Meet the International Legal Studies Program Staff
Associate Professor David Hunter
Director of the International Legal Studies Program
Professor of Law
David Hunter is a Professor of Law, Director of the International Legal Studies Program and Director of the Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law at American University's Washington College of Law. He teaches US Environmental Law, International Environmental Law, Comparative Environmental Law and the Law of Torts. Prof. Hunter was the former Executive Director of the Center for International Environmental Law, a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the global environment through the use of international law. Mr. Hunter was formerly an environmental consultant to the Czech and Slovak environmental ministries, an environmental associate at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and executive director of WaterWatch of Oregon, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving western water laws. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide-US, EarthRights International, the Bank Information Center, and the Project on Government Oversight (chair), and is a Board Member and Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform. He is also a member of the Organization of American States’ Expert Group on Environmental Law, the Steering Committee of the World Commission on Environmental Law, and the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman’s Strategic Advisors Group. He is a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan with majors in economics and political science, and a 1986 graduate of the Harvard Law School. Mr. Hunter is author of many articles on international environmental law, and is co-author of International Environmental Law and Policy (Foundation Press) and Climate Change and the Law (Lexis Nexis Publishing).
For appointments, contact Megan Petry at 202-274-4112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Director of the International Legal Studies Program
Cathy Schenker is the Associate Director of the International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) and the Director of the Legal English Program at the American University Washington College of Law (WCL) in Washington DC. In her capacity with the ILSP, she works as the academic advisor to the students in the ILSP LLM program, oversees the daily operations of the ILSP LLM program and teaches Legal Research and Writing to the LLM students. As Director of the Legal English Program, Cathy organizes and teaches in a three week summer institute and a week long winter program for global legal practitioners. Cathy is interested in issues related to English for Specific Purposes and content-based language education as well as academic support programs for international law students. Prior to teaching at WCL, Cathy worked as a corporate associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP. She received her BA, cum laude, from Yale University in History and International Studies, a JD from New York University School of Law, and a TESOL certificate from American University. Cathy speaks Polish, French, and basic Italian.
Hilary T. Lappin
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Hilary Lappin is the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions at American University Washington College of Law where she manages admissions for the 5 LL.M. Programs and the S.J.D. Program. Hilary joined American University in 2002 and has worked in a variety of offices focusing on international programs and visitors, graduate admissions, and student services. Previously, she worked for the Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement, served as the Academic Advisor for American University’s Washington Semester and the Washington Internships for Native Students Programs, and was the International Exchange and J-1 Visa Coordinator for the Washington College of Law. Most recently she was the Assistant Director of Admissions for the Program on Law & Government at the Law School. She completed her BA in International Politics from the Catholic University of America. She studied at the University of Leuven in Belgium while working in the European Parliament and through Leeds University while working in the British Parliament. She has her MA in International Politics from American University’s School of International Service and a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Assistant Director, International Career Programs
Melanija Radnovic is the Assistant Director for International Career Programs in the Office of Career & Professional Development. She specializes in advising foreign ILSP students and alumni on issues unique to foreign lawyers entering the job market in the United States. Through workshops and individual sessions, Melanija counsels foreign lawyers in all areas of career development, including developing strategies to secure jobs and internships in the United States during and after their Optional Practical Training (OPT). Melanija is also an Adjunct Professor and teaches the International Visiting Scholars Seminar and the Externship Class for LLM students at WCL.
Melanija joined WCL in 2009 and until 2013 was the International Programs Coordinator, and managed the Humphrey Fellowship Program and the International Visiting Scholars Program. Melanija received her JD degree from the University of Novi Sad Law School, in Serbia, and is admitted to the Serbian BAR. She is an alumna of WCL, where she obtained LL.M. degree in International Legal Studies with two specializations: International Business Law and International Environmental Law. She worked as a judge for the Municipal family law court, and as an independent attorney, she practiced in the areas of business, trade, contract, labor, real estate, family and property law. Melanija cooperated on a number of legal research projects related to international environmental law issues, and issues of foreign investment and trade in developing countries, with the CIEL and several other NGOs in the DC area. Melanija has also obtained certificates from the Intercultural Management Institute at AU in: Intercultural Leadership Competence, International Student Advising, Intercultural Training and Facilitation, as well as Mediating in a Multicultural Context. She speaks Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, basic German and is presently taking classes in Spanish.
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Alberto Lopez is the Graduate Admissions Coordinator for the five LL.M. programs at American University Washington College of Law. He manages the application and enrollment process for students from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Russia, and South East Asia. Additionally, he serves as a general resource for all LL.M. students. He earned his BA and MA in International Affairs from Florida State University, spending a semester abroad in London. Prior to joining the WCL family in April 2016, he worked as the Program Assistant for International Programs at the Florida State University College of Law managing LL.M., study abroad, and exchange programs. Alberto speaks English, Spanish, and constantly strives to improve his French.
Staff Assistant of the International Legal Studies Program
Megan Petry is the Staff Assistant for the International Legal Studies Program, and acts as a primary point of contact for students and ILSP staff, answering academic and program inquiries. She maintains program webpages and social media, plans events, designs program materials, and writes the weekly ILSP newsletter. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Megan earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Susquehanna University, and studied abroad in London, England. Prior to joining WCL, Megan worked for Bucknell University in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations coordinating donor visits and managing department finances. Megan is also currently pursuing an MA in International Training and Education from American University.
Fernanda Katz Ellenberg
International Programs Coordinator
Fernanda Katz Ellenberg is the International Programs Coordinator at the American University Washington College of Law (WCL). In this capacity, she manages the Humphrey Fellowship Program and the International Visiting Scholars Program and oversees their daily operations. Prior to joining WCL, Fernanda worked as a Senior Advocacy Officer at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, focusing on sexual minorities rights, the right to education, and food security. Before joining the RFK Center, Fernanda worked as a foreign attorney at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, in the United States, and as an associate at Veirano Advogados, in Brazil. She received her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the Catholic University in Porto Alegre (PUC-RS), Brazil, and her Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from Cornell Law School. Fernanda speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish.
Recruitment Coordinator of the International Legal Studies Program
Erin Yingling is the Recruitment Coordinator for the International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) at the American University Washington College of Law. In this role, she coordinates and implements the recruitment strategy for ILSP, as well as works on alumni engagement, social media, and marketing initiatives. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Erin earned her BA in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pittsburgh and her MA in International Affairs from Florida State University, after which she completed internships at Dankook University in South Korea and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Italy. Prior to joining the ILSP team, Erin has previously worked for American Councils for International Education, Arcadia University, and Development Dimensions International.
Erica Balanc is the Writing Tutor for the ILSP. As such, she provides a service to meet with international students to discuss issues encountered when writing in an American academic setting. Erica previously worked at the Washington Post, and received her Bachelor's in English from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was a writing tutor for undergraduate students. She is currently studying French.
Suky Medina-Day is the Legal Spanish Program Coordinator at the American University Washington College of Law (WCL). She organizes and teaches the in-person and online Legal Spanish Programs, and has also taught legal English at WCL. Suky is a certified legal translator and a teacher with more than 20 years of teaching experience. Additionally, Suky volunteers teaching English as a second language to immigrants in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining WCL in 2012, Suky worked as an in-house translator at the Inter-American Investment Corporation, as a freelance translator, and as an English and Spanish instructor at several institutions in the United States and Uruguay. She received a BA in Translation from the Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay Law School, an MA in Translation from Kent State University, and a TESOL certificate from Trinity College London. Suky is native in Spanish and English, and speaks Portuguese and French.