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Academic Programs

Lawyers Without Borders

This eight-week learning immersion experience is awarded to outstanding human rights undergraduate student and one student from the UConn School of Law completing an internship at Lawyers Without Borders in New Haven, CT. The selected students will have the opportunity to travel abroad with the Lawyers Without Borders team to facilitate Trial Advocacy Trainings for high-level judges and lawyers, the location will be determined closer to the date of departure, the possibilities include Kenya, Burkina Faso, Nepal or Tanzania. This internship will include a scholarship funded in part by the Vic Schachter ’64 Rule of Law Award, and will cover the travel costs, as well as some local expenses for the student’s time in New Haven, CT.

Lawyers Without Borders is a 501c3 charitable organization that harnesses the pro bono work of lawyers from around the world into volunteer service in global rule of law, capacity building and access to justice initiatives.

Students interested in human rights law, rule of law and trial advocacy training in an international context should consider this internship.

Iva Petkova photoIva Petkova is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut. She is double majoring in Political Science and Human Rights, with a minor in French. She is originally from Bulgaria and is very interested in traveling and learning languages. She spent the summer of 2013 studying abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, where she took a course on energy and sustainable development. Last summer, she was a legal intern at the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, where she worked on multiple civil rights complaints. She conducted several mediations and investigations on wrongful termination complaints and got the opportunity to do legal writing.

During the summer of 2015, she will be interning at Lawyers Without Borders. While there, she will have the opportunity to travel to Tanzania with another intern and a senior lawyer from LWOB in order to conduct court observations and lay the groundwork for a future trial advocacy training program on human trafficking. She will also be conducting research on human trafficking and other human rights violations around the world and will work on creative projects to be used by LWOB in their international trainings.

At UConn, she has been involved with Community Outreach since her freshman year, first as a volunteer for the English as a Second Language Program and later as the Assistant Program Director of Cross Cultural Connections and the Program Director of the English as a Second Language Program. She has also been a UNESCO Student Ambassador for Human Rights since freshman year. During her junior year, she served as the President of the UConn Lawyers Without Borders Student Group, helping to organize a research project for UConn students, a talk by a human rights lawyer from LWOB, and bi-weekly discussions on timely human rights issues.

After graduating from UConn, she hopes to spend some time traveling and teaching English abroad. Afterward, she plans to go to law school, where she will focus on international human rights law, and eventually use her legal knowledge to work toward ensuring respect for the rights of all.