Legal skills for bachelor students? Can that be true?

My name is Tamara Lewis. I was born, grew up and was educated in the United States of America. I am a law school graduate and I currently teach legal skills in the International and European Law department of The Hague University. Those familiar with US law schools know that law is taught only after the baccalaureate degree. This is not the case in most other jurisdictions around the world, where students can begin law studies immediately upon entry into undergraduate studies.

Dr. Tamara N. Lewis Arredondo, International Legal Skills Lecturer

In 2009, while completing my doctoral studies, I began to teach at the International and European Law faculty in Maastricht, The Netherlands. I was asked to teach an introductory course that included legal skills. Brilliant! That was my thinking. Here I was teaching legal skills to 19 year old students. It was so different than my experiences at US law faculties.

Then came another challenge – how do you teach legal skills to students who may never practice law in a national context and who will not be qualified to sit for a bar examination after law school?  And how do you teach that in a program where international and regional law is being taught?

The skills that international practitioners need to be successful in the field can differ widely from what is needed in national settings. Why, then, is it so difficult to find the right tools to teach legal skills in international contexts?

There a only a very few resources for helping students hone the skills so necessary for practicing law in international organizations, regional agencies and bodies or in multinational corporations. Most professors rely on national skills texts to deliver instruction, while simultaneously supplementing or modifying the materials.

This website is designed to provide e-text books (and eventually) courses that are specifically developed with International Law students in mind. The resources draw on the texts, documents and sources that students of international law deal with each day.

The themes in the blog entries relate international practice with practical implications for legal skills in global contexts.