From the 2010 News Archive
New Clinic to Place Students in Namibia, China, and Mexico
Since the dawn of the global financial crisis two years ago, there has been an unprecedented rise in the use of comparative analysis, the creation of private international law, and the establishment of inter-governmental legal institutions. In light of this dynamic shift, the University of Maryland School of Law will begin offering a new International and Comparative Law Clinic this spring, building on the Law School’s groundbreaking LEAD Initiative to help students develop cross-cultural competence they will need to practice law in today’s global arena.
"The LEAD Initiative keeps Maryland at the forefront of innovative legal education. This new clinic will expand law-related skills of citizens globally as well as provide unique opportunities for our students and faculty to collaborate and interact with lawyers from an international perspective," said Dean Phoebe Haddon.
Students enrolled in the new clinic will fulfill a full semester of work, while spending a substantial part of the term in either Namibia, China, or Mexico/Latin America. During the first few weeks of the semester, the Clinic will be held at the Law School, including an intensive classroom component that will focus on the principles of international law and on the law of the countries that students will be working in. While working abroad, students will participate in weekly classes through video-conferencing and will communicate with their professors and post work online.
This spring, 13 students are enrolled in the new clinic.
The six students signed up to study in Namibia will work on a variety of projects including litigation, developmental and transactional projects on behalf of women who are sterilized without their consent; groups of entrepreneurs, including women artists and collaborative groups, who wish to form small businesses and offer their products to regional and international markets; and many residents who cannot obtain water, and thus, suffer from a series of related health problems.
With the vital leadership of Sheldon Krantz, Director of New Perimeter, and Francis Burch ’74, Chairman of the DLA Piper Global Board, New Perimeter - DLA Piper’s international pro bono program
- will partner with the School of Law and provide funding for the project.
The four students participating in the Mexico/Latin America project will help introduce workers to the legal issues they will confront in the U.S. and will work with transnational litigation and law reform projects in partnership with Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, an international program based in Zacetecas, Mexico that represents migrant workers.
As part of an exchange program with the Law School of the Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing (CUFE) in China, three Law School students will focus on projects related to the development and implementation of micro-credit and micro-financing laws that are intended to benefit low-income residents, particularly in rural areas, who have small farms and home-based businesses.
In all three placements, the Clinic will explore public interest and social and professional responsibility issues that arise in international practice. Professors Michael Millemann, Daniel Mitterhoff, Barbara Olshansky, and Shruti Rana, as well as Clinical Fellow Rachel Micah-Jones, will co-teach the course.