Students Work with the World Bank on Law, Justice and Development Week 2014

Students at World Bank

During the week of October 20, lawyers, government officials, scholars, financial institutions, and other leaders from around the globe will gather at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. for Law, Justice, and Development Week (LJD Week). American University Washington College of Law students will play a key role in this year’s event, providing up-to-the-minute legal commentary and analysis for sessions throughout the week.

The seven students are enrolled in a one credit independent study course this semester coordinated by AUWCL in partnership with the World Bank. Under the instruction of AUWCL Professors Fernanda Nicola and Macarena Saez and alongside attorneys from the World Bank, students have had the opportunity to work on the organization of the events. Students include: Sequoia Ayala, Yakov Bragarnik, Emelyne Calimoutou, Adjua Adjei-Danso, Amy Farris, Margaret Kim, Ian Campbell, Julia McClure, and Ajay Menon.

"I think working at the World Bank is a unique and enriching experience for AUWCL students specializing in international development," said Professor Fernanda Nicola. "Whether they will want to stay inside the World Bank or work toward reforming this institution from the outside is something that each student is encouraged to do after understanding the kind of work carried out by World Bank experts." 

Nicola said she was contacted by the Global Forum of Law, Justice and Development in the Legal Vice-Presidency of the World Bank, and was asked to create a new initiative that would involve AUWCL students. By making the law school's Program of International Organizations Law and Diplomacy a member of the Global Forum, Nicola was able to sponsor this new collaboration as well as the opening reception on Oct. 20 in collaboration with the ABA International Law Section.

LJD Week 2014 is an event co-organized by the Legal Departments of the World Bank Group. It also involves the collaboration and participation of the 150 international partners of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development (GFLJD). AUWCL students have signed up to attend sessions that align with their interests. They will then author blog posts, provide social media coverage, and produce video related to the sessions. View the blog.

The first two days of LDJ Week will focus on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a new set of international development goals for when the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) expire in 2015. Sessions will cover the financial, implementation, and social and economic equity angles of the agenda. Another day will focus on the legal, social, and economic developments in Europe. The heads of the legal departments of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) gather on another day to discuss common interests and topics relevant to their institutions. Additionally, there is a World Bank Group Day for lawyers working for within the organization, focusing on issues such as operations and institutional dynamics. View the full agenda.

Judge SiniĊĦa Rodin The law school welcomed one LJD Week speaker, Judge Siniša Rodin of the Court of Justice of the European Union, for a presentation at AUWCL on "Judging at the European Court of Justice."  The event was sponsored by the Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy, the European Law Students Association, and AU School of Public Affairs.

"Professor Saez and myself are thrilled to witness our students' entrepreneurship, their ability to use social media and to connect with people at the World Bank," said Nicola. "We are also encouraging students to understand the changing development policy of the World Bank in financing and implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda while using their critical skills to report on LJD Week. For all these reasons we would like to offer this independent study credit next year and start working earlier in the fall semester to recruit students and prepare for LJD Week."

A word from the students:

“This is an opportunity to see how some of the academic issues concerning intersections of law and development discussed here at WCL are actually implemented in programs throughout the world.” –Adjua Adjei-Danso, 2L

“I am excited for LJD week at the World Bank because of the opportunity to dialogue with other professionals about the implications of the post-2015 Development Goals on vulnerable populations and viable ways to conduct these conversations in a diverse and culturally inclusive manner in the future.” –Sequoia Ayala, 2L

“I'm really excited to experiment the new event formats used during the LJDW 2014 such as experts on call, knowledge cafe, master classes, hard talks and up close & personal to learn more about the Financing and Implementing of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.” Emelyne Calimoutou, LL.M. Candidate

“This opportunity is a great way for students like us to gain insight on how large international organizations like the World Bank operate. The Law Justice and Development Week also gives us great access to the latest changes in international development.” – Ian Campbell, 3L

"The LJD Week offers a dynamic opportunity for a student who is interested in international trade and development. I am currently externing at the World Bank, and I am amazed at the level and depth of access we get. For example, I am working with legal advisors at the Bank in organizing sessions on Social and Economic Rights. I will also be interviewing one of the leading experts discussing the trade negotiation between the US and the EU. The LJD Week is a chance to be at the forefront of international lawmaking." – Margaret Min Hee Kim, 3L

Hear more from student participants on the LJD Week Blog: