The internship experience I had with the CILS was truly a most unique and exciting experience. I was able to contribute to a variety of tasks that were as academically intriguing as they were rigorous. As an American law student, I found the opportunity to revise and contribute to ongoing treaty commentary of European Union Law particularly rewarding. My experience with the CILS exceeded my expectations of an overseas internship. Working with an NGO not only provided me with unique opportunities, such as attending UNCITRAL sessions at the UN Vienna, but also critical lessons on networking and business practice I am certain I would not have experienced anywhere else.
I can honestly say that my participation in the CILS senior visiting professor program has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my 37+ year legal career. The training provided by CILS was just what was needed to prepare me for my teaching assignment in Budapest. The faculty and students at the Gaspar Karoli Portestant University Law School were simply fantastic -- such that I'm returning again this fall. I endorse the CILS programs such as this, as well as its other educational programs (one of which I attended in Salzburg roughly 8 years ago), as valuable additions to any practitioner's personal and professional growth and development. Jeff Aiken, Milwaukee, WI, USA
My internship, set up through CILS Benefactors, was amazing! I worked with an environmental-NGO in Patna, India, and couldn't have had a better experience. I not only gained a new perspective on non-profit work, but I was able to make contacts with government officials and people who work with the United Nations. I never would have found "Tarumitra" without CILS.
I participated in the Senior Lawyers Program through CILS in the fall of 2008. My assignment was Kazan State University in Kazan, Russia, Republic of Tatarstan. I was fortunate to combine my orientation with my first assignment and this is truly one of the best experiences of the last many years. I had an opportunity to use my experience as a lawyer and share my knowledge with students eager to learn about the law and about America and to prepare themselves for a better future. The orientation program in Salzburg, Austria was well designed with some very engaging professors who conducted their classes in a friendly atmosphere in a most pleasant environment. I can’t say enough about the Schloss Leopoldskron or Salzburg, Austria. Our weather during October was magnificent and not only the experience and the professors of the program but the fellow lawyers we met were a rewarding experience in itself. My wife was able to join me and I feel we made many lasting friends I look forward to seeing again in the future. The orientation program prepared me well for my experience abroad both in a practical sense and in preparing me for the techniques of teaching and the level of substantive matter to cover. After the wonderful stay at the Schloss Leopoldskron, I departed from Salzburg to Frankfurt and then a direct flight to Kazan. Even at my age in the late 50’s I had a certain degree of fear and trepidation of traveling by myself to a foreign country where I did not speak the language. Arriving at 6:00 a.m. I was an hour before my academic liaison was to meet me and my first experience was with the taxi drivers of Kazan, Russia. I survived and was on my way. I had wonderful accommodations at the Shalyapin Hotel. The real experience was the teaching at Kazan State University and engaging the students. They took wonderful care of me and I enjoyed the experiences outside the classroom, particularly the ballet, a college basketball game, a trip to the Volga and several museums. The weather in Kazan also cooperated. I didn’t see snow until the day before I left Russia on November 12th. It was also an interesting time to be there during the Presidential election. Aside from the students, I was able to also have a lecture for practicing attorneys, which I thoroughly enjoyed although there was a bit of a stumble at the start as I began speaking in English which was familiar to all my students but none of the older attorneys spoke any English and my professor did not advise me and was not there at the start of the lecture. Luckily, a translator arrived in 5 minutes and everything went smoothly thereafter. I have many stories, some of which I compiled in a journal, but for the purposes here, teaching abroad was a rewarding experience.
In 2007 spring, I participated at the Senior Lawyer Orientation program as a young scholar. First of all I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to CILS that gave me wonderful opportunity to participate at the program and advance my knowledge and “open” my eyes. I met many outstanding senior lawyers from USA. They really interested about Mongolia. Therefore I did short presentation about Mongolia and Mongolian legal system. This presentation was my first presentation in front of senior lawyers and first time in English. I shared with them my opinion about Mongolian legal system. For instance, Mr.Stephen B.Hrones interested about Mongolian criminal law. That time I really surprised that many US lawyers wanted to know about Mongolia. CILS provides an opportunity for senior lawyers to teach short courses on certain aspects of law students abroad. For example, Mr. Joseph Matthew visited to National University of Mongolia in 2006. He taught arbitration law to the 4th grade students. Even his class was only within 2 weeks the students learned many interesting things on arbitration law and Professor Matthews’s class was very fruitful. In 2005 September, I have started to work at the University as an Assistant Professor. I have learned the teaching method and using of relevant cases to each topic. Also teaching the class in English for students was the big chance to improve their English skill. I have had wonderful travel experience. I have made many wonderful friends.
CILS was extremely supportive in the participation of a student team that I had coached, during the participation in a Foreign Direct Investment Moot Court, that took place in November 2008, at Suffolk University, Boston. They helped us to pay our hotel expenses and provided us guidance through all the process.
My experience with CILS has been one of the most satisfying and rewarding of my adult years. I have practiced law for 35 years, and about 5 years ago, at a time when my interest in law was waning, I discovered CILS. As a result, I have had wonderful travel experiences, I have taught and interacted with many lawyers and law students throughout Eastern Europe, I have made many wonderful friends, and as a result of my CILS experiences I've felt rejuvenated in my law practice. CILS has exposed me to different systems of law and legal ideology, and it has been an enlightening experience to be able to exchange ideas about law with lawyers and law students everywhere I've taught. Through CILS I have taught in Hungary, Slovakia, and Lithuania, and look forward to my next experience in Kosovo in the Spring of 2010. CILS has helped to open my eyes to a whole new world, and has also helped to expose students and faculty to the American legal system. It has been a wonderful experience for everyone.
After retiring from the active practice of law I was looking for something that might meet the mandate of a quote I carried in my wallet:"There comes a time when you should harvest the wisdom of your years." The invitation to share my law career experience in the American Judicial System prompted me to accept the invitation to apply for and become a "professor" in the CILS Senior Lawyer program. The entire program impressed me from inception to the final training and orientation in Salzburg. The assignment to the Law Faculty at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic demonstrated the CILS has developed replationships with excellent Eastern European Schools. My two week teaching experience was more than I hoped for with the brillant students providing hope for the future even though, and rightly so, they had tough questions about the American Jury trial system.
CILS provides an opportunity for senior lawyers to teach short courses on certain aspects of law to students in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. I have been to Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia. CILS does an outstanding job with all of the coordination and communication necessary to ensure that both teacher and students benefit from the experience. It is sometimes difficult to navigate the bureaucracy, but CILS does so with excellence and professionalism.
I spent three wonderful weeks teaching criminal law in Maribor Slovenia. I was well prepared for my experience by attending the one week CILS orientation program in Salzburg . I was well received by the law school staff and students . If you have the time and a desire to professionally interact with people of a different culture I highly recommend joining the hard working volunteers of CILS.