In the summer of 2007, 17 Vanderbilt law students traveled to 10 countries to pursue legal externships with 16 different international organizations, international tribunals, consulates and nongovernmental organizations. The expansion of the international externship program over the past two years - spearheaded by Professor Mike Newton, who develops externship opportunities for students along with teaching the popular International Law Practice Lab course - is one of several recent initiatives in Vanderbilt's International Legal Studies Program, headed by Laurence R. Helfer.
Professor Helfer, an expert in treaty law, international intellectual property, and human rights law, joined Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2004 and assumed the directorship of the International Legal Studies Program in 2005. "I knew Hal Maier and Jonathan Charney by reputation before I came to Vanderbilt, and it's a privilege to build on their legacy by expanding this program," Helfer says. "I know Hal would be particularly proud of our students who are working abroad, including recent graduates placed with the Legal Adviser's Office of the U.S. Department of State and the international criminal tribunals. I am also delighted that Ingrid Brunk Wuerth, a scholar of U.S. foreign relations law, international law, and comparative constitutional law, joined Vanderbilt's law faculty this fall from the University of Cincinnati - Professor Maier's alma mater."
Among the many events organized by the International Legal Studies Program in the coming academic year, a highlight will be a conference on Collective Rights Management of Copyright in North America - co-sponsored with music rights organizations and the World Intellectual Property Organization. The conference, which will feature speakers from South America, the Caribbean and Europe, will be held at Vanderbilt in October 2007.