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Emily von Werlhof '14 will spend her summer learning law in South Africa, first as a clerk for the high court of South Africa in Johannesburg, then as an intern in the Cape Town-based Women's Litigation Center.
von Werlhof’s interest in international law, foreign policy and human rights was bolstered by a three-month solo backpacking trip across Asia, the Middle East and Europe during her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington. After earning a degree in political science, she moved to Washington, D.C.
During her two years in the nation's capital, von Werlhof worked at Americans United for Life and FreedomWorks before deciding to enroll in law school to further her education and ability to make an impact in international law.
A member of Albany Law's Women's Law Caucus, von Werlhof recently organized a screening and panel discussion on the award-winning documentary "Saving Face," about acid attacks on women in Pakistan. She has written an article on the Pakistani Acid Law, and the paper is currently under consideration for publication in an international academic journal.
von Werlhof also participated in the Family Violence Litigation Clinic and Immigration Project (FVLC) when the immigration component was launched, becoming a member of the first student team to handle an immigration case.
"We successfully petitioned for permanent residence status for a young woman," said von Werlhof. "I found out about our success two minutes before giving a speech to the spring clinic class; I could barely contain my excitement."
After completing her semester in the FVLC, von Werlhof stayed on to work with clinic director Professor Sarah Rogerson and community partners on passing proclamations and resolutions to declare freedom from domestic violence as a fundamental human right. von Werlhof delivered public testimony to the Albany County Legislature as part of the initiative.
A native of Sacramento, Calif., von Werlhof is also chair of the Donna Jo Morse client counseling and negotiation competitions, a subeditor for the Albany Government Law Review, and previously volunteered with the Pro Bono Veterans' Project.