Fordham Law Students Learn International Law during Ireland and Korea Summer Abroad Programs


This summer, nearly two dozen Fordham Law students packed their bags and passports to join the global legal networks through the Belfast/Dublin Summer Program and Fordham-Sungkyunkwan Summer Institute in International Law. It marked the first time since 2019 that members of the Fordham Law community traveled internationally to Europe and Asia for the popular summertime programs.

Studying in Seoul

Co-sponsored by Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) College of Law since 2008, the Fordham-Sungkyunkwan Summer Institute in International Law is designed for J.D. and LL.M. students in the United States as well as for law students, lawyers, and government officials from around the world. This year, a handful of Fordham Law students were introduced to international and comparative law at SKKU’s law school building in central Seoul.

Constitutional Court Justice Youngjin Lee speaks with members of the Fordham Law School community. (Photo courtesy: The Constitutional Court of Korea)

Professor Youngjae Lee, director of the program and an expert in criminal law and criminal procedure, taught International White Collar Crime. Through the course, students studied criminal laws that regulate cross-border and overseas conduct as well as the principles of jurisdiction, enforcement mechanisms, and the logistical and procedural challenges involved in the prosecution of crimes.

“In this program, our American students get to meet Korean law students and study and discuss law with them, spend nights and weekends exploring one of the most vibrant, distinctive, and dynamic cities in the world, learn about a leading legal system that is different from ours, and gain work experience in international law offices,” Lee said. “I wish I had this opportunity when I was a student.”

Eager to learn more about how international corporations conduct business overseas during her time in Korea, Alice Millerchip ’24 interned at GS Construction and Engineering.

“South Korea is a place I have wanted to visit for a while, and this was an incredible opportunity to work in a different country,” she said. “Aside from the interesting work I did on arbitration and transactional work, my favorite part was spending time with the other Korean interns. I loved learning about their experiences in law and life.”

Professor Youngjae Lee and Fordham Law students visit the Supreme Court of Korea.

Returning to Ireland

Since its founding in 2001, the Belfast/Dublin Summer Program has allowed students to study international law and conflict resolution at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and University College Dublin (UCD).

The 2022 Summer Ireland Program participants at the annual Kings Inns Dinner in Dublin.

This year, 16 Fordham Law students and eight students from UCD and QUB were introduced to the political and legal landscape of Northern Ireland. They also had opportunities to debate with leading figures in all the major political parties of Northern Ireland through lectures, panels, and discussions. Dean Emeritus John D. Feerick ’61, Professor Michael W. Martin, and Professor Ron Lazebnik were joined by faculty from UCD and QUB in teaching courses such as Human Rights and International Conflict Resolution: A Northern Ireland Perspective, Introduction to Intellectual Property: A Global Perspective, and International Criminal Law.

Martin, who has been involved with the program for 20 of the 22 years it has existed, noted that returning to Ireland felt like a homecoming. “It was a testament to our strong relationships with UCD and QUB that the program continued online during 2020 and 2021, and returned in person in 2022,” he said. “We were all motivated to bring the program back in person, and that strong desire led to one of our best programs ever.”

Once again, students traveled to Stormont to speak with leaders of the five major political parties in Northern Ireland. “While we have had similar discussions in the past, this was the first in almost a decade in which all five parties participated,” Martin explained. “It was a sign that the program is a significant recurring feature in Northern Ireland, which has brought over 600 U.S. students in its 22 years.”

Samana Bhatta ’24, an evening division student, who hails from Nepal and had never visited Ireland before, said the highlights of her experience included watching Feerick be honored with an honorary doctorate of laws from UCD and getting to know her fellow classmates and the professors better.

“I was particularly interested in learning from Professor Feerick about his experiences in Northern Ireland and conflict resolution,” Bhatta said. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn in a classroom full of brilliant minds. It exceeded my expectations.”

Students also met and dined with judicial, political, and legal dignitaries from both Ireland and Northern Ireland, including first ministers, Supreme Court justices, and the leaders of the bar and the law society.

“Learning the legal perspectives from legal experts and trainees of other parts of the world is critical … we were exposed to so many key players in the field,” said evening student Ghassan Abou-Alfa ’25, a medical oncologist professor attending Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “We really learned how different legal systems work and how they compare to and differ from the U.S. system. It was a golden opportunity for me to tie this bigger question of how human rights and conflict resolution work together and to relate it back to my profession as a physician.”

Seven Fordham Law students extended their time in Ireland at the conclusion of the program to intern in the Irish Four Courts, the Office of the Lady Chief Justice for Northern Ireland, and at the Irish Law Reform Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman in Dublin.

(L-R) Evening students Ghassan Abou-Alfa ’25, Marciana Popescu ’25, Samana Bhatta ’24, Dean Emeritus John D. Feerick ’61, and Fordham Evening Division Society 3LE President Hana Glasberg ’23 in Belfast City Hall. (Photo: Courtesy of FEDS)


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