CILS Benefactors Inc.

Rating: 4.93 stars   14 reviews

Issues: Education, International, Philanthropy

Location: 254 Grand, 2300 Mount Werner Circle Steamboat Springs CO 80487 USA

Mission: CILS Benefactors Inc. has as its mission to solitation of contributions in order to make travel grants to American law students undertaking training overseas, to young academics from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics studying American law, to American lawyers undertaking pro bono teaching assignments in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics, and to universities seeking support to send teams to the annual Foreign Direct Investment Disputes Moot program.
Geographic areas served: International

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the finished work product of legal publications.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outgoing and professional which created a relaxing work environment.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide more law students with the opportunity to work with CILS.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

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

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen the results of this organization in the interest generated amongst other US lawyers in their interest in participating.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The CILS staff are extremely accommodating and supportive in all respects -- a real pleasure to work with.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

If CILS had tons of money, it could broaden its reach even more by reducing the senior visiting professor training expense and thereby enticing more US lawyers to volunteer their time.

Ways to make it better...

My experience would have been better if I had done it before so I couild have tailored my presentation to elicit more student participation.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The biggest challenges facing CILS are in obtaining program participants who are willing to part with valuable time.

One thing I'd also say is that...

In conclusion, CILS is in my opinion one of the most effective organizations I've encountered in sharing with former Eastern Block countries the values and character of our country.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my International business transactions class. Also, in interviews, it's a great conversation piece.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that I've kept in touch with my "family" in India.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very devoted to environmentalism, and very creative in their work.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have a huge influence in India.

Ways to make it better...

I had worked closer with lawyers. The time I was able to spend with lawyers was helpful.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the way the government functions, but that is true anywhere. Working in a developing country was helpful because there are many of the same problems as in the US, just on an exaggerated scale- so the issues were more obvious.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this was a great experience!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

interacting with the professors

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue the programs in place

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

teaching foreign students

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

well-informed and friendly

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide materials, books and more programs

Ways to make it better...

I had mastered the Russian language

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

coordinating all the programs and providing sufficient funds

One thing I'd also say is that...

I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching experience

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

provides an opportunity for senior lawyers to teach short courses

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ways to make it better...

do internship at the CILS

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-3-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their work. You can check it at http://cils.net/

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they acted quickly to assist us.

Ways to make it better...

I have had more support like CILS gave us.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

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.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting foreign lawyers and law students, and learning about their legal systems

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The respect for the organization at the Law Faculty to which I was assigned.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no suggestions

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting the students, their professors and the other attorneys in the program

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, well prepared and most helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide scholarships for the Eastern European students to come to America and see the system of justice first hand.

Ways to make it better...

A little shorter orientation

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Money

One thing I'd also say is that...

I have told my friends about the program and suggested that they also serve in the Senior Lawyer program

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

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.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to travel to countries where few have ever met an American and to contribute to bringing a positive view of America to young people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptionally competent and helpful.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the orientation program in Salzburg and while teaching in Slovenia.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make an effort with US state officials to get CLE credit for the orientation and teaching program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

interacting with the students and staff in Slovenia.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very well prepared and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

work for it full time .

Ways to make it better...

he cost to the volunteer was less.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I will come back.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

Was this review helpful?