Jessica Caplin (JD ’16)
As I enter my final month of law school, attending the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Conference in Washington, DC was not only a reaffirmation of my commitment to international law, but an inspiration to contribute more substantially to this incredible community. The opportunity to listen and learn from panels and individual discussions was invaluable and unquestionably a highlight of my law school experience.
For three days, I had the great fortune to listen to some of the world’s leading experts and practitioners in the fields of national security, human rights, humanitarian law, and international migration. From heated debates on the Iran nuclear deal, to the new Legal Adviser Brian Egan’s step-by-step explanation of the US government’s rationale for the fight against ISIL, to unanswerable questions about the future of the world’s refugees, I was able to witness and learn from the cutting edge of international law. Where seemingly divergent fields are often siloed into discrete papers, presentations, and careers, the ASIL conference – with its array of topics and continuous flow of events – allowed me to explore the breath of public international law within a single venue. This experience was highlighted further by in-depth conversations with experts in international law and policy. All of these panels, events, and discussions were timely and necessary for understanding the current legal and global landscape, and it was humbling to be a part – if only an observer – of that effort.
The ASIL Annual Conference brings together luminaries from around the world to discuss, brainstorm, and redefine the field of public international law. Each panelist and speaker plays, in some way, a critical role in shaping the rule of law and global order in the years to come. Being present for that work was an inspiration for me to one day enter this conversation in the hopes of creating a more just, more livable world.
I am incredibly grateful to Berkeley Law and the Miller Institute for affording me this opportunity. It was an honor to represent the law school at this conference and to have this be one of my last experiences while a student at Berkeley. I hope to return in many different international legal capacities in the years to come.
Ivana Stradner (JSD ’16)
I was very excited to be offered an opportunity to be part the American Society of International Law’s Annual Meeting in Washington DC, where the most pressing issues in contemporary foreign affairs, such as the Iranian Nuclear Deal, the emergence of cyber wars, the conflict in the China Sea, and the migrant crisis in Europe have been discussed. As a doctoral student at UC Berkeley School of Law writing a dissertation on the use of force in international law, I could not ask for a better way to strengthen my research than to attend panel discussions particularly focused on the intersection of international law and security. The heated debate among panelists with different career backgrounds during “The Iran Nuclear Deal as a New Model of International Lawmaking?” panel has proved to me that it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand international law without putting it in its strategic, historical and political context.
I had the opportunity to listen to and speak with some exceptional international law scholars, judges and practitioners coming from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Committee of the Red Cross among others. Several panelists shared with me valuable academic career advice strengthening my belief that international law and academia are my future calling. In conversations with several Editors-In-Chief of the most prestigious law journals and books, I received hands on advice on enhancing the impact of academic work by increasing the prospects of my future articles to be published and referenced.
The highlight of the ASIL’s Annual Meeting in DC was attending the panel of New Voices and New Professional Networking Reception and networking with young and prospective new international law scholars as well as Berkeley Law alumni with whom I share the passion for international law.
It was an honor for me to represent UC Berkeley School of Law as a JSD student. I am very grateful to the Advanced Degree Program Office for their support along with the support of the Miller Institute. For all students who would like to work in the field of international law, attending the Annual Meeting of ASIL is of utmost importance.