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Date Created: 12/21/15
SKILL SHARPENER 1.800.973.1177 International Programs at Whittier Law School Gain Momentum with New Center [by Erica Winter] The Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL) at Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, CA, has not only introduced new international programs to the law school but also has created a home for those already in progress. The center serves another important, yet are a colloquia series on international law, Whittier’s study-abroad programs, says more ephemeral function: it is a touchstone internships, and externships. Then there are Reich, all try to integrate scholarly research that faculty and students can refer to in order several study-abroad programs, with oppor- with hands-on experience. For example, in to lend their projects and ideas more clout, unities for students to study law in France, Spain, students went on field trips illustrat- both within and outside Whittier’s walls. Spain, Australia, and Israel, with programs in ing the legal precepts students were study- China and the Netherlands planned. ing. One trip was to the Santona Marshes, The center’s clout was built up consider- which was the subject of litigation between ably last month as Whittier and CICL hosted Laurie Romero, a second-year law student at the government and private owners over the “International Law Weekend—West.” Whittier, is working towards her internation- conservation concerns. The trip was led by This was the third such conference on the al law certificate and was one of the many a guide from Spain’s Environment Ministry. west coast, and it is held biannually under students who participated in the recent con- Students could “read a case, and then see it,” the auspices of the American Branch of the ference. The CICL “gives a good comparative says Reich. International Law Association (ABILA). look at other legal systems,” says Romero, whose primary interest now is international Whittier Law is also breaking new ground Bringing the conference to Whittier was one corporate law. As multinational corporations with its programs in Israel and the Nether- of the first goals of the center’s director, Hari grow, says Romero, compliance issues are lands. The school’s Israel program is the Osofsky, when she came on board with the becoming more important in private industry. only one in that country currently being center’s launch in 2003. “I really appreciate There was a panel on corporate compliance run by a U.S. law school, says Reich. “It the vote of confidence” from ABILA in choos- at the conference, says Romero. About 94 has become very popular,” he says, with 20 ing Whittier to host the conference, says students attended the conference, with 40 students going on the first program there Osofsky, also an Assistant Professor of Law more volunteering and attending panels. last year. at Whittier. Professor Peter Reich teaches domestic And, starting this summer, John Heliman, The conference, which brought in interna- environmental law at Whittier and is also a Whittier Law faculty member who is also tional law experts from around the country the Managing Editor of the peer-reviewed currently mayor of West Hollywood, CA, will to speak on innovations in the field, was a Journal of International Wildlife Law and lead a two-week program in Amsterdam on “major opportunity for the center in many Policy. Whittier students edit submissions gay-rights law. The international program ways,” says Osofsky. The conference gath- to the journal and can write short notes has generated a great deal of interest among ered highly interesting people to the school for publication. Working on the journal is a law students. to speak on panels, says Osofsky. Both pan- “great opportunity for students interested in elists and conference attendees were able to international environmental law,” says Reich. Whittier Law is “very open to these pro- learn about and be engaged in Whittier Law’s grams,” says Reich, with a policy of recep- international program. Reich also led Whittier’s program in Spain tiveness to faculty ideas for programs that in 2003. Students in that program studied benefit students—a policy that also led to the It is a program that is varied, diverse, and a wide range of international legal topics, formation of the CICL. growing. There is an international law including international family law, interna- certificate which requires law students to ional negotiation, and international environ- The benefits of the center are threefold, says take a set roster of classes and participate mental law, with a focus on European Union Reich. The center has raised the profile of in CICL programs. Among center programs cooperation on environmental policies. the law school, giving a strong regional law PAGE 1 continued on back SKILL SHARPENER 1.800.973.1177 school a larger national and international profile. Also, it has helped to inform both students and faculty members through different applications of their legal study— bringing international comparative aspects, for example, to even domestic legal fields such as family law. And, the center’s library has brought in more international materials to strengthen the program, such as a set of case decisions and maps on Mexican-U.S. land cases from the turn of the 20th Century. The CICL at Whittier Law provides, most of all, “a justification and legitimatization for all these international activities,” says Reich. PAGE 2
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