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July 09, 2007

Two Summer Interns from US Law Schools Join the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in Kosovo


Rosalie Matthews from Gonzaga University School of Law, and Eric Sutton from University of Pittsburgh Law School are two interns that recently joined the ABA/Rule of Law Initiative in Kosovo.

In a recent interview, Rosalie and Eric shared their thoughts on their experiences in Kosovo and their work with the ABA, and where to get a good maciato coffee.

Q: What made you choose the ABA/Rule of Law Initiative in Kosovo and which of its projects do you find helpful for your future?

Rosalie: Issues revolving around the interpretation of laws, the various forms of legal relief available to the community, and a difference between the common law system in the States, and the Civil Code in Kosovo, are going to be quite exciting to tackle during my internship.  I consider myself lucky to work with such a supportive, knowledgeable, and dedicated staff at the ABA Rule of Law office in Prishtina, and I’m sure that this summer internship will be quite a success.

Eric: The ABA/Rule of Law Initiative program in Kosovo interested me for two reasons: first, I felt that in order to truly understand international law, I had to immerse myself in the issues in multiple regions of the world.  The second reason is because I admire the ABA mission to help establish the rule of law throughout the world. And, as I was reminded at the BILI conference in Sofia last weekend, reform cannot succeed if the ability to enforce the framework does not exist.  A functional, efficient, and impartial justice system is a fundamental right for all people and an essential necessity for all governments.

Q: What are your concrete engagements while here in ABA/Rule of Law Initiative in Kosovo?

Rosalie: Working on the “Legal Education” program, I will be assisting the office to create a procedure manual for the University of Prishtina Law Faculty for their first “live-client”clinic.  Clinical law is a critical aspect to providing legal services to those members of the Kosovar community who would not otherwise be able to obtain such relief.  Working with a board of Professors, legal staff at the ABA, and the Dean of the University, I will draft procedures to assist students with:Client Intake, Client Counseling and Interview Skills, Oral Advocacy and Legal Research and Writing.  Having been in Prishtina for two weeks, I found there are many challenges in drafting a policy manual for the school. 

Eric: Currently, I am working on the ethics portion of a manual for the new live-client legal clinic at the University of Prishtina. In addition, I am putting together a comparative study of the ethics codes that the lawyers, judges and prosecutors have adopted in the states that made up the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, and time allowed, the newly independent states of the Former Soviet Union, as well.  I’m having a fantastic time so far, and I’m happy to add my assistance here in Kosovo.

Q: What are your plans in the future after the law school?

Rosalie: I would like to have a future in international and public interest law, and I’m attempting to combine these two areas of the law through my work at the ABA/Rule of Law Initiative.

Eric: I plan to go into international environmental and human rights law. I first became interested in law partly because of my training in Chinese and a desire to implement that knowledge in a positive manner, but also through my volunteer work with asylum and refugee cases while living in Minneapolis. 

For more information please contact our Country Director David Sip, at [email protected]