Washington College of Law Hosts Annual International Week
Alvarez Lecture, Embassy Reception Highlight week of Events

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 11, 2008 - American University Washington College of Law will hold its 2nd Annual International Week Sept. 15-19 to promote awareness of international law and create a better understanding of what it means to live in an international community. The week’s events, ranging from lectures and panels to luncheons and socials, will highlight all of Washington College of Law’s international programs and celebrate the diversity of the law school community, which includes students from over 50 countries, speaking languages from Afrikaans to Urdu.

“International Week offers unique opportunities for the WCL community and the general public, in a law school renowned for our international programs, scholarship, and diversity,” said Dean Claudio Grossman. “Through the week’s numerous activities, including the 9th Annual Embassy Reception and academic programs on topics such as human rights, terrorism, gender, and multinational organizations, participants can enhance their understanding and communication on important issues facing humankind.”

The program unofficially kicks off with an international potluck dinner and photo competition on Thursday, Sept. 11, leading up to a week’s worth of events Sept. 15-19.

Annual Lecture on International Law

The 2nd Annual International Legal Studies Program Lecture on International Law, Thursday, Sept. 18, 5:30 p.m., features Jose Alvarez, Hamilton Fish Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at Columbia University, who will discuss “Contemporary International Law: Empire of Law or the Law of Empire?” Alvarez is an expert on international tribunals, war crimes, and international legal theory and is the executive director of the Center on Global Legal Problems at Columbia.

“We are thrilled to have Professor Alvarez join in our International Week celebration and look forward to hearing his insights on the future of international law,” said Professor Daniel Bradlow, director of the International Legal Studies Program. “His lecture is helping to establish the ILSP Lecture on International Law as an important forum for leading international law scholars to discuss their cutting edge international legal research and practice.” 

Languages from around the world

WCL’s LL.M. Program in International Legal Studies, with about 90 percent of its 154 students coming from outside the U.S., and its extensive network of partnerships with law schools around the world, is one of the most globalized education programs in the world.  As one of their contributions to international week, these LLM students, all of whom are qualified lawyers, together with international JD students, are hosting “Language Tables,” providing law students with the opportunity to practice their French, Mandarin, German, Spanish, Arabic, or Korean while getting to know other members of the WCL community.

“These language tables are an excellent example of the opportunities that the International Legal Studies Program offers to our JD and LLM students both inside and outside the classroom,” said Bradlow. “It enables them to learn about the world’s legal traditions and to develop their own international network of professional contacts.”

Other international week events include the Annual Embassy Reception, a program on the World Bank’s legal policies, a program on lawyers as agents of social change, a soccer competition, and an Oxfam Hunger Banquet. For more information and a listing of the week’s events visit the International Week web site.