Go On! This Friday: ASIL panel on social media and international law with live Twitter feed

On Friday April 10 at 11:30am (local time, Washington DC), ASIL will host an exciting panel on social media and international law during its annual conference:  #int_law @social_media.

During the panel, ASIL will be hosting a live Twitter feed.  They are encouraging the audience, both inside and outside the room, to tweet comments and questions for the panelists to address using the ASIL conference hashtag:  #ASILAM15.  The Twitter feed will be updated live and displayed throughout the panel.

The panel description is as follows:

The rise of social media has generated a new kind of conversation about international relations and international law – one that is instant, global and open to anyone with a smartphone or access to the internet. These media provide immediate analysis and debate on current issues, and during periods of rapid change, they shape public perceptions of events or even motivate individuals to take action. This roundtable will explore the effect of social media on the international legal landscape from a range of perspectives. To what extent can these media be expected to create space for non- traditional voices to participate in international legal decisions? What is gained and what is lost when academics try to influence decision makers around the world with short, real-time posts, rather than long and heavily footnoted journal articles? Can actors have a meaningful conversation about international law in exchanges of 140 characters, or is international law being left out of important social media discussions because of its complexity and alienating specialist vocabulary?

Moderator: Joanne Neenan, UK Foreign Office


  • Sarah Joseph, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University

    Sarah Joseph

  • Scott Nolan Smith, Portland Communications, Digital Diplomacy Coalition

Go On! ASIL Webinar on ‘Getting Started in International Criminal Law’ this Friday, Feb. 27

This Friday, February 27, from 12pm to 1pm ET, the American Society of International Law New Professionals and International Criminal Law Interest Groups present a webinar featuring speakers from the international courts and tribunals in The Hague and other organizations engaged in international criminal law.  “Getting Started in International Criminal Law,” part of the ASIL New Professionals Interest Group’s “Getting Started” series, will be broadcast live through the ASIL website.

Speakers include staff from the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the International Criminal Court, legal officers from the chambers of judges on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and defense counsel from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, as well as academic and non-governmental practitioners working in the field.

The event will be moderated by IntLawGrrl Beth van Schaack, who is currently the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University. Viewers can stream the event on their personal computers and submit questions during the livestream by emailing events [at] asil [dot] org.  For more information and to register, go here.

ASIL Women in International Law Mentoring Program (WMP) and preliminary research results on the benefits of mentoring in international law

This blog post was co-authored by Cheah Wui Ling and Emily Linnea Mahoney

Though things have changed for the better, the world of international law remains dominated by men. This is particularly so at the middle to upper levels of the profession and is not exclusive to international law. As demonstrated by the just released Financial Times report, just 16.2 percent of those holding banks manager director level positions in London are women (“London: Sexism and the City”, 16 January 2015). The issue is subject to heated discussions such as those centered on Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”, and has attracted practical responses such as Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In Circles”. Our blog post aims to draw attention to the Women in International Law Mentoring Program (WMP), an initiative aimed at overcoming the gender imbalance in the international legal profession.

In 2013 the American Society of International Law launched the WMP which is the first of its kind in international law. Early career female lawyers and female law students are assigned to a group of mentees, also known as a “pod”. A senior woman lawyer is put in charge of a “pod” as mentor. The pods meet with their mentors at least seven times over the course of a year. As the mentees take charge of designing most of these mentoring sessions, they also take responsibility for their own mentoring experience.

We participated in the WMP’s inaugural program as mentees, and benefited significantly both in terms of our personal development and career advancement. As a result of our experiences, we were inspired to implement a research project based on the experiences of the mentors and mentees involved in the 2013 inaugural WMP. Research has shown how mentoring arrangements help early career professionals advance in their fields. However, existing research focus on mentoring programs in specific organizations or non-law disciplines. Comprehensive research on the benefits of mentorship in international law has yet to be undertaken. In implementing our project, we wanted to help WMP identify the benefits of the program and how it could be further improved. We also wanted to investigate whether mentoring objectives were achieved, whether the expectations of mentors and mentees were met, and whether our findings challenged or reinforced the assumptions underlying mentoring.

Our research was based on an analysis of empirical data obtained through surveys and follow-up qualitative interviews conducted with mentors and mentees. Our preliminary analysis shows that mentors and mentees have generally had a positive and enriching experience in the WMP.

Most mentees joined the program to meet and interact with a mentor. However, many mentees said that they benefited not only from their mentors but also from their fellow mentees in the same WMP pod. For example, many received CV feedback and interview tips from their mentors as well as their fellow mentees. Apart from receiving important career guidance from their more established mentors, mentees said they were also able to learn from their peers’ job-hunting and early career experiences. Many found such collaborative learning reassuring, and this helped to create a sense of commonality and shared experience within the pod. A number of mentees also benefited from WMP connections beyond their pods as some pods met with others within their geographical area and had social events at bars or restaurants. Many who met at these events continued their conversations after the program’s formal completion. Several of the mentees we interviewed explained that they received job interviews or positions as a direct result of participating in the program.

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Go On! New keynote speakers Slaughter and Üzümcü announced for ASIL annual meeting

Anne-Marie Slaughter (president of the New America Foundation) and Ahmet Üzümcü (director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) were recently added to the roster of keynote speakers for the American Society of International Law’s 109th Annual Meeting.  The conference will take place April 8-11, 2015, in Washington, DC.

Slaughter and Üzümcü join previously announced keynote speakers Sir Kenneth Keith (judge of the International Court of Justice), Michael Reisman (professor at Yale Law School), and Pierre-Marie DuPuy (professor at Graduate Institute of Geneva).

Other features of the meeting, organized around the theme of “Adapting to a Rapidly Changing World”, include more than 40 substantive program sessions, ASIL interest group meetings, luncheons, a gala dinner, and numerous receptions.   Conferees may earn up to 20 hours of CLE credit, and non-ASIL member registrants receive one year of complimentary ASIL membership.

To view the full Annual Meeting program and to register, visit www.asil.org/annualmeeting.

Go On! ASIL Panel ‘How to Get a Job in International Law’ Feb. 9 in D.C.


Join the Women’s Bar Association of DC’s International Law forum and its co-sponsors for a panel discussion on how to get international law jobs at various types of employers, including private practice, academia, public interest, and more. The discussion will address not just career paths, but how to approach each type of employer for international law positions, as well as tips for enhancing your experience in this field. Co-sponsoring organizations include: ABA Section of International Law; DC Bar International Law Section; American Society of International Law (Women in International Law Interest Group and New Professionals Interest Group); Washington Foreign Law Society; Women in International Trade; and International Lawyers Network.


Janie Chuang, professor of law, American University Washington College of Law

Christie Edwards, director of international humanitarian law, American Red Cross

Kathryn O’Neal, Millennium Challenge Corporation

Marcia Wiss, of counsel, Hogan Lovells LLP

Moderated by Marilyn Tucker, director of alumni career services & international internships, Georgetown Law Career Services.

Date and Location

Monday, February 9, 2015 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
1625 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

1625 I Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

Registration Fees:

Advance Registration

Members: $15

Non-members: $25

Student Members: $10

After 2/6/2015

Members: $20

Non-members: $30

Student Members: $15

Click here to register.

For More Information:

Click here.

Work On! ASIL Helton Fellowships (deadline THIS MONDAY, Jan. 19)

The American Society for International Law (ASIL) is accepting applications for its 2015 Helton Fellowships. The Helton Fellowship Program, established in 2004, recognizes the legacy of Arthur C. Helton, an ASIL member who died in the August 19, 2003, bombing of the UN mission in Baghdad. Helton Fellowships provide financial assistance in the form of “micro-grants” for law students and young professionals to pursue field work and research on significant issues involving international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and related areas.

Applications are due Monday, January 19, 2015, and only the first 50, fully complete applications will be considered. This is a fantastic opportunity for students and new  professionals to further their career in international law.

For more information on the Helton Fellowship Program, as well as application instructions, visit http://www.asil.org/resources/helton-fellowship-program. Questions may be directed to fellowship@asil.org.

Write On! IFRC First Annual International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest (deadline Jan. 30)

(Photo Credit: IFRC)

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has launched its First Annual International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest.   The contest is co-sponsored by the IFRC, the American Society of international Law (ASIL) and the “International Disaster Law Project” of the Universities of Bologna, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Roma Tre and Uninettuno (also associated with the Italian Red Cross), with support from the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. The contest seeks entries from graduate or undergraduate students (regardless of major/concentration) with a deadline of January 30, 2015.

Among the top prizes are sponsored participation in the week-long annual “International Disaster Law Course” in Sanremo and a
year membership in ASIL and waiver of fees for attendance of the 2015 Annual meeting on April. Note that all submissions must be in English and must address international or comparative legal issues for disasters linked to natural hazards.

  • Submissions may range from 5,000 to 10,000 words, including footnotes.
  • Essays should be submitted to disaster.law@ifrc.org  as Microsoft Word attachments. In the subject line, please state “Submission: International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest”. Questions may be directed to the same email address.
  • The full contest rules, prizes to be awarded, as well as a sample list of topics, are available here.

Thanks to BASIL, a remembrance of Society’s 1st African American president

fergusonCHICAGO – Within the rich program of the just-concluded American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting was a discovery. A discovery for me, at least, regarding an important milestone in ASIL’s century-plus history.

I have written before about women who blazed trails in the Society since its founding in 1906. Among several notables is Dr. Alona Evans, the Wellesley political science professor (and mentor of then-student Hillary Rodham) who was elected ASIL’s first woman president in 1980. Evans, who died in office the same year, would be followed by other women: Georgetown Law professor Edith Brown Weiss (1994-1996) Anne-Marie Slaughter (2002-2004), now president of the New America thinktank, Freshfields partner Lucy Reed (2008-2010), and, since the spring of this year, Columbia Law Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch.

I’ve also written about Goler Teal Butcher, Howard Law professor, U.S. State Department diplomat, and Amnesty International activist. Butcher, an African American woman, was friend, mentor, and inspiration to many; indeed, the Society named its human rights medal after her. (See here and here.)

I have not written about the Society’s first (and only) African American president, however. There is a simple reason for that omission: though I have seen the full list of past ASIL presidents, I did not learn until this ASIL’s Midyear that one of them, C. Clyde Ferguson Jr., was a person of African American heritage. He is pictured at top; photo credit.

Credit for my discovery belongs to Blacks in the American Society of International Law – BASIL – a task force that held its formative session at the Chicago meeting. The first component of President Damrosch’s inclusion initiative, BASIL is designed to affirm and expand the tradition of black international lawyers, jurists and academics in the United States. It is co-chaired by ASIL Honorary President Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, whose career includes service as a judge on the U.S. District Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, along with Adrien K. Wing, the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. I’m honored to serve as a member of this task force, along with Elizabeth “Betsy” Andersen, Angela Banks, Bartram Brown, Donald Francis Donovan, Jeremy Levitt, Makau Mutua, Natalie Reid, Henry Richardson, and Edith Brown Weiss.

As preparation for our inaugural session, BASIL co-chairs distributed, among other things, a 1994 essay written in memory of Ferguson. Born to a pastor’s family during the Depression, he was barred from attending college in his home state on account of race. Ferguson was graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and hired as that school’s first African American law professor – for a long time, according to the essay, he was Harvard Law’s “only full-time minority professor.” A human rights scholar, activist, and diplomat, Ferguson served inter alia as dean of Howard University School of Law and as U.S. Ambassador to Uganda. Professor Butcher and he frequently collaborated on issues related to southern Africa.

asil_logoElected ASIL’s president in 1978, Ferguson was succeeded two years later by Professor Evans. The fact that the Society chose two pathbreaking leaders in a row is noteworthy. Indeed, it calls out for a legal historian to plumb this pivotal moment in ASIL’s history. One hopes that BASIL, alone or in conjunction with WILIG, the Society’s Women in International Law Interest Group, will answer that call.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Go On! IJRC/ASIL Host International Law Happy Hour, Nov. 5, San Francisco

The New Professionals Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, the International Justice Resource Center, and the Public International Law Committee of the International Law Section of The State Bar of California are hosting a happy hour for current practitioners in international law and students and new professionals interested in entering this field.  Join us on Wednesday, November 5 at 5:30 pm at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, California for an opportunity to meet other international law professionals in the Bay Area, grow your professional network, or explore how you can prepare for a career in international law.  More details and registration is available here: http://www.asil.org/event/international-law-professionals%E2%80%99-happy-hour

Georgia Law convenes D.C. workshop on “International Law as Behavior”

Kudos to my Georgia Law colleague Harlan G. Cohen for organizing what promises to be a superb conference on “International Law as Behavior,” a daylong presentation of papers that will lead to a same-named essay volume. Convened by the University of Georgia School of Law and the International Legal Theory Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, this book workshop will be held November 13, 2014, at Tillar House, the ASIL headquarters at 2223 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.

PrintHere’s the description:

[T]he workshop will bring together scholars working at the cutting edge in a variety of different fields, including constructivist international relations theory, anthropology, behavioral law and economics, organizations theory, social psychology, and sociology to discuss how these approaches can best be applied to the study of international law, how these approaches can complement both each other and positivist and rationalist accounts, the opportunities and challenges of working across these fields, and the development of a common language and tools to study how international actors actually behave, how their rationality is bounded by psychology, how they operate as members of groups and recipients of culture, and how they write and follow organizational scripts.

The conference has a stellar lineup. Set to take part, in addition to Harlan and another Georgia Law colleague, Timothy L. Meyer, are: IntLawGrrl Elena Baylis, University of Pittsburgh; Tomer Broude, Hebrew University; Adam Chilton, University of Chicago; Sungjoon Cho, Chicago-Kent; Martha Finnemore, George Washington University; IntLawGrrl Jean Galbraith, University of Pennsylvania; Derek Jinks, University of Texas; Ron Levi, University of Toronto; Galit Sarfaty, University of British Columbia; and Kathryn Sikkink, Harvard University.

Details here.cd3fd-asil_logo

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)