When I came to Florida State University College of Law, I knew the kind of law I was most interested in was private international law. While there are also wonderful courses and professors focused on immigration and public international law, I knew I was most interested in transnational business operations and that was where I wanted to focus my studies.
While you do not get to choose your courses during your first year, I was still able to get involved with international programs and organizations at the College of Law. The International Law Students Association (ILSA) chapter had a board position for a 1L that focused on private international law. I ran and was elected for the post and have been involved with ILSA ever since. Once you get the option to choose your own courses, the international law classes offered at the College of Law are awesome. International Trade Law, International Business Transactions, International Human Rights, International Litigation and Arbitration…and the list goes on and on.
Since my 1L year, I have also attended many “Networking Noshes” put on by the Placement Office that have included attorneys whose practices included international transactions and issues. During the second semester of my 1L year I organized an event that brought a Tallahassee international trade attorney to campus to speak at an event co-sponsored by ILSA and the Business Law Society.
After my first year, I took advantage of the Summer Program in Law at Oxford. Not only did I get to live on the campus at Oxford University in Oxford, England, I was also able to take European Union Law from an Oxford don who is one of the most highly regarded experts on European Union regulation, especially environmental regulation. It was definitely an once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would recommend to anyone.
In addition to these programs and opportunities, some of my fellow ILSA members introduced me to the American Bar Association Section of International Law, which supports programs all over the world. I joined several of their committees and when I expressed interest in being more involved with the Europe Committee, I was appointed as Vice-Chair. Now, whenever there is a committee conference call, the e-mail notifications that go out to named partners at multi-national firms includes my name and e-mail signature. It has been an incredible networking tool and a lot of fun getting to know the different personalities from places like Germany, Ireland, and Switzerland as well as learning about their approach to and support of the legal profession.
The College of Law also participated in the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition in Vienna, Austria, for the first time in April 2014. The event featured some of the most well-respected and well-known arbitration experts in the field, who sat as judges during the competition. Since more than 90% of all international contract disputes are bound by arbitration agreements, it was an amazing opportunity for real hands-on training that you cannot get any other way.
It is a really exciting time for international law studies, so if you are interested in international law, Florida State University College of Law is a great place to be!