Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program Launches Inaugural Seminar

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Nov 26, 2012
by Jessica Roberts
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Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program Launches Inaugural Seminar

44 Top US Law School Students join Cutler Fellowship The inaugural class of Salzburg Cutler Fellows with faculty

The inaugural class of Salzburg Cutler Fellows convened November 16 at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC for a dynamic interchange on the future shape and practice of private and public international law.

The Fellows were competitively chosen from among the most outstanding second year students attending nine of the nation’s top law schools—Columbia, Chicago, Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, Penn, Stanford, UVA and Yale—and heard from and were mentored by faculty from those schools as well as outstanding legal practitioners.

The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is a new endeavor of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. 

Cutler, founder of the Washington law firm, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and White House Counsel to two US presidents, served for more than a decade as the Chairman of the Salzburg Global Seminar.

“Lloyd believed passionately in the role that law plays in nation-building, and in the roles lawyers could play in facilitating solutions to the world’s most pressing problems,” Salzburg President Stephen Salyer noted in his opening remarks. 

Salzburg established the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law in 2009 to extend Cutler’s legacy.  

The Cutler Fellows Program is intended to help law students carve career paths that will help shape the future of law and legal institutions around the world.

The day began with a discussion between John Bellinger, former Legal Adviser to the US Secretary of State and now a partner at Arnold & Porter in Washington, and Michael Reisman, professor of International Law at Yale Law School.  

Professor William Burke-White, Deputy Dean of Penn Law School, moderated the conversation about the narrowing divide between public and private law in international practice.

The opening plenary was followed by the first of two break-out sessions in which students presented and received feedback from faculty and other fellows on research proposals they conceived and submitted in advance of the seminar.

The sessions were intense and energetic, as faculty offered detailed critiques of student papers submitted in five vital areas of international law: use of force and humanitarian law, international economic and monetary law, international trade, international institutions and relations, and domestic responses to international law.

Justice Richard Goldstone delivered the luncheon keynote address. Goldstone served on the Transvaal Supreme Court and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa and was one of several liberal judges who issued key rulings that undermined apartheid from within the system by tempering the worst effects of the country’s racial laws.

Over lunch, he shared with fellows several stories about his own private and public law career and discussed his work as chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.

The closing plenary addressed creating career paths in international law and public service.

Chris Brummer, professor at Georgetown Law who practiced for many years in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, was joined by Michael Bahar, General Counsel to the Minority Staff of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Elizabeth Andersen, Executive Director and Executive Vice President of the American Society of International Law.  Amy Gadsden, Associate Dean at Penn Law, moderated the panel.

The day ended with a networking reception for the fellows, faculty and distinguished speakers, but it signaled only the beginning for the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program; with assistance from the online enterprise network provider Yammer, Cutler Fellows will continue to exchange ideas across schools and geographies.

The article abstracts discussed in Washington will be improved from this exchange and later co-published by the Salzburg Global Seminar and leading law journals. 

Cutler Fellows will be involved in extending the program in coming years to include participants in the United States and internationally. 

The goal is to create a network of outstanding young lawyers who can advise and mentor others, and who will help shape international law and legal institutions for decades to come.