2005 Summer Internships

Reflections from the field

Some Reflections from the Field from our 2005 interns.

“I learned that not securing a summer position with a law firm is not the end of the world, as many first year students might believe, rather it was the beginning of a new world for me. The experience gained from this internship abroad will undoubtedly shine on future applications for summer positions with law firms, if I decide to even apply. It really helped put my life in focus and remind me of why I went to law school in the first place.”

“Because of all the lifelong friendships I forged and the connections I made, without hesitation I recommend an internship of this kind to any student interested in gaining invaluable law-related experience in an overseas context -provided they are willing to get their hands a little dirty. Only in Timor Leste can you meet parliamentarians in your hotel, rub shoulders with the President, or play pool against a world-renowned filmmaker. I loved every aspect of my experience right down to my coffin-sized hotel room. I loved it so much that I have already begun to organize my return next summer. I plan to launch a career in my newly adopted home of Timor Leste.”

Andrew Harrington, The Asia Foundation, Dili, Timor-Leste

“I learnt so much from reading about First Nations history and legal issues. I was really nourished and affirmed by what I read, and look forward for standing up for some of the practices shared by First Nations traditionally, which have such an impact on how we view ourselves and our place in the world. Historically, law lags behind science and technological change, and I am excited by the idea of contributing to developing the discipline of law in a more holistic dimension that reflects what we know about the planet’s and its capacity to provide for us sustainably. I am already making links between some of the material I was exposed to this summer and certain concepts in my International Environmental Law course.”

Sylvia Boss, Twinn Law, Edmonton, Alberta

“I had a chance to learn first hand about the work of amazing Canadian women’s organization. I also gained knowledge about the United Nations Human Rights Committee and its interaction with States and NGOs. I also learned so much about human rights violations and federally sentenced women in Canada and in particular about the situation facing aboriginal prisoners. The highlight of my internship was the fact that I have now made a good connection with a Canadian NGO I intend to continue to volunteer with.”

Leslie Robertson, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Ottawa, Ontario

“I learned a lot about how international organisations work, what they do in missions, the different dynamics between organisations and also learned a lot about the challenges faced by regions transitioning from communism to capitalism while trying to heal the rifts left in the wake of a bitter war.”

Caroline McGrath, Kosovo Law Centre, Pristina, Kosovo

“The work was fascinating, merging both international human rights and international corporate law. From this internship, I really felt I learned self-discipline in a legal negotiating context. Although I would feel that on a basis of law, an issue was distinctly black and white, negotiating with representatives from an array of professional backgrounds enabled me to see non-westernized cultural perspectives in the context of legal work. The negotiations opened my eyes to the need for skill in utilizing the law not as a starting point, but rather, a last stage if needed following an open discussion of ideas that are aimed toward a durable agreement. Most importantly, I learned the value of being adaptable in the legal profession, the importance of compromise, and the willingness to be open-minded and flexible in a new cultural setting. In fact, some of the most rewarding learning experiences I had involved developing friendships and discussing both political and legal perspectives with the Timorese people.”

Jay Skukowski, Timor Sea Designated Authority, Dili, Timor-Leste

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