International Law Committee
What is the International Law Committee?
The International Law Committee is a standing committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. It is composed of legal practitioners who are involved or have an interest in international law.
What does the Committee do?
The Committee meets monthly to discuss issues related to the international law, international organizations, legislative systems of other countries, and doing business overseas. Committee members meet invited speakers from different countries who share first hand experience in and knowledge about the field. Members of other committees of the Philadelphia Bar Association are invited to the meetings, which could be of their interest. The Committee maintains and develops links with local non-legal organizations involved in the international relations.
Among other activities of the Committee are: co-sponsoring of the international exchange law student program; organizing an annual reception for international LLM students of area law schools; maintaining relationships with and inviting members of the foreign consular corps in the Philadelphia area; and development of the Twinning Relationship and international attorney exchange program with the Bar Association of Lyon, France. The Committee encourages participation of corporate legal departments in its activities.
Philadelphia-Lyon Bar Exchange Program
The Philadelphia Bar Association has had a sister bar agreement with the Lyon Bar Association in France since 1997. One of the most successful aspects of this prestigious "twinning" relationship has been the annual exchange of young lawyer interns between the two cities. Every year, three or four young lawyers from Lyon will typically spend a six-month internship at a host Philadelphia law firm. The interns usually arrive in Philadelphia in January and stay until the summer. Past interns have found the program not only enjoyable, but also invaluable in learning more about how American lawyers and business leaders think. We have even heard warm compliments concerning Philadelphia restaurants.
Host and Attorney
Benefits to Host Firms: From the Philadelphia host's point of view, the program provides a good way to develop international contacts and perspective — at virtually no expense, since our hosts do not pay the French lawyers. However, the interns are provided with an office, desk and computer, together with the opportunity to attend meetings, court appearances and other events where appropriate.
Participating firms: Large and small firms and even the federal courts have played host to these international lawyers, including Reed Smith, Pepper Hamilton, Duane Morris, Honorable Linda K. Caracappa, The Erb Law Firm, PC, and Frost & Zeff.
Intern in Lyon
In the past, Philadelphia lawyers going to Lyon have typically visited France for between three and six months. However, in some instances a shorter stay of from one to three months might be appropriate. Some knowledge of French or a willingness to learn is an asset in applying for the program. For Philadelphia lawyers who are selected to go to France, the internship offers a means of gaining international and EU experience during a time of increasing awareness of the global environment. Past participants have brought back with them significant business as well. The culinary aspect of the experience is not lost on candidates, either!
For more information
Law firms interested in hosting a French intern may submit a letter of interest and, if applicable, describe the position or positions available. Those interested in nominating a Philadelphia lawyer for a French internship — or who would like additional information concerning the program and how to apply — should contact Michael E. Scullin at +1 215 546 0491 or +1 215 833 3173. The applications letter should state the relevant qualifications of the candidate, explain his or her desire to participate in the program, and if applicable, identify any particular requirements or interests the he or she may have.
How can I join the Committee?
Committee membership is open to members in good standing of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Meetings of the Committee are normally open, upon advance notification, to everyone who is interested in international law. To apply for Committee membership online, click here.
How can I obtain more information about the Committee?
If you would like more information about the International Law Committee, please contact co-chairs:
Jeremy D. Heep
Pepper Hamilton LLP
3000 Two Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Two Liberty Place
50 S. 16th Street, Suite 3200
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2555