Comparative Legal Student Scholars (CLSS) is the student division of William & Mary Law School’s Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (CLS/PCP). It is dedicated to offering law students a wide range of academic and real-world professional experiences in the field of post-conflict peacebuilding. CLSS was formed in September 2014 by a group of students to provide direct student assistance to the CLS/PCP Center.
CLSS helps organize the Center’s Distinguished Speaker Series, which has hosted Justices Anthony Kennedy and Richard Goldstone, Albie Sachs, Ambassador David Scheffer, and a number of academics and activists from around the world. CLSS also organizes and participates in research programs that provide direct assistance to legal projects in developing and post-conflict countries. Research has been provided to organizations such as the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance at the Hague, Democracy for Development in Kosovo, and the Open Development Cambodia Initiative.
Our Board Members
President: Ajinur Setiwaldi
Ajinur Setiwaldi is at William and Mary Law to pursue her interests in human rights and international law. She was born in occupied Eastern Turkistan and is interested in monitoring and improving human right conditions in oppressed regions, including Eastern Turkistan and Tibet. Ajinur studied political science and journalism at the University of Oklahoma. She studied human rights issues and international law in Turkey at Bogazici University for a semester as an undergraduate. In addition to English, she speaks Uyghur, Turkish, and some Arabic.
During her 1L summer, Ajinur worked with the Center for Legal Aid and Regional Development (CLARD), an NGO in Pristina, Kosovo dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights. CLARD provides legal and social assistance to internally displaced persons, refugees, minorities and other vulnerable groups. Ajinur researched the justice system in Kosovo, interviewed members of state and non-non-governemnt bodies and wrote a paper analyzing rule of law and citizen access to justice in Kosovo.
Vice President: Emily Gabor
Emily Gabor is a 3L at William & Mary Law School. She is from Mequon, Wisconsin, majoring in Economics with Mathematical Emphasis and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. Before law school, she completed a three-month Global Health Fellowship in Accra, Ghana, in addition to running a farmer's market and helping to open an award-winning Himalayan small plate restaurant. In 2015 Emily interned with the USAID-SAFE Program in Kampala, Uganda, working in post-conflict peace building and access to justice issues. In 2016 she interned with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative. Specifically, she researched and created a comparative database of anti-corruption legislation from the American continent and organized a resource center for judicial reform projects. Emily is pursuing a career in international public interest.
Secretary: Lauren Gillespie
Lauren Gillespie is a 2L at William and Mary. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program at Florida State University. She studied Creative Writing and International Affairs, as well as writing for the university newspaper. Lauren also interned for a political party in London, preparing research reports and planning campaign strategies. After graduating, Lauren served as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan. During her 1L summer, Lauren worked for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where she managed an online network with 3,000 members. At USIP, Lauren also participated in planning and strategy meetings with government agencies and international NGOs. Throughout the summer, Lauren researched and drafted research memoranda about judicial integrity testing and the right to a public trial.
Symposium Coordinator: Gulliver Brady
A 2L at William & Mary with an interest in international and comparative law, Gulliver grew up in Chico, California. He graduated from California State University, Chico with degrees in International Economics and International Relations. Additionally, he is a citizen of Sweden, and speaks Swedish fluently. This summer, Gulliver interned with Democracy for Development (D4D) in Pristina, Kosovo. While at D4D, he drafted a set of proposals for improving Kosovo's higher education system for the country's Minister of Education.
Blog Editor-in-Chieft: Lisa Zhang
Lisa Zhang is a third year law student at William and Mary. She was born and grew up in Chengdu, China. Before coming to law school, she studied Economics at Nankai University and Accounting at Case Western Reserve University. Realizing a good economy cannot be sustainable until complemented with a mature legal system, she decided to pursue a legal career. She is strongly interested in constitutional law and was drawn to William and Mary by its motto “citizen lawyer.” Lisa spent her first law school summer with International Bridges to Justice at Beijing and Geneva, where she assisted with IBJ’s mission in providing legal counsel to indigent criminal defendants. She helped build up IBJ’s online teaching system, which makes basic constitutional rights and defense skills accessible to all entry-level lawyers and ordinary people. At Geneva, she also worked with IBJ’s staff on fund-raising issues and gained operational experiences for an international nonprofit organization. Lisa spent her second summer with American Civil Liberties Union at Las Vegas, Nevada, where she does legal research and legal writing on election law issues, debtors’ prison, and other state constitutional issues. Lisa hopes to practice law in areas related to constitutional law or civil rights.
Blog Managing Editor: Laura Bladow
Laura Bladow is a 2L at William & Mary Law School. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado Boulder where she majored in International Affairs and Political Science. Prior to law school, Laura worked as a Project Assistant in the International Department of PhRMA supporting the China and India advocacy portfolios. She also worked part-time as the Programs Manager for Ms. JD, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the legal profession. During her 1L summer, Laura interned for the Honorable Roderick C. Young, a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Blog Managing Editor: Nicole Alanko
Nicole Alanko is a 2L at William and Mary interested in immigration and refugee law. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she moved in Staunton, VA with her family in 2007. Before coming to William and Mary, she studied International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. In the spring of 2014, she studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. She wrote her thesis on international policies for providing education for Syrian urban refugees. This past summer, Nicole returned home to Atlanta to work at the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, assisting on cases and translating in Spanish for clients who are victims of violence and asylum seekers.