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Transnational Disputes Clinic

The Transnational Disputes Clinic will be offered in the fall semester of 2022.

About the Clinic

Students in the Transnational Disputes Clinic learn to use strategic litigation to influence the progressive development of the law. Clinic clients and partners include those appearing before international investor-state arbitral tribunals, national courts, such as U.S. federal courts, and other fora. Students learn key skills through acting as counsel for parties as well as for amici curiae in disputes that implicate the protection of fundamental rights.

Clinic Goals

Our world is deeply interconnected across countries and cultures and the law and legal practice is increasingly transnational. Students in the Transnational Disputes Clinic learn skills vital to successful lawyering and collaboration across borders through immersion in a strategic litigation practice aimed at promoting the progressive development of the law, and in particular law protecting fundamental rights. Depending on the individual or organizational client or partner, a Clinic matter might give students an opportunity to develop proficiency in international treaty law (such as a bilateral investment treaty, the International Covenants on Civil and Political and Economic Social and Cultural Rights, or the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees), cross-border contracts and/or jurisprudence (such as a U.S. federal administrative agency interpretation of a treaty, the practices and policies of United Nations agencies, or the rulings of national courts around the world) alongside extensive work with a client or partners in order to craft a strategic litigation position or pleading aimed at expanding the protection of fundamental rights. Clinic matters show students through experiential pedagogy that the law is dynamic and that transnational legal practice can shape its development, with corresponding normative and ethical consequences.

Clinic students learn key legal skills, reflect on what distinguishes a strategic litigator, and practice integrating critical reflection on lawyering and the law into their clinical work. Clinic seminar sessions and case team supervision reflect a focus on:

  • Adapting arguments to the substantive and procedural law applicable in different fora;
  • Persuasive writing for transnational legal audiences;
  • Interviewing and conducting factual research in multiple jurisdictions;
  • Legal ethics and client-centered lawyering in transnational context;
  • Strategic planning and case selection in work across legal systems;
  • Representing and coordinating with movements, coalitions, and networks;
  • Understanding litigation risk across borders;
  • Representing and coordinating with movements, coalitions, and networks;
  • Funding strategic litigation campaigns;
  • Legal ethics and client-centered lawyering in transnational context;
  • Leveraging litigation for global and national policy impact, and to shift the public debate;
  • Critical perspectives on international law and legal practice; and,
  • Team work, self-care and work-life balance.

Students in the Transnational Disputes Clinic can also work with their clients for multiple semesters through participation in an advanced clinic course and develop close relationships as matters move through multiple phases.

If you have a matter you would like to propose for Clinic representation, please contact the Clinic’s Founding Director, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Ian M. Kysel via email.

More Information
Contact Us
Ian Kysel
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Phone:
(607) 255-5503
Type:
Visiting
Address:
Cornell Law School
309 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901

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