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International Legal Studies

Samantha Sergent ‘19 is Vanderbilt’s first Helen Strong Curry International Law ScholarSamantha Sergent ‘19 is Vanderbilt’s first Helen Strong Curry International Law Scholar 

Sergent is the first recipient of the scholarship endowed through an estate gift from Jean Curry Allen (BA’44), which will be awarded awarded each year to a first-year student who demonstrates strong academic performance and plans to focus their upper-level studies on international law. The scholarship was named in honor of Allen’s mother, Helen Strong Curry. READ MORE

Vanderbilt's International Legal Studies Program prepares students to practice law in a global environment by combining substantive classroom exposure to cutting-edge topics in international law with practical experience in their application through the International Law Practice Lab and annual externships . The program's core faculty includes respected scholars with expertise in key areas of international law. Students also have the opportunity to interact with other top international legal practitioners and scholars who come to Vanderbilt to participate in lectures and scholarly conferences sponsored by the International Legal Studies program. For more information, see International Legal Studies Program News .

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From Vanderbilt to the World

The Vanderbilt International Legal Studies program provides a strong intellectual and practical foundation for students who wish to practice international law. The program equips students with the substantive understanding of complex issues and the pragmatic skills needed to launch a professional career that meshes with students' individual needs and interests. The pathways into international legal practice are complex and variable, but Vanderbilt students will find an incredibly supportive set of personal and institutional resources to assist them in finding their niche in the world of practice.

Vanderbilt alumni are currently employed in a wide range of international organizations, including the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Trade Organization; a range of U.S. governmental agencies; and international tribunals, such as the International Tribunal for Rwanda. Eight 2010 graduates were selected as Presidential Management Fellows, which permits them to seek placement in U.S. government agencies and begin a civil service career. Other graduates have accepted offers in law firms in areas related to projects undertaken as part of the International Law Practice Lab. Others have taken the Foreign Service Exam and are serving overseas in the Department of State. Some graduates choose to spend the first year or two out after graduation as judicial clerks before making a transition into an international law field. Your professional horizons will stretch from Nashville throughout the world based on your preparation, your interests and your perseverance.

The International Legal Studies Program awards a scholarship to an entering student in memory of the late Raymonde I. Paul, who developed a diverse practice in international law and participated extensively in the International Federation of Women Lawyers. There are also an array of semester and summer externships available. In addition, several stipends are available for students in financial need. For more information on these offerings, see the Externships and Scholarships page.


Laura Deck '12Laura Deck '12 joined the U.S. Department of State as an attorney adviser based in Washington, D.C., in July 2015. Laura, who previously practiced with Proskauer Rose in Boston, served a semester externship in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser in fall 2011 through the ILSP. She also spent two months as a research intern at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland in Galway during summer 2010.