Section Update: International Law Section

Section Update: International Law Section
Matthew D. McGhie


The FBA Law Student Division has recently experienced tremendous growth as more law students have recognized the many benefits of belonging to a national organization of legal professionals. The FBA International Law Section includes dozens of law school associates from sixteen states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Washington, DC. If you are interested in human rights, international development, climate change, foreign trade, treaties, or customary international law, joining the International Law Section will provide you with professional contacts that can help you advance your legal career.

New FBA members don’t always realize that the FBA is much more than their local chapter. It is a vibrant national organization with more than 18,000 federal lawyers (including 1,200 federal judges), divided into six divisions, more than 20 substantive law sections, and nearly 100 geographically-based chapters. You can enhance your FBA experience by joining the FBA sections that sponsor events of interest to you. The International Law Section is unique in its exclusive focus on legal issues that cross international borders.

The purposes of the International Law Section are to provide speaker programs on international legal subjects, publish a quarterly newsletter for the international legal community, produce articles on international legal subjects, assist people in other nations to further the cause of peace and democracy, and further the development and enforcement of human rights principles.

The International Law Section includes six committees that focus on specific international legal issues, including human rights, development and investment, finance and banking, resources and environmental law, trade and customs law, and other international laws. The committee chairs, who are geographically dispersed throughout the country, are each expected to plan a local event (typically a CLE seminar, luncheon, or reception) that corresponds to the committee’s issue area and to periodically publish an article in the Section’s newsletter, Global Perspectives.

The Executive Board of the International Law Section has recently revised its bylaws, which were approved by the National Board of Directors, to better serve its membership, including the addition of a Law Student Division Liaison. Law student associates can work with experienced lawyers to plan section activities by serving on one of nine committees (including the newly authorized Membership, Newsletter, and Elections Committees). They are also invited to submit articles for publication in Global Perspectives. I invite you to learn more about the International Law Section by exploring our page on the FBA website, which contains a list of current Board members, the Bylaws of the Section, and the most recent issues of Global Perspectives.

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