Students from University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School joined their peers from 13 other leading law schools virtually this spring to explore the future of international law at the 10th annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program.
Four students from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School — Mostafa El-Harazi L’23, Caitlin Kim L’23, Julia Krusen L’22, and Boguang Yang L’22 — recently attended the 2022 Salzburg Lloyd N. Cutler Fellows Program, which connects students from 14 of the nation’s top law schools with leading academics, judges, and practitioners in the fields of private and public international law through keynote lectures, small group workshops, and mentoring panels.
The highly interactive program examines the most critical issues shaping today’s international law agenda and creates a network of men and women interested in careers in international practice and public service. Each participating law school selects four students to serve as Salzburg Cutler Fellows.
Though normally organized over a single weekend in Washington, D.C., this year’s program was held virtually over three weekends, from February 24 to March 12, 2022.
One of the defining features of the Cutler Fellows program is the opportunity to present a summary of their original international law research during breakout workshop sessions. These Paper Workshops are intended to help the Fellows more fully develop their initial papers into publishable works.
During this year’s program, the 56 Fellows were divided into seven working groups, differentiated by paper topic. Students receive feedback not only from their peers, but also from highly respected law faculty working in related areas.
“The workshops were a great way to solicit feedback. That was something that I’ve never done before in law school — present a paper in brief and have peers comment on it,” said Boguang Yang L’22.
“My working group addressed topics in Asia Pacific, so it was a great way to get to know peers who share similar academic interests. And when you hear from your peers, who may approach the same subject matter from a different point of view, you gain a lot just by engaging in conversation.”
Caitlin Kim L’23 originally wrote her paper for an international arbitration class.
“One of the most helpful things from the program was learning how to adapt a paper written for a class into a publishable law review format,” she said.
“Since most people in my group brought papers about international trade law or international investment law, I received great substantive feedback from the group members as well as the professors. I even ended up meeting with one of the authors I had cited in my paper.”
For Mostafa El-Harazi L’23, one of the big takeaways was that a law review isn’t the only place to publish a paper.
“You can publish on blogs, you can publish an op-ed,” he said, both of which he is now considering.
“I was very intrigued to read papers and hear feedback from people who have actually practiced international investment law. I came back with a lot of changes to make for my paper, changes that I wouldn’t have thought of if I hadn’t participated in this program.”
Julia Krusen L’22, who is studying abroad in Paris at Sciences Po this year, was grateful for the virtual format, as she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to take part in the program this year. She felt that her paper, on the right to vaccination in rebel-controlled areas, greatly benefited from the attention of her group, which was focused on pandemic and post-conflict topics.
“When you’ve been sitting with a paper for so long, you know what you’re going to say, and you don’t see the holes in it anymore,” she said. “Having group members tell you areas where it could be strengthened or areas where you need to cut back is very useful. They directed me to different parts of the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) that I should be reading to give my argument a stronger basis; I wouldn’t have thought to look in those places.”
The Salzburg Cutler Program is also about building lasting collaborative networks within the legal and public service sectors, and here, too, the Penn Carey Law students felt its impact.
“It was such a nerdy but fun thing to see that people are excited about the same issues that I think about,” said Kim. “I developed a real appetite for getting to know more people in the field.”
Yang agreed. “Without this program, I wouldn’t have thought about just meeting fellow students from other law schools around the country who share an interest in this subject matter area.”
“I made great connections with people,” El-Harazi stated. “I added them on LinkedIn, and we plan to talk on group chats.”
Moreover, the program will continue to nurture these connections as Salzburg Cutler Fellows automatically become members of the Salzburg Global Fellowship and its robust international network.