportunity to engage with international and Canadian stakeholders while learning from foremost international professionals. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to develop as an advocate while contributing to meaningful work. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone with an interest in international, refugee, or human rights law.

Christine PhillipsOntario Bar Association – Christine Phillips

My experience as an intern at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) was an excellent complement to my legal training from my first year in law school. The OBA advocates for members of the Ontario Bar and provides continuing professional development programs across 40 different practice areas. As a summer intern, I drafted submissions in response to proposed legislative amendments, conducted research and wrote memoranda to inform advocacy plans, researched topics related to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in support of Charlene Theodore's ‘Work that Works’ podcast, identified topics of interest and potential speakers for professional development programs and prepared updates for members of the bar related to developments in court procedures and policy. Along with the opportunity to apply the legal research and writing skills acquired in my first year of studies at law school, the experience enriched my legal training by offering insight into the practical realities of keeping abreast of legal developments as a practicing lawyer. I learned about the current priorities of the legal profession such as pandemic recovery and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within the bench and the bar, how these priorities are promoted across the bar, and the support offered to the legal community to drive legal improvements. This experience was a great benefit during the 2L recruit in terms of assessing my own strengths and challenges and deciding which firms to apply to. I have no doubt that the experience will continue to be valuable during my job search and interview process, as well as over the duration of my career. Thank you to WLIP and to the OBA for this excellent opportunity.

Sukhvir Singh GillCanadian Broadcasting Corporation – Sukhvir Singh Gill

This past summer, I had the pleasure of interning with the legal department at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)! While my internship was conducted remotely, everyone at CBC was incredibly supportive and accommodating throughout this experience. I worked with several lawyers in the business law and media law groups and on a wide range of legal matters. My work included contract review, due diligence, participation in client meetings and procurement negotiations, and extensive research and writing. Overall, this internship has given me an insight into the nature of business and media law work and allowed me to hone my legal, research, and writing skills.

Wendy WangThornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law – Wendy Wang

My summer internship at the World Bank Group as part of the Debt Resolution and Insolvency Team was incredibly fulfilling. I was exposed to various aspects of insolvency law in a global context, different policy responses to COVID-19, and the ways in which the World Bank assesses and advises governments on their insolvency regimes. In addition to reviewing draft legislation and insolvency publications, I conducted research on a variety of topics such as online dispute resolution platforms and the effects of disruptive technology on the legal practice. I also participated in many meetings with foreign government officials and judges, which was a valuable opportunity to witness what great client management looks like. One of the highlights of my experience was preparing and presenting a judicial training workshop on mediation as a debt resolution tool, which was attended by 100+ Cambodian lawyers. Working alongside a diverse team of expert insolvency lawyers has been truly rewarding – not only have I improved my research and writing skills, I also know that my work is contributing to more financial inclusion in developing nations. The global perspective and transferable skills that I have developed during my internship will certainly be very valuable in my legal career. 

Amanda McAleerCanadian Environmental Law Association – Amanda McAleer

This summer I interned with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) as part of the Healthy Great Lakes team. While my internship was conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a wonderful experience getting to work with the many talented and creative lawyers at CELA who specialize in environmental law. Over the summer, I was assigned to lead the research for a novel water protection initiative that we hope to one day implement in Ontario, as well as summarizing my research into legal memoranda, blog posts, and oral presentations for community partners and academics. Despite my interactions being limited to Zoom, the team at CELA was very welcoming, and their constant support allowed me to strengthen my legal research, writing, and advocacy skills throughout my term. One of the highlights of my internship was getting to put together a virtual conference to share my research with numerous attendees, ranging from lawyers to community partners to Indigenous Chiefs. The experience allowed me to push myself to engage in an opportunity that I would have normally shied away from, but under the thoughtful guidance of my mentors, I was able to deliver a presentation that I was really proud of. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with CELA this summer, and for the valuable work experience that I’ve obtained under their guidance.

Patrick James ConlonCassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Student Internship in Mining Finance at Newmont Goldcorp – Patrick James Conlon

This summer I had the opportunity to work with the legal counsel at Newmont Corporation, the world’s largest gold company. I worked with several lawyers in the Vancouver office and gained practical legal experience in a variety of different practice areas including contracts law, employment law, securities law, privacy law, and litigation. My responsibilities increased throughout the summer as I learned how to apply creative legal solutions to complex problems. I enjoyed the challenge of addressing the legal issues that arise within a multinational company. The highlight of my summer experience was working alongside my mentoring lawyer to formulate tactics to negotiate favourable contractual terms with suppliers. Through this experience, I developed sharp attention to detail and an eagerness to explore different areas of the law. I am confident that my summer with Newmont will serve me well as I hope to embark on a career in corporate law. I am very grateful to WLIP, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, and Newmont for providing me with a unique and enjoyable 1L summer! 

Quotes from 2020 Participants

Rania HammadThornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law - Rania Hammad

During the summer I interned at the World Bank Group as part of the Debt Resolution and Insolvency Team for 15 weeks. Although it was unfortunate that I was unable to complete my internship in Washington DC, working in the area of bankruptcy and insolvency law has been exciting and fast-paced – especially since most of my work has centred around the response of global economies and governments to COVID-19. Over the summer I was involved with preparing policy notes that will be used to directly advise governments on the implementation of emergency economic legislation in response to COVID-19; reviewing draft insolvency legislation and providing comments for improvement as based on international best practice; and conducting research on a variety of issues in the realm of bankruptcy and insolvency law. A highlight of my internship was my involvement in a “virtual” mission to Vietnam, where I participated in interviewing Vietnamese judges, government officials, and insolvency practitioners to assess the insolvency regime and determine areas for improvement. Overall, the internship has been highly fulfilling as it challenged me to learn, apply, and communicate new concepts quickly while improving my research and writing skills, under the guidance of a diverse team of highly supportive and well-regarded insolvency lawyers.

Blerta GjociUnited Nations High Commissioner of Refugees – Blerta Gjoci

My experience last summer interning at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been an intellectually and personally fulfilling experience. I was exposed to various areas of public and international law, key global issues, and the various ways in which UNHCR works to uphold human rights. UNHCR works with various stakeholders in Canada to advocate for refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons and to ensure that Canada fulfills their compliance with international obligations. The responsibility to independently work on key issues including gender-related persecution, organized crime, detention of asylum seekers refined my legal research, analytical and writing skills. One of the highlights of my experience was drafting my own memorandum representing UNHCR for an important domestic case that UNHCR sought to intervene in. The experience to work with passionate legal professionals with very diverse backgrounds allowed me to consider various career opportunities and paths in public law. I am grateful for invaluable experience to simultaneously contribute to impactful and important work while learning as an advocate, as it will greatly benefit me in my career.

Andreas ArvanitisCentre for International Governance Innovation - Andreas Arvanitis

My remote internship experience at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) exposed me to cutting edge and future focused topics within international affairs, policy and law. My supervisors at CIGI pushed me to conduct research on topics of my own choosing with the goal of having me write my own research paper by the end of the summer. After some difficulty of refining my topic, I decided to conduct research on the changing nature of international tax law in the face of economic digitalization. This topic was a perfect fit for me as it combined my interests of global governance, innovation and international business law. Prior to this internship, I had no idea that I would be interested in international tax law. Since then, my new passion for this area of law has informed my 2L and 3L course selection, my networking patterns and likely my entire career outlook.

The central reason why I wanted to get involved with the WLIP was to gain exposure to different areas of the law in the hope of shedding light on potential career paths. As a law student, it can be difficult to understand what different legal careers actually look like in practice. I can confidently say that my internship through the WLIP not only exposed me to new career prospects but also help reduce the esoteric veil that separates law student and future lawyer.

Sophie LewyckyOntario Bar Association – Sophie Lewycky

This summer I was placed with the Ontario Bar Association. The OBA is an organization that advocates for members of the legal profession and provides Continuing Professional Development seminars for its lawyer members. I worked primarily with the Professional Development and Public Relations teams, doing legal research in response to inquiries brought to the organization by a member or to inform an upcoming Continuing Professional Development session. My favourite part of my internship was helping in the preparation of a presentation to an Ontario Legislative Assembly Standing Committee ahead of bill hearings. At this early stage in my legal career, it was empowering to participate in the advocacy for the betterment of the legal profession at the lawmaking stage. It was very rewarding to help provide answers to members of the OBA in a confusing and tumultuous time and I am grateful for the breadth of practice areas I was able to explore.

Sara BadawiNishawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation - Sara Badawi

My experience at Nishawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation (NALSC) this summer was not what I had predicted (due to COVID-19 restrictions) but it was rewarding and enriching nonetheless. I created a Gladue Program Manual for the organization’s incoming caseworkers. It gave background information on the case, the case law that followed R v Gladue, why indigenous over-incarceration continues to be a pressing issue, and when Gladue applies. More importantly, the report outlined what should be included in a Gladue report to serve as an effective tool in helping a judge take the offender’s background factors into account. I also did some research on domestic violence and the ways restorative justice can be used to address the underlying causes (such as trauma, addictions, anger management, etc.) that lead to family violence in the first place. Although the internship helped me build on the legal research skills I developed in 1L, oftentimes when dealing with Indigenous affairs information is not readily available on the internet. Therefore, I had to learn how to reach out to certain organizations or people, who to reach out to, and how many to get an adequate number of responses. This experience reaffirmed my passion for social justice but also opened my eyes to the intertwining web of barriers Indigenous people face in every aspect of their life. I would highly recommend this internship for anyone who cares about justice for Indigenous peoples, is a critical thinker, and is willing to have some uncomfortable conversations.

Keira McKeeCanadian Imperial Bank of Commerce – Keira McKee

Working in-house at CIBC allowed me to delve into a range of legal issues contextualized by balancing the interests of CIBC and its clients. Overall, this experience provided me with insight into how diverse corporate law can be and allowed me to hone my legal research, writing and advocacy skills. My involvement with CIBC legal was marked by research for the bank-wide interest rate transition, witnessing the decision-making process of Senior Counsel during a corporate acquisition, and collaborating on a contract playbook focused on emerging cloud technologies. I also had the opportunity to edit, draft and compare CIBC contracts and provide analysis on the legal risks of CIBC data use. Beyond developing my legal skills, my work with CIBC taught me the power of learning through osmosis and the judgement required to apply my theoretical legal knowledge to nuanced real-time legal issues. I am very grateful to WLIP, CIBC and McCarthy Tétrault for providing me with such a rewarding and unique 1L experience. It is one that will certainly prove valuable in the upcoming recruit and in my future years of legal practice.

Max BorinsNewmont - Max Borins

This past summer I had the opportunity to work with the North American in-house legal team at Newmont Corporation, the world’s largest gold producer and the only mining company in the S&P 500. I worked with several lawyers and supply chain representatives at the company and worked in a wide range of legal areas. Being able to see first-hand the types of legal issues a multinational, billion-dollar company faces, I gained practical skills and learned a lot about finance and corporate law. I drafted numerous documents and agreements, including NDAs, termination and release agreements, and language for other contractual amendments. I also researched and provided comments on ongoing negotiations relating to force majeure declarations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the internship becoming a remote, work from home experience, I was able to stay busy and engaged with challenging and interesting work, and also had the chance to meet a number of my colleagues at Newmont through video meetings. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in the areas of mining, corporate, or commercial law.

Vivian LiuChippewas of Rama First Nation – Vivian Liu

This summer, I was placed with Rama First Nation and worked remotely with their legal team that consists of three members, including my supervisor. Given the special circumstances with the pandemic, all of my work-related communications had to be done online. It was a challenge at first, because different people have different response times. I learned to be particularly proactive in reaching out to other team members whenever I needed help or further instruction. I also got to practice writing memos and drafting policies. This internship in its entirety will help me in my future career, because it not only gave me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience doing legal work and researching for distinct areas of law but also trained me to be a flexible employee who can quickly adapt to unique circumstances. These transferrable skills will support me and will go a long way in my future practices as a lawyer.

David YunCanadian Red Cross - David Yun

The IHL Network at the Canadian Red Cross works with a feeling of camaraderie that is comparable to the student experience at Western Law. COVID-19 has required adjustments to every facet of our daily lives; work certainly was not excluded. The IHL Network made the requisite changes and made me feel comfortable as an intern from my first day. The experience was certainly unique. The Red Cross Movement champions its impartiality and neutrality. As a result, drafting any written piece required a delicate touch and numerous revisions in order to ensure the Movement’s neutrality. I had the opportunity to get involved with various projects and I was exposed to nuanced and differing legal opinions on an interesting topic: armed conflict. Through my twelve-week internship at the Canadian Red Cross, I was able to learn so much about international humanitarian law as well as legal work in the non-profit sector. I am confident that the skills I have developed during my internship will be transferable and applicable in my legal career. 

Katerina GrahamSix Nations Justice Department – Katerina Graham

This past summer, I had the truly unique opportunity to intern at Six Nations of the Grand River’s Justice Department in Ohsweken, Ontario. The Justice Department oversees various programs at Six Nations, including Restorative Justice, Indigenous Victim Services, and the Community Standards/By-Law program. Given Covid-19 restrictions, my internship was conducted completely remotely. While working remotely did have it challenges and restrictions, I learned a great deal from my internship. Much of my time was spent conducting legal research and writing legal memos on a wide array of topics ranging from provincial freedom of information and privacy legislation to police abolition. One of my major projects was compiling an Indigenous Victim Services Handbook to be used by Six Nations Indigenous Victim Services (IVS). This project was particularly interesting as it exposed me to different legislation governing victims’ rights, criminal law procedure, and Haudenosaunee legal principles that inform Indigenous victims’ distinct rights and responsibilities. I also had the opportunity to participate in some online events, including a Zoom panel on the implementation of banishment by-laws on First Nation reserves. Overall, I found the internship to be extremely beneficial, especially as someone who is interested in pursuing a career in Public Law with an interest in Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Law.

Quotes from 2019 Participants

Abigail McGivneyDebwewin Summer Law Internship in Ontario, Canada – Abigail McGivney

This summer I was placed with Atlohsa Family Healing Services in London Ontario. Atlohsa is a not-for profit organization that provides community members with Indigenous-led programming and services that offer holistic healing, education, shelter, and support. I worked primarily with Atlohsa’s justice team, supporting folks who were navigating the justice system. My favourite part of working with this team was learning about the Circle process that Atlohsa is developing, which uses traditional methods to resolve family law disputes out of court. Throughout the summer I had opportunities to participate in several cultural experiences, including a Pow Wow and a two-day event honouring the families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and victims of sexual violence. These experiences helped me to better understand the communities Atlohsa serves and left me equipped with tools that I can use to be patient and empathetic in my personal and professional lives.

Burford Capital in New York City, USA – Emil Stanca

This summer, I had the unique opportunity to intern at Burford Capital in New York. Burford is the world’s premier leader in litigation finance. As such, I was involved in a variety of exciting projects, and learned from incredibly intelligent and accomplished legal and finance professionals. I spent my summer doing a diverse breadth of work. This included legal research on the developing law regulating litigation finance, conducting due diligence for a high-profile transaction, and translating and analyzing foreign corporate documents for an international arbitration suit. What I found unique was the chance to see the kind of work done by both litigators and solicitors, and to gain insight into both advocacy and business law. I highly recommend this internship for anyone looking to explore a career in these areas, it is an unforgettable experience!

Zohaib AhmedPermanent Mission of Canada to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland – Zohaib Ahmed

My work at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the WTO was truly enriching, both because of the work experience I gained but also because of the culture that surrounded me. I gained experience international trade law experience on practically every sector imaginable. I witnessed firsthand different negotiation styles; I became familiar with the treaties that govern international trade and learned about the challenges we face in an ever more connected market. I had the opportunity to work on a Canadian appeal in the WTO’s dispute settlement system, prepared diplomats for upcoming negotiations, and grew close with high-ranking officials. Living in a foreign environment helped me become more independent as I was forced to push my boundaries and figure stuff out on my own. This summer could not have been better preparation as I continue to advocate for positive change both domestically and internationally. My last piece of advice? Work hard and make a name for yourself. If you put in the effort to hand in good work, the people at the office will take note.

Madeline KlimekCanadian Red Cross in Ottawa, Canada - Madeline Klimek

While working within the Global Relations and Humanitarian Diplomacy Unit at the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), I was exposed to the inner workings of a neutral and independent charitable organization. On my very first day I attended a presentation on the CRC’s crucial work in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, which is helping to ease the daily suffering of the Rohingya people. Due to the small, close-knit team culture at the CRC, I was also given much responsibility from day one. I prepared a legal memorandum and written arguments for a Senior Legal Advisor and the CRC’s General Counsel. Through facilitating the CRC’s annual International Humanitarian Law School at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, I gained a solid understanding of international humanitarian law. It was fascinating to hear the opinions of academic experts, and then learn from members of the Office of the Judge Advocate General the practical ways in which international humanitarian law protects civilians and combatants during armed conflict. During my ten weeks at the CRC I gained invaluable lessons of working in the not-for-profit world and continued to develop my legal skills. My experience at the Canadian Red Cross has not only changed the way I view the law, but will no doubt help me in my future career.

Andrew BonnellDebwewin Summer Law Internship in Ontario, Canada - Andrew Bonnell

This past summer, while working through the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Debwewin Summer Law Program, I was placed at Six Nations of the Grand River’s Justice Department in Ohsweken, Ontario (just south of Brantford). The Justice Department oversees several important programs including Indigenous Victim Services (IVS), Restorative Justice, Bail, and a community Bylaws Office. Students working at the Justice Department have the opportunity to work with each of the Department’s programs and are exposed to a number of the most pressing legal issues currently impacting Indigenous communities. Working at the Six Nations Justice Department also gives students the unique opportunity to learn more about the legal administration of Canada’s largest First Nations reserve by population. In my own time at the Justice Department, I researched environmental justice issues impacting Indigenous communities, learned about Elected Council’s bylaw-making powers under the Indian Act, and studied Indigenous self-governance initiatives in the area of environmental law. I routinely attended at court with the Department’s bail program and had the opportunity to observe a criminal trial in its entirety with the IVS team. I would highly recommend the Debwewin Summer Law Program, and the placement at the Six Nations Justice Department specifically, to students interested in Aboriginal Law and working with Indigenous communities. Students can expect to gain invaluable, practical experience while working with a truly amazing group of colleagues.

Laila KhalilGreat Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) in Chicago, USA - Laila Khalil

Chicago is an amazing city, and GLSLCI (Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative) is an excellent organization that does some really cool work! At our Conference I met (and watched the Raptors game with) different Mayors from Ontario, Quebec and in the US, which was very cool. GLSLCI works with different levels of government, conservation groups, and non-profits, and the projects we collaborate on with our partners are excellent opportunities to meet new people and learn about different areas of conservation and policy we focus on. I just recently went on a tour of four sites in Ontario where phosphorus-reduction technology was being tested at these farms- a very cool experience and super innovative! I’ve learned a lot about policy, managing partnerships, the importance of communication as an organization and knowing your key issues- while learning legal skills is important too, this has been a well-rounded experience that will really benefit me in interviews and job-searching.

Taisa MorskyCassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Student Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver, Canada – Taisa Morsky

This past summer I had the opportunity to work with the in-house legal team and the corporate governance team at Newmont Goldcorp, an industry leading international mining company. I gained hands-on, practical legal experience and insight into how a publicly traded billion-dollar corporation functions. I was given a high level of responsibility, and a lot of freedom to take on tasks in numerous areas of interest. I assisted in matters related to mining law, bankruptcy and insolvency, liability, tax, corporate governance, corporate development and labour and employment. The work was challenging and interesting and allowed me to grow my legal research and writing skills, as well as my understanding of the complex tasks and legal needs that an international company encounters every day. I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in corporate transactional work, corporate governance or mining law. I can say with confidence that the experience and knowledge I gained will benefit me greatly moving forward, and confirmed my interest in working in corporate law.

Kate NoOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Field Operations and Technical Co-operations Division, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Section in Geneva, Switzerland - Kate No

It was a huge privilege to have served as a Legal Intern at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Section this summer. The significant responsibility I had over substantive projects enabled me to further sharpen many practical skills that will be essential in my legal career. Moreover, it was incredibly humbling to play an active part in an international organization with the mandate to improving the lives of those who are suffering from ongoing human rights violations. By navigating numerous disciplines to provide coherent and sophisticated research work, I furnished myself with a global perspective that will enable me to produce creative solutions to complex problems. Overall, the internship was truly instructive on what it means to practice law so as to serve the people, and the insights I acquired from my time at the OHCHR will play a lasting role in my professional career.

Rebecca RoThe Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland – Rebecca Ro

My internship at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland has been a unique and rewarding experience. Working as the Legal Affairs Intern exposed me to the dynamic and multifaceted practice of international law and diplomacy. I had the opportunity to work on diverse files ranging from human rights to climate change, attend and participate in UN meetings and events, and develop my legal research and writing skills through researching complex international law cases and briefing legal documents. A highlight of the internship was participating in the 41st Human Rights Council as part of the Canadian delegation where I aided in the negotiation of human rights resolutions, including the annual Canada-led eliminating violence against women resolution and represented Canada at several meetings and events. Living in Geneva was also great opportunity to travel Switzerland and its neighbouring countries and meet interesting people from around the world.

Daniel VigerDebwewin Summer Law Internship in Ontario, Canada - Daniel Viger

During my internship with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan I drafted a law setting out procedures for First Nation law enforcement, worked closely with lawyers and community members on updating the Custom Election Code and other First Nations laws, assisted with the Pikwakanagan Restorative Justice Diversion program, and assisted with a number of smaller legal projects and events within the community. The process of drafting the Enforcement Act led me to have conversations with enforcement officers from local municipalities and First Nations around the province, First Nations land managers, prosecutors, trial coordinators, and Lands Advisory Board Members. Working through the drafting process allowed me to experience issues of statutory interpretation from a legislator’s perspective, and the importance of precision with language.  Some of the community activities I participated in over the summer included joining a company of steel workers in a local town to participate in a Kairos Blanket Exercise, attending the swearing in ceremony of the Chief and Council, attending a consultation between the governance and the Lands Advisory Board at the Elder’s Lodge, and attending the annual Pikwakanagan Pow Wow. I am very grateful for the people that I met and the legal and cultural experiences I had over the course of the summer.

Racing Point in Silverstone, UK - Diane Harbin

My summer working with Racing Point was fantastic. For ten weeks, I collaborated with two senior lawyers in a tight-knit team. We customized provisions in multi-million-dollar sponsorship and licensing agreements and shared views on regulatory sporting issues. In addition, we negotiated agency agreements with recruitment companies and the consequential employment contracts with preferred candidates. Working at Racing Point ensured that I was involved in all stages of contract formation from drafting to execution. The fast-paced environment allowed me to work independently while balancing multiple assignments. Near the end of my internship, I was able to attend the British Grand Prix. It was very exciting, and I was happy that I was given the opportunity to attend.

Nadim MansourThornton Grout Finnigan LLP World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C., USA – Nadim Mansour

I was fortunate enough to have interned at the World Bank Group with the Insolvency and Debt Resolution team in Washington, D.C over the past summer. The team focuses on improving the economies of developing nations by strengthening their insolvency regime. My work consisted of researching and drafting reports on the insolvency regimes of various jurisdictions across the world, in addition to a wide variety of other tasks. The highlight of my experience was participating in a World Bank mission to Kyiv, Ukraine where I assisted with conducting a judicial training session. Interacting with foreign government officials and coordinating with international legal consultants was a great opportunity to polish client-facing skills as a future lawyer. Overall, the internship was an amazing experience and I was honoured to have had the opportunity to hone my legal research and writing skills as well as learn about both international and insolvency law through this experience.

Maria BelykhUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland - Maria Belykh

My internship at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Canada (UNCHR) was an intellectually exciting and personally fulfilling experience that brought together the related fields of law, policy, politics, and public education. During my time at the UNHCR, I was engaged in a variety of work, including analyzing legislation and IRB decisions, preparing public outreach material on the emergency situation in Venezuela, writing a legal memorandum on an important protection file, and assisting with the drafting of a government funding proposal. I also enjoyed writing an op-ed on the refugee and humanitarian emergency in South Sudan. One of the most intriguing parts of my internship was participating in staff meetings, where I learned about the various nuances and angles from which problems are analyzed and decisions are made within an international organization. This experience and my time in Ottawa opened my eyes to the wide range of career opportunities in the public sector and in international law. In short, I believe that anyone with a keen interest in international law and public policy would benefit from this invaluable opportunity.

Samantha WassermanUS Anti-Doping Agency in Colorado Springs, USA - Samantha Wasserman

My internship at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) this summer has been an incredible experience and learning opportunity. I gained experience in a variety of areas, and learned a great deal about sport law, arbitration, and anti-doping disputes. I've had the opportunity to write legal memoranda, draft proposed provisions for internal policies, and aid the legal department in their preparations for arbitral hearings. I had the chance to participate in every step of USADA’s results management process from receipt of an initial positive test all the way to conclusion of an athlete’s case. I became very familiar with USADA's anti-doping policies for the Olympic Movement and the UFC, as well as WADA's Code and their various International Standards. This internship has served as an amazing opportunity to grow my legal and professional skills while working alongside an incredibly accomplished team of professionals in the anti-doping field and providing me a unique and meaningful opportunity to contribute to clean sport. In addition, Colorado Springs is an absolutely beautiful city, and I was lucky to be able to go hiking and explore outdoors on most weekends!

Alisha KapurWorld Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland - Alisha Kapur

I had the opportunity to intern at the Convention Secretariat of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). During my time at the WHO, I learned a great deal about international law, treaty law, and human rights while working with the legal team at the FCTC. I was also able to attend the 72nd World Health Assembly and the 41st session of the Human Rights Council, which were two invaluable experiences. As well, living and working in Geneva has been lovely – I have been able to spend my weekends travelling throughout Europe as well as within Switzerland’s beautiful cities, and I’ve met many interns from across the globe. I have learned so much about what it is like to work in an international organization, and my time here has been full of amazing legal learning opportunities as well as a lot of personal growth!

Quotes from 2018 Participants

Nishant JainMcCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship in Toronto – Nishant Jain

Working in CIBC’s legal department opened my eyes to how diverse corporate and business law can be. The internship gave me an opportunity to bolster my legal research and writing skills. I was constantly looking at legislation, cases, as well as decisions released by regulatory bodies, to try to provide conclusions on a breadth of issues, some of which I never imagined would come up. I also had the opportunity to draft agreements and review a variety of documents and prospectuses relating to the different business transactions and undertakings that CIBC engages in on a regular basis. Outside the work I did in the office, I also made several trips to the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, as well as sat in on an Ontario Court of Appeal hearing at Osgoode Hall. Working in a smaller, in-house environment made it easy to work with almost every lawyer in each practice group on the floor. Everyone, including the lawyers, legal assistants and administrative staff, was friendly and welcoming, and made an effort to help me further develop my legal skills throughout the summer. The experience I gained over the summer in CIBC’s legal department will undoubtedly give me a head start going into my future corporate law career.

Winnie HuBurford Capital in New York City - Winnie Hu

My internship at Burford Capital opened my eyes to not only the practice of law, but also the business of law. Burford is undoubtedly a leader in the litigation finance industry, and this is reflected in the calibre of legal and financial minds which comprise the Burford team. I had the opportunity to work closely with the litigation finance department on a wide-range of projects, from researching American civil procedure to analyzing securities laws and their impact on litigation financing. I also had the opportunity to work with Burford’s in-house counsel, which provided me with a behind-the-scenes understanding of in-house practice. My summer at Burford has piqued my interest in both corporate law and commercial litigation, and I hope to further explore these two areas.

Ivor SelimovicBasketball Arbitral Tribunal Internship in Munich, Germany - Ivor Selimovic

Interning with the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal at Martens Rechtsanwälte has been an incredibly rewarding learning experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the broad scope of work that it had to offer. While at Martens, I had the opportunity to perform interesting and stimulating work on matters relating to contract disputes, arbitration, European Competition law and more in the context of sports law. I was additionally able to make substantive edits for arbitral awards. The firm's small team and highly reputable client-base meant that there were many meaningful and challenging tasks to undertake. By working in a different legal system, I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to draw parallels to the common law system to come to legal conclusions in international law. The broad exposure provided by this internship has certainly contributed to my aim of being a well-rounded legal practitioner and will encourage me to take a broad approach in the future when aiming to meet client needs.

Courtney WilsonCanadian Red Cross in Ottawa - Courtney Wilson

My time with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) exposed me to the interesting but sobering world of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). I was given the opportunity to attend the UOttawa IHL Summer School where I engaged in intellectual discovery with individuals from the Turkish Red Crescent. I participated in nationwide IHL dissemination via CRC webinars, and participated in discussions to further the reach of the CRC IHL Network. For the duration of my internship, I periodically worked on a memorandum commenting on the Canadian accession to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty via Bill C-47. I analyzed whether Bill C-47 can conform to the letter and spirit of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, given the current military trade loopholes granted to the United States. Interning with the Global Relations and Humanitarian Diplomacy team of the International Operations department of the CRC has proved an invaluable experience.

Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services Inc. (Debwewin Internship) in London, On - Alyssa Jervis

I didn’t travel for my internship, which might seem odd with most of these placements being international. But I stayed right here in London, working with Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services at the corner King and Richmond, as part of the Debwewin Summer Law program. My clients were often residents of the same building which housed the Atlohsa offices, and if I’ve learned anything this summer, it’s that a lot of excitement can be found in just one block. I’ve learned a lot about the more negative perceptions of the legal sphere—the distrust and general misunderstanding of the systems that are in place. I’ve learned a lot about the value of a legal advocate—someone who is willing to slow down, explain what is happening, and guide others to the resources available. I’ve learned a lot about the impact of what happens, inside and outside of court, when you can’t afford a private lawyer and you have to rely on the system as it stands. I think this will definitely impact my future career and my goals moving forward and participating in that system.

Emma WilliamsOntario Native Women’s Association (Debwewin Internship) in Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation - Emma Williams

This summer I was placed at Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) in Thunder Bay through the Debwewin Summer Law Program. ONWA is a not for profit organization that aims to empower and support Indigenous women and their families throughout Ontario. I was placed in the Policy & Research Department, and worked on projects in the areas of education, child welfare, and criminal justice. One of the highlights of my internship was travelling to Lake Helen and Nipigon to support ONWA’s lead researcher during three days of storytelling and filming with a group of Grandmothers. This work was part of a multifaceted project to honour Anishinaabe women in the Robinson-Superior treaty region through storytelling and ultimately the inclusion of their narratives in the provincial curriculum and other educational materials. I also facilitated two public legal education workshops for youth groups in Thunder Bay on the topic of rights when interacting with the police. My colleagues and mentors at this placement have been supportive and generous, and my internship at ONWA has been a huge learning experience, both professionally and personally.

Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Community Justice Department (Debwewin Internship) - Leaelle Derynck 

It has been a pleasure to work with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (COTTFN) Community Justice Department through the Debwewin Summer Law Progeam. My time as a legal intern at Deshkan Ziibiing has provided me with a singular opportunity to engage with Anishinaabe law, in a nation I admire. Over the course of my internship, I faced complex jurisdictional issues, and I appreciated that I was integrated into community spaces and events. Working with Deshkan Ziibiing at this moment in time — participating in the creation of legal frameworks rooted in traditional law and assisting with preparations for the adoption of the Chi-Inaakinogewin — has been an incredible personal and professional experience. It is with humility that I entered this internship and humility with which I will leave. Miigwetch to every coworker and community member who so warmly welcomed me. I look forward to continuing to nurture the meaningful relationships that have grown from this immersive placement.

Kristin DrummondWorld Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Geneva, Switzerland - Kirstin Drummond

I was given the opportunity to intern for the Secretariat of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Secretariat is responsible for the implementation of the Convention and its protocol, the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. In this respect, one of the roles of the Secretariat is to prepare, convene, and support the Parties to the Convention and the Parties to the Protocol through the Conference of the Parties (COP) and Meeting of the Parties (MOP), which are held every two years.

As the intern with the legal, trade, and protocol team, my role was centered on aiding and preparing the information documents to be used by Parties to the Protocol at the MOP. This required me to research the obligations of the Parties set forth in the Protocol and help create draft decisions that may be considered by the Parties at the MOP. The timing of my internship allowed me to experience the unique opportunity of being at the Secretariat when the requirements for the entry into force of the Protocol were met, as such I was able to witness “the birth of an international treaty” (as the Head of the Secretariat referred to it).  Since a single secretariat will be acting as the secretariat for both the Convention and Protocol, another one of my big tasks was contacting the secretariats for other international treaties in order to determine how they managed multiple pieces of international law. This allowed me to gain a significantly better understanding of the implementation of international law and its management. 

I greatly enjoyed my internship and felt that it was an invaluable experience in international health and trade law! It has also solidified my desire to begin a career is health law and I would encourage anyone with such an interest to consider an internship with the Secretariat.

Lauren WhiteThe Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland - Lauren White

My internship at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva was an invaluable experience. I had the opportunity to learn about international law, human rights, and diplomacy while working for a multilateral mission. I attended meetings at the UN and other international organizations on behalf of Canada and wrote reports on various topics, including migration, business and human rights, private military security companies, disarmament, cultural rights, human rights defenders, and medical missions. During the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council, I supported the human rights team in running Canada’s annual resolution on eliminating violence against women. Living in Geneva also allowed me to meet other interns from around the world, and travel Switzerland and its neighbouring countries!

Aaron BarrettUnited States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in Colorado Springs, CO – Aaron Barrett

I joined a two-lawyer team at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) who are inundated with complex legal cases stemming from the testing of American Olympic, Paralympic and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athletes. The small size of USADA’s legal staff permitted me to materially contribute to the team’s success. From conducting investigative research for arbitrations and writing legal memoranda to preparing press releases and managing doping results, my time at USADA allowed me to improve and employ my legal research, writing and professional skills.

Nabil MahmoodThe Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in Chicago, IL - Nabil Mahmood

The Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative allowed me to gain relevant experience in research and analysis, both in environmental and administrative law. I was also tasked with drafting board resolutions, bylaw amendments, and employment contracts. The office was located inside the historic Civic Opera Building, only steps from the iconic Willis Tower and adjacent to the Chicago River. The central location allowed me to immerse myself in the culture of the city and participate in various local activities – from attending a Cubs game to taking a stroll in Lincoln Park. Nonetheless, it was the people I got to work alongside every day that made me feel at home at the Cities Initiative and made the internship unforgettable.

Canadian Centre for International Justice in Ottawa - Nusra Khan

My placement at the Canadian Centre for International Justice was an incredible experience. As part of the legal team, I worked on issues of international criminal law and human rights law relating to war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. One particularly rewarding experience was contributing legal research and writing to CCIJ’s amicus brief at the proceeding related to the Rohingya situation at the International Criminal Court. I also had the chance to work on CCIJ’s amicus brief in Brown v Canada (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) the Federal Court of Appeal. In addition to these projects, I am grateful for the chance to work with passionate and inspirational people who were always quick to provide support and mentorship. I would highly recommend all students interested in international law and public interest work to apply.

Donato RosatiSahara Force India Formula One in Silverstone, UK - Donato Rosati

Spending the summer with the Sahara Force India Formula One Team was an incredibly rewarding and unique experience. I was able to gain good hands-on experience in the negotiation, drafting, and interpretation of commercial contract agreements, and also see first-hand how a Formula One team is managed, as well as how a Grand Prix weekend is structured. I was able to interact with a wide range of interesting parties in the context of forming partnership agreements, and my supervisor always encouraged me to take on a greater degree of responsibility as I developed my skills. I feel that this experience will assist me in my pursuit of becoming a business lawyer as it gave me an in-depth look at how business relationships are formed, maintained, and terminated. Through drafting and review of many contracts, I developed a critical eye that can more easily spot relevant issues, and I gained extensive practice in clear and concise writing.

Shannon SkillingsGoldcorp Inc. in Vancouver, BC – Shannon Skillings

This past summer, I worked with both the in-house legal department and VP Corporate Secretary and Regulatory Affairs at Goldcorp, a world-renowned international mining company. I met with clients, participated in strategy sessions and committee meetings, and gained experience drafting contracts, resolutions and other supporting legal documentation for equity financing. I gained insight into the types of challenges that preoccupy business leaders, while developing my legal, research and writing and professional skills. Moreover, when I wasn’t working, I had the opportunity to explore the beautiful province of British Columbia, which in my biased opinion, may just be the most beautiful province in Canada. My experience at Goldcorp was unforgettable, and I would highly recommend this internship for anyone with an interest in corporate transactional work, corporate governance practices, or mining law.

Sarah DeGenovaThornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C - Sarah DeGenova

During the summer, I interned at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. As part of the Debt Resolution and Insolvency Team, I supported a team of lawyers in the area of bankruptcy and insolvency law. Most notably, I was responsible for reviewing draft insolvency legislation and providing recommendations to foreign bankruptcy officials based on international best practices. My work helped client countries implement effective insolvency reforms, which is expected to increase economic stability. Moreover, I developed both my research and writing skills, while learning more about bankruptcy and insolvency law.

Outside of work, there was never a shortage of things to see and do; Washington is a bustling city with many attractions, including great museums and nightlife. My favourite experience in the city was attending a session at the Supreme Court of the United States and hearing Ruth Bader Ginsburg read a decision.

Quotes from 2017 Participants

Daniel KolankoThe Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) in Chicago – Daniel Kolanko

My experience with the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative really drove home the importance of learning every facet of the law to be an effective counsel. While with the GLSLCI, I worked on wide-ranging projects, from corporate governance, to environmental policy proposals, to customs and border crossing law. Nearly everything I learned was directly applicable to Canadian law, especially how international treaties and regional compacts inform provincial and municipal laws. Most lawyers will work their entire career within a small region of their country, and typically they cannot practice outside of a specific jurisdiction. This internship provided me with the ability to broadly understand that regional context, and a chance to work outside the country and location in which I’ve spent my entire life. As a student considering a future in municipal and land use planning law, that extra perspective is invaluable, both to me and my future employers.

Sukaina AzfalWorld Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Internship – Sukaina Afzal

My time at the World Health Organization (WHO) began with the seventieth World Health Assembly (WHA). For the duration of the assembly, I had the opportunity to educate health officials and delegates on the Secretariat’s tobacco control efforts. I also attended several WHA plenary sessions, and particularly enjoyed a panel discussion on the connection between access to cancer medication and intellectual property law.

Following the WHA, I prepared documents for and participated in an expert meeting focused on developing strategies to promote the entry into force of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. During the last few weeks of my internship, I drafted legal documents, including a Code of Conduct and Declaration of Interest, for the Bureau of the Conference of Parties, and a legal letter to the European Union in response to a disclosure request.

Interning on the Legal, Trade and Protocol team to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has been an invaluable experience, allowing me to explore international law, public health law and intellectual property law in a practical setting. To add, living and working in Geneva has been a pleasure - my weekends were spent travelling extensively, both to other European countries and Switzerland's picturesque cities.

Kathryn OrydzukAlgoma Community Legal Clinic in Sault Ste. Marie (Debwewin internship) – Kathryn Orydzuk

My time at the Algoma Community Legal Clinic in Sault Ste. Marie was extremely rewarding. I could not have asked for better colleagues and mentors. The people I worked with and the experiences I had this summer will certainly shape the lawyer that I will become. I had the unique opportunity to design and create a recommendations report for the Clinic that is meant to assist the Clinic in providing better services to Indigenous clients and to honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. I also delivered a workshop to staff about the issue of jury underrepresentation in Ontario, as well as a one on Wills and Powers of Attorney to Indigenous Elders. I was able to assist an articling student in making connections in the local Indigenous community to facilitate Human Rights Public Legal Education that she will be delivering to the Indigenous community later this year. Finally, I was able to get hands-on experience in day-to-day clinic work, which will absolutely be an asset in future legal employment. Overall, it was tremendously fulfilling to work with the Indigenous communities in Sault Ste. Marie throughout the summer as part of the Debwewin internship program. Through building relationships and thoughtful consultation, I am happy to have played a small part in the process of reconciliation.

David Hakim“Kaakewaaseya”, the Justice Department of Grand Council Treaty #3 in Kenora (Debwewin internship) – David Hakim

Through the Debwewin Law Internship, I was placed with the Justice Department of Grand Council Treaty #3, a political organization that represents many of Ontario’s First Nation communities. My placement gave me a much deeper understanding of Canada’s criminal justice system as well as traditional and restorative approaches to justice. I participated in healing circles, helped prepare a report on Anishinaabe Sacred Law, and worked with various community organizations and legal experts. About half of my internship was devoted to writing a Gladue sentencing report, aimed at helping an Indigenous offender receive a fairer and more culturally appropriate sentence. This was an emotionally challenging and valuable experience that enriched my understanding of justice. Over the summer, I also travelled to several reserves (many of which were in horrific condition), built meaningful relationships with community members, and delivered three public legal education workshops. Overall, this internship was an extremely eye-opening experience that was rewarding on both a professional and personal level.

Joshua HollenbergMcCarthy Tétrault LLP Business Law Internship in Toronto – Joshua Hollenberg

I thoroughly enjoyed my internship with the CIBC legal team.  The work was interesting and engaging, and provided a unique perspective on the client side of corporate law. I was given the opportunity to do the same sort of work that the in-house lawyers were doing and provide support for several ongoing legal issues. The lawyers were all friendly and helpful, creating opportunities for me to help them, providing feedback, and offering advice for law school, the recruitment process, and my career. I also sat in on deal meetings, calls with internal stakeholders and external counsel, and strategic planning meetings. I believe that this past summer has been very beneficial as I continue to pursue my legal career, and I strongly encourage anyone interested in pursuing business law to apply for this internship.

Ella KangWorld Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva – Ella Kang

My internship at the World Health Organization added a valuable and dynamic legal dimension to my prior healthcare experiences. Focusing on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - the first and only international treaty under the auspices of the WHO, the experience was full of interesting projects surrounding international tobacco laws. I was provided with great exposure to research and drafting over the summer, addressing many issues including international litigation on tobacco plain packaging, ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, tobacco industry interference in tracking and tracing of tobacco products, and EU laws on disclosure of information. I worked alongside international health experts on the team, and from their wealth of experiences I also gained novel perspectives and analytical reasoning skills. In addition, I had the privilege of attending the 70th World Health Assembly at the United Nations’ Palais des Nations, where I witnessed how major policy decisions in the WHO are made. This internship provided the perfect training ground for combining my legal and health skillsets, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience.

Brian WongBurford Capital in New York City – Brian Wong

Working for Burford Capital in New York City was enriching and unforgettable. I learnt what it meant to work for a global leader with a start-up mindset. I worked with some of the brightest legal and financial minds in the world. I grew in my understanding of litigation finance and some of the major legal obstacles that are faced by this industry. My time at Burford taught me to “think like a lawyer” and provided me opportunities to conduct research on legal issues of interest to the company. Living in New York helped me learn to be more independent and adventurous. I highly recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in litigation or business. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I firmly believe that my experience at Burford Capital will lead to my success as a lawyer in the future.

Hayley GilbertThornton Grout Finnigan World Bank Group Internship in Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law in Washington D.C. – Hayley Gilbert

Interning in the Insolvency and Debt Resolution Group at the World Bank was an incredibly interesting and rewarding experience. As a legal intern, I worked primarily with developing nations in Latin America and Africa in reforming their insolvency and restructuring legislation. I was offered the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in a range of geographic locations, from assessment of draft insolvency laws, to advising on tax policies for the treatment of restructured debt. The Bank’s approach to reform is very hands-on, meaning the team travels extensively to all corners of the globe. Two of the most memorable experiences during my internship were my mission trips abroad to Brazil and South Africa, where I helped the Insolvency team in providing legal advisory services to the respective governments. Overall, the internship allowed me to hone my writing skills, gain exposure to insolvency, and provided the once in a lifetime opportunity to work with developing nations in initiatives that strengthen economic markets. I am certain that this opportunity will aid me in my future career endeavours, specifically in regards to corporate law and insolvency, and it was most definitely one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had to date.

Tyler HawleySahara Force India Formula One in Silverstone, UK– Tyler Hawley

My summer spent working at Sahara Force India was an amazing experience. Through working with the General Counsel as part of the in-house legal team, I was exposed to a wide variety of practice areas and had the opportunity to apply quite a bit of the knowledge that I gained during my first year of law school. As Sahara Force India relies on sponsorship agreements, most of my work focused on contract drafting. During the internship I drafted sponsorship agreements, licensing agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and agency agreements. The mentorship provided by the General Counsel was a highlight of my time there, as she challenged me to produce my best work and rewarded me with increased responsibility as the internship progressed. I was also very fortunate to be able to work with the commercial department, and helping them on the weekend of the British Grand Prix allowed me to watch my first live Formula One race. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone who wants to gain experience working in an in-house environment or with drafting contracts.

Canadian Red Cross (CRC) in Ottawa – Katrina Bekkers

My internship with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) was a rich and authentic experience. I had the opportunity to apply my research and writing skills to memoranda related to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and corporate social responsibility. Many of my tasks were related to the CRC’s potential corporate partnership files. One of my reports considered a large conglomerate known for procuring palm oil from plantations with serious human rights abuses. I also had the opportunity to attend the national headquarters of the RCMP with an IHL expert from my team. I helped to prepare a presentation for Canadian police contingents deploying to international long term missions. The half-day seminar was specifically focused on legal training for the use of force in peace operations and the elements of violations to international law. The nature of the work at the CRC is very rewarding and it was extremely motivating to work in a setting where the people are so passionate about what they do. I would highly recommend this internship to any student interested in International Humanitarian Law.

Camille BeaudoinCassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Student Internship in Mining Finance in Vancouver. – Camille Beaudoin

Working at Goldcorp was a fantastic experience. It was nothing like I had imagined: it was all much better. I was given a great deal of freedom in what tasks I could take on, and always felt that my supervisors trusted my opinions. I was often asked to share my opinion and suggestions on a variety of projects and, more often than not, they were implemented.

I also had the opportunity to meet a great diversity of professionals. I was invited many times to participate in work lunches, panel discussions, award ceremonies and conferences. I was truly exposed to the corporate world and loved every minute of it. I also participated in fun and entertaining volunteer opportunities. For example, I spent a day at a golf course volunteering for the Goldcorp Invitational Golf tournament in favour of Special Olympics BC. Though I haven’t made up my mind about what kind of law I want to practice, I can now confidently say that corporate law is a great interest of mine.

Joseph WrightUnited States Anti-Doping Agency – Joseph Wright

I had the incredible opportunity to spend this summer as an intern at the United States Anti-Doping Agency. In this position, I had the unique opportunities of going to a UFC event to observe live testing protocols, and attending an in-person anti-doping arbitration hearing. I experienced a wide array of practice areas including sports law, administrative law, contracts, arbitration and litigation. I was fortunate to work with and learn from some very experienced individuals. Through the projects I worked on, I have been able to improve my legal research and writing skills, as well as gain extensive knowledge in the field of anti-doping law. This internship has opened my eyes to the possibility of practicing sports law in the future.

Pippa LeslieW.R. Poole, QC International Internship in London, UK – Pippa Leslie

The W.R Poole Internship exposed me to a diverse range of legal issues and workplace environments in the heart of London, UK. I had the privilege of working at Cornerstone Barristers, White & Case LLP, McCarthy Tetrault LLP, and Gibson Dunn Crutcher LLP, where I assisted lawyers in matters relating to corporate transactions and international arbitration, and attended court appearances with highly skilled barristers. As one of the world's most active economic centres, London boasts an endless supply of complex international legal work and I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in international business law and litigation. My experience this summer allowed me to gain invaluable insight into a variety of practice areas, and has equipped me with practical skills that will benefit me as I embark on a legal career. Thanks to all of the opportunities with which the W.R Poole internship has provided me, I now have a clear sense of the area of law I wish to pursue.  

Michelle RetiefPermanent Mission of Canada to the UN in Geneva – Michelle Retief

My internship at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva was an incredibly rewarding experience. I worked under the First Secretary of Legal Affairs and supported the Human Rights team during the 35th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). As a representative of Canada, I attended informal treaty negotiations, HRC plenary sessions and side events, and high-level expert panel discussions. My work covered subjects like business and human rights; the safety of journalists, human rights defenders, and medical missions; leprosy; private military and security companies; and decisions by the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. This internship provided me with an exceptional opportunity to learn from expert negotiators and diplomats while gaining a deeper understanding of how the United Nations system functions. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in working on human rights and humanitarian issues in a unique, fast-paced environment. Working in Geneva will allow you to see multilateralism in action, meet inspiring people from around the world, and learn about the myriad career opportunities related to international law.

Katelyn LeonardPermanent Mission of Canada to the UN in New York – Katelyn Leonard

I had a great experience working for the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York.  Over the summer, I directly supported the mission’s Legal Advisor by conducting research on international law and procedure issues, attending meetings and writing reports. I am very happy about the broad range of exposure I received to public international law and policy topics and issues, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, nuclear disarmament, mutual legal assistance, and the international humanitarian law implications of artificial intelligence. Much of my time was spent at UN Headquarters, attending multilateral meetings and negotiations. The two areas on which I spent most of my time were international criminal law, particularly amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the law of the sea. Starting right on my first day, I attended several days of negotiations on a Call to Action to better protect our oceans, which was adopted by the international community a few weeks later at the UN Oceans Conference! I saw first-hand how international law is developed, and got to live in New York City at the same time.  I couldn’t ask for a more exciting 1L job. 

Quotes from 2016 Participants

Laura SnowdonInternational 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.

Jared RosenbaumBurford 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.

Blake HammBasketball 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.

Julia SydorenkoRule 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.

Elspeth GrahamPermanent 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.

Arash ParamMcCarthy 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.

Laura CrimiWorld 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.

Kieran DyerPermanent 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.

Eric ViceCassels 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.

Justin BlackSahara 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.

Nicholas AvisThornton 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.

David ChapmanInternational 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.

Priya ChopraCanadian 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.

Adriana ForestGreat 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!

Quotes from 2015 Participants

Kimberly CuraCanadian 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.

James GoacherGreat 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.

Jackie FerreiraInternational 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.

Samantha PettinatoThornton 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.

Amelia TritterWorld 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.

Chris PejovicPermanent 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.

Brandt ChuCanadian 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.

Kendra SwallowBasketball 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.

Brent ThomasSahara 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.

Dilara AlpliMcCarthy 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.

Grace ZhangUNDP & 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.

Quotes from 2014 Participants

Brook WongCassels 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. 

Artour RostorotskiEmbassy 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.

Lizzie BarrassPermanent 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.

Christian VieiraThornton 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.

Jessica HeInternational 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.

Chelsea SmithPermanent 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.

Rozmin MedirattaDepartment 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.

Mikolaj NiskiSahara 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.

Curtis MerryBasketball 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.

Laura MeschinoWomen’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.

Quotes from 2013 Participants

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.

WellerInternational 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.

CaldwellInternational 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.

BarnesCaribbean 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.

RuiterPermanent 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.

OlaruThornton 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.

LemCassels 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.

BoughsCouncil 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.

LiAsian 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.

Quotes from 2012 Participants

Ari Lokshin AIIFL Hong Kong June 2012

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.

Elba Bendo Fountains

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.

Harold Godsoe and CCJ sign

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.

Jaime Cardy WHO World Health Assembly

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.

Saqib Butt - CIBC World Markets

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.

Scott Robinson ICTY sign

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.

Michele Qu UNCITRAL Vienna

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.

Jonathan Preece Canadian Embassy in Washington DC Capitol in background

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 Hobson

Not 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.

Quotes from 2011 Participants

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.

Kristine Spence at CCJ

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.

Jeff Claydon at Canadian Embassy in Washington DC

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.

Sara Smith attending conference during ILO internship

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.

Lauren Lefcoe internship at London Stock Exchange

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.

Melody Jahanzadeh WHO

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.

Stephanie Doucet at Canadian Red Cross

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.

Quotes from 2010 Participants

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.

Danielle Koehn at UN.JPG

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.

Ana Garcia WHO fountains.JPG

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.

Julia at ILO conference on main floor

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.

Zohar with David Deisley - Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel at Goldcorp

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

Katerina Minaeva UNCITRAL UN flag.JPG

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.

Sport Law Internships Champion Experiential Learning

Western Law is grateful to all of the many donors who support our Western Law Internship Program (WLIP). Two sport law student interns share their experiences from their placements at the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal and Sahara Force India Formula One.

Alumni Interviews

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

Jonathan Weisman

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

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.

Helpful Links

If you need further information, contact Western Law's International Program Office at lawintl@uwo.ca or 519-661-2111 x83831.