Lara Berlin, 2014, United States

Why I chose Fletcher: As someone interested in pursuing a career in international conflict resolution, the joint degree program between Fletcher and Harvard Law School was truly a dream for me. Many international relations programs have a strong curriculum in international politics and economics, but Fletcher stood out as one of the very few schools that emphasized a more nuanced, multi-disciplinary, and culturally-cognizant approach to global engagement. When I looked at Fletcher's course listings in subjects ranging from gender and culture to petroleum in the international economy, I literally became giddy. Even more, I loved that almost half of the student population at Fletcher are international students, making discussions about global affairs far richer and more personalized. Coming here after my first year of law school has only reaffirmed my original decision to do the joint degree program - the two degrees complement and enhance one another perfectly.

How my experience at Fletcher has changed the way I look at the world: Most basically, my knowledge of current events and the realities faced by people in different countries around the world has grown immensely. Whether it's through lectures, informal conversations, or email debates, I'm constantly learning about global events. Secondly, the interdisciplinary nature of Fletcher has helped me understand that there are always various forces at play in any situation - economic, political, cultural, legal, and otherwise. I am better equipped to analyze the interplay of those factors.  Finally, meeting students and professors from around the world has made working internationally seem far more accessible. Instead of merely contemplating about working in a country, I can ask my classmates from that area about their own experiences, what organizations are there, and how to go about implementing my ideas.

Favorite Book:

The Power of One

Favorite Movie:

Good Will Hunting

Favorite Landmark:

Hell's Gate National Park, Naivasha, Kenya

Most Rewarding Trip:

Traveling through rural areas of Sierra Leone

Global Problem That Brought You to Fletcher:

Large-scale conflicts in Africa, often related to natural resources and corruption

Fields of Study

  • Human Security
    International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Summer Internship

Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), Making Amends Campaign Legal - Washington, D.C.

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Harvard Law and International Development Society
    International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Club
    International Development Club

Education before Fletcher

  • JD, expected 2014, Harvard Law School
    BA, Anthropology, Yale University

Experience before Fletcher

  • Accountability Counsel, Law Fellow - San Francisco, CA
    Global Witness, Research Fellow - Washington, D.C.
    Search for Common Ground, Intern - Freetown, Sierra Leone


  • Kiswahili