Study Abroad Summer 2013 Highlights

Albany Law School’s students fanned across the globe this summer, taking law positions on three continents and getting hands-on legal experience in a wide variety of law firms and court systems.

Through the New York State Bar Association’s International Law Section’s Summer Law Student Internship Project, students obtained positions in law firm offices in Prague, Vienna, Guatemala City and Mexico City, as well as Bergamo in Italy.
Other students participated in the law school’s Paris Summer Comparative Law Program, where Professor Laurie Shanks' comparative trial class attended part of a criminal trial in the Palais de Justice and met with the presiding judge.
Three other Albany Law School students clerked for the South African Supreme Court, two students worked in Australia, and another one worked in Ghana.

Some of the students describe their experiences below:

South Africa

"This summer, I had the opportunity to represent South African residents through my internships as a law clerk at the High Court of South Africa and as a legal intern at the Impact Litigation Unit at Legal Aid. My first day at the Impact Litigation Unit began at the Alexandria township distributing blankets to young leaders caring for their families. To hear their stories and the hardships they suffered was heartbreaking, but to see the hope build in the children’s eyes after receiving something as minimal as a blanket for the winter was heartwarming. To be able to see first-hand how my legal internship at the Impact Litigation Unit benefited South African residents was an experience I will never forget."

Hannah Akkerman '15



"The Paris Comparative Summer Program was an amazing experience. The program was organized in such a way that the students needed to be self reliant, but if students had questions they had a number of resources at their disposal. The first part of the program was a comparative French and U.S. constitutional law class and was comprised of only U.S. students. For the second part of the program, students were able to choose between a comparative corporative class, a comparative fundamental rights class and a comparative trial practice class. All of the classes incorporated both French and U.S. students."

Victoria Graf '15



South Africa 

"I was clerking for Judge Margie Victor at the High Court of South Africa, in Johannesburg and Pretoria. With Judge Victor, I attended her trials, met with counsel in her chambers, performed research for cases and wrote a few of her opinions. Additionally, I met with judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein and justices at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and observed the oral arguments before them. I also went to the Legal Resource Center, which is the law firm that has represented Nelson Mandela his entire life, and prepared a memorandum on a current legal issue before them."

Deirdre Barthel '14




South Africa

"For someone that wants a career in international law, the chance to intern in South Africa is an amazing opportunity. I spent the first half of my summer interning for a judge in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. The second part of my summer involved working on immigration and refugee issues at the Legal Resources Center in Cape Town. Both internships made for an exciting summer that was very rewarding. There are not many places where you can be exposed to comparative international law, gain practical experience and pet cheetahs on the weekend!"

Emily von Werlhof '14




"Most of my work has consisted of reviewing international business contracts, as well as helping with trademark applications. I am learning a lot about the law by reading over the firm's work in English, and my knowledge of Spanish has increased a lot since beginning at the firm. The people I have met through working at Aczalaw are very friendly, professional, and accommodating. I've gotten to do a lot of sightseeing, including going to the beach and climbing to the top of an active volcano."

Kevin Gagliano '13