Close Menu

ILO L270M: International Law Practicum I

Course Description

Last year Fletcher launched its first faculty-led International Law (“IL”) Practicum with the goal of bridging the divide between theory and practice in the international human rights field.  As part of this innovative experiential learning course, a select group of Fletcher students have the opportunity to gain hands-on real world experience working on compelling human rights related projects under the professor’s supervision for real clients and partners from the nongovernmental and intergovernmental organization sector.  The client/partners have included (i) the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, (ii) the general counsel for Mercy Corps, and (iii) the Global Legal Action Network (“GLAN”) Law.  Examples of potential project deliverables include desk reports, amicus briefs, petitions, human rights education materials and programing, policy reports, memoranda, white papers, legislation, advisories, client briefings and oral presentations.  All projects involve research, writing, and an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the skills and strategies employed by human rights practitioners as well as questions of ethical, political and professional responsibility related to human rights work.  Through supervised practice, students cultivate a range of skills, become substantive experts on an issue or subject matter, and further develop a professional identity.  In sum, the practicum serves not only as a professional credential but as critical preparation for the complex field of international human rights practice.


The IL Practicum is an experiential two semester (fall and spring) course with two inter-related components: students engage in practical work under the professor’s supervision and participate throughout the course of the year in practicum class sessions that focus on the doctrine, theory, skills, and ethical questions that arise in that practice area. Prof. Christine Bustany directs the IL Practicum and supervises students’ fieldwork.


Participating students enroll in the year-long course for a total of 4.5 credits (1.5 credits in the fall and 3.0 credits in the spring) and commit to working 5-10 hours per week during the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters. The weekly workload, however, may vary substantially, depending upon the stage of each project or matter. The regular weekly/biweekly supervision meetings will be scheduled after students have been accepted into the practicum and based on the selected practicum members and the faculty supervisor’s availability. 



A prior academic course in international law and/or international human rights law or experience in the field of human rights is preferable.


How to Apply

Those interested in applying for the 2019-2020 IL Law Practicum are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible and no later than 9 a.m. on Sept. 6.


An application consists of: (1) a CV/resume; (2) a transcript (unofficial is fine); and (3) a brief e-mail cover letter (no more than 400 words).  In the “e-mail cover letter,” you may want to address: your reasons for applying to the IL Practicum; significant academic and professional accomplishments that may be relevant; relevant experience; relevant academic coursework in areas; foreign language abilities; and/or your goals for the IL Practicum, i.e., what you hope to gain from participation in the IL Practicum. Your CV/resume and transcript should be attached to the e-mail cover letter. 


Applications should be submitted via e-mail to Prof. Bustany, no later than 9 a.m. on Sept. 6, with “IL Practicum Application” in the subject line.  After reviewing the applications, Prof. Bustany may contact applicants to set up a time for an interview. Students will be informed of decisions by mid-September if not before.



Students can learn more about the IL Practicum at an information session, which will be held on the “Fletcher Shopping Day” scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 3rd. 


Interested students are also encouraged to e-mail Prof. Bustany ( with any questions.

Course runs for two semesters (1.5 credits in Fall and 3.0 credits in Spring). Application required for enrollment into class.
Course faculty: Christine Bustany
Course duration: Full semester
Credits/Units: 1.5

Fall 2019

Note: Class meets 9/10; 9/17; 9/24; 10/8; 10/22; 10/29; 11/12; 11/19; 12/3
Room: Isobe Room (Mugar 251f)
Day(s): Tuesday
Time: 3:20 pm - 5:20 pm

Final Exam

Consult instructor for exam details