ILSP Spotlight: Leah Field ’24 (BA’20)

May 17, 2023

Leah Field ’24 (BA’20) came to law school with a strong interest in human rights law and international legal studies. A “double dore,” Leah graduated from Vanderbilt in 2020 with majors in Political Science and Asian Studies before going on to complete a Fulbright grant in Taipei, Taiwan. Since returning to Vanderbilt for law school, she has been involved with the International Legal Studies Program. During her 1L year, she took International Humanitarian Law with Professor Michael Newton, Director of the ILS Program, and participated in Vanderbilt in Venice. During her 1L summer, she developed her interest in litigation as a full-time law clerk to Judge Irma S. Raker at the Maryland Supreme Court and conducting research for human rights law NGO Global Rights Compliance as a research assistant to Professor Newton.

In her 2L summer, Leah will continue to pursue her interest in international law and US-China relations as a fellow in the US-Asia Institute’s Szymanski Rule of Law Fellowship. The Szymanski Rule of Law Program sends US law students to China for a two-week program designed to expose them to institutions of the Chinese government and legal system. Fellows will travel to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong, where they will meet with law students, law professors, lawyers, and government officials to advance US-China diplomacy and strengthen cooperation in the field of law.

“I’m extremely excited to participate in this program and learn more about Chinese law and policy,” she said. “I’m especially eager to engage with Chinese law students and lawyers in light of the rising tension in US-China relations. There is so much we can learn from each other.”

In fall of her 3L year, Leah will complete a full-time externship through the ILS program with the US Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. As an extern with the Mission, Leah will provide legal research and analysis on pressing international human rights law issues and support the US delegation to the UN Human Rights Council.

“I believe strongly in the Mission’s work to promote human rights law and advocate for broader human rights protections at the UN Human Rights Council,” she said. “I’m so honored to have the opportunity to contribute to that work as an extern, and I plan to pursue human rights law work throughout my legal career.”

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