What I've Learned - 13 Weeks Abroad

When I was packing to come to The Hague, I thought thirteen weeks sounded like a long time.  I knew it would go by quickly, but it has absolutely flown by.  I wish I could make a comprehensive list of what I have learned while here (whether personal or professional), but I think there are simply more things than I could count.  Further, there are probably lessons that I will take away that are less tangible but have already become part of me. 

While I have been here, I've traveled to eight countries.  I've seen countless new cities, cathedrals, monuments, museums, castles, and streets.  I've met and worked with ICTY/MICT attorneys and interns from all around the world, worked on briefs and memos on issues that I could never have even dreamed of, and honed many legal skills that will be useful in the future.

Here is a brief summary of what I've done at work:

Unfortunately, my biggest and most complex project remains strictly confidential, but I was told that the work I completed for the project over three months is equivalent to what a P-2 attorney would be doing here (this was awesome to hear).  I carried out a review of several trial and appeal judgments to identify essential information on adjudicated facts, including evidence and testimonies.  I examined trial and appeal judgements for factual findings and evidence and organized my results into complex charts for attorneys to use in the future.  I wrote a memorandum on factual findings and evidence of a case, which was intended to fine-tune and complement an essential confidential legal filing.  I was also able to contribute to appellate proceedings in Prosecutor v. Prlić et al. and Prosecutor v. Seselj.  One of my favorite projects was conducting extensive research on the right to self-representation and trials in absentia, which will be used in an upcoming appellate proceeding.  Lastly, I assisted on a complex research assignment for the Deputy to the Prosecutor, relating to gender and international criminal law.  I, along with another intern, conducted a literature review to identify published material that addresses the distinctive impact of conflict on males and females, and we drafted an overview memorandum. 

After this internship, I have so much more knowledge about international relations, international criminal law, international law generally, as well as the genocides in both Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.  Being able to work closely on individual cases, court filings, and evidence, is an experience of which I will never forget.  From working with attorneys who are the best in the field, to being trusted to handle highly confidential and important legal material, I could not have asked for a more enriching legal internship.  Even if my job after graduation does not relate to this field, I have picked up skills that will be easily transferable to another area of the law.