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Kristen Boyert ’13 spent the last five weeks of her summer
break in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, interning and writing a comprehensive report on
the history of human rights violations in the context of violence and the
suspension of the country’s judicial system. Her work also included ways to
mitigate corruption in the judiciary, and suggestions to codify such
preventative measures in the country’s constitution.
The report in its initial form has been widely circulated in
Cote d’Ivoire and with other groups, including the U.S. Embassy, and Boyert is
continuing to develop a subsequent draft for potential publication with
Professor Alexandra Harrington, who helped her secure the summer placement.
Albany Law School funded the internship.
Boyert wrote the report through an internship with
Transparency Justice, an NGO focused on improving judicial transparency in the
Cote d’Ivoire, which has been undermined by civil conflict for the last decade,
including several recent political arrests and attacks by unidentified gunmen
against the national army.
“The experience was character building, and certainly challenging
on more than just an academic level,” said Boyert. “Many records have been
burned or lost throughout the conflict, so in many ways, the judicial process
in the Cote d’Ivoire is starting from scratch.”
No stranger to travel, Boyert has visited 18 countries –
some twice – over the past 20 years, including China, Turkey, Cuba and Egypt. A
native of Atherton, Calif., she said that she knew in her senior year of high
school that she was hooked on law. She earned her undergraduate degree in Classics
from the University of Southern California.
Before crossing the country to attend Albany Law School,
Boyert worked for several years, including stints with a venture capital firm
in the Silicon Valley, the Guess? corporate office and the U.S. Navy Judge
Advocate General’s Corps. She was eager to explore a career in international or
human rights law, she said, which prompted her to fulfill her long-standing
desire to attend law school.
During her second year at Albany Law, Boyert participated in
both the Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic and the Family Violence
Litigation Clinic. She is currently a senior associate editor for the Center
for Judicial Process and an associate editor for the International Law Studies
organization on campus. She expects to graduate with a concentration in
“International law is something that I’ve always been
interested in, and my experience in law school thus far has amplified that
interest greatly,” said Boyert. “There are several things I’m interested in
pursuing upon graduation, not the least of which is helping refugees and
victims of human rights violations.”
"Kristen's internship with Transparency Justice is a
fine example of the impact that Albany Law School's students can and do have at
the international level,” said Professor Harrington. “This internship required
Kristen to use her considerable legal knowledge, research and writing skills
along with the interviewing skills that she has honed at Albany Law to navigate
the intricacies of an overseas legal system and vastly different society.”
Professor Harrington continued, “She did this admirably and
has received glowing praise from her supervisors at Transparency Justice, who
were consistently impressed with her analytical and interpersonal skills.
Through her internship, Kristen was a fantastic ambassador for the law school
and the education it provides."
“When studying the Classics at USC, one of the
ideas we often talked about was a citizen’s duty to the State. You have an
obligation to contribute, to do good deeds, and use your knowledge for the
betterment of society,” concluded Boyert. “That notion really stuck with me,
and will continue to guide me in life and in the practice of law.”