Law Students 

Welcome Law Students  

Dear California Law Students:

Thank you for your interest in the International Law Section of the State Bar of California. We strongly urge you to join our Section. Whether you join as a law student or an active committee member, the benefits of joining the Section are enormous. Besides meeting great people who practice in a variety of international fields, you will meet and network with people who will become lifelong friends and business associates. It is our goal as a Section to help you transition from law student to practicing lawyer. We hope that the transition won’t just be viewed as a long hard journey! We hope that you will view this period of time as a law student member of our Section as the beginning of your International Law Career!

Below you will find commonly asked questions regarding our Law Student Membership Program and information on how to join at no cost. If you have a question that has not been addressed, please feel free to contact Zahirah Mann, our law student liaison. our law student liaison.

Law Student Writing Competition

Each year the International Law Section sponsors its Law Student Writing Competition. Any student currently enrolled in a J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D or S.J.D. program at an accredited law school (anywhere in the world), and any 2013 graduate of such a program, is eligible to submit an article for consideration on any subject that would be of interest to an international law practitioner. The article may be specifically prepared for this contest or may be based on a paper submitted in a class, seminar, or as an independent study program. The article must, however, be the original work of the submitted student without substantial editorial input from others. All articles submitted for the competition become property of the International Law Section.

Past Winners

2012 Winners

First Place - $2,000.00 Prize
Jonathan Paul Schmidt
The Responsibility to Protect:  Emerging Customary International Law and the Application to the Present Conflict in Syria

Second Place - $750.00 Prize
Annie Tsai
Foreign Affairs Preemptive Problem: Can California Cap and Trade Programs Linkage with Quebec Pass the Test?

Third Place - $250.00 Prize
Keri Mahoney
Right to Health vs. Right to Protection of Intellectual Property: Compulsory Licensing and the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

2011 Winners

First Place - $2,000.00 Prize
Rose Leda Ehler
A Different Kind of Working Mother: An International Labor Standard to Govern the Employment of Gestational Surrogates

Second Place - $750.00 Prize
Eric W. Feil
Internationalized Non-International Armed Conflict: Mexico’s Drug War and the Implications of U.S. Involvement

Third Place - $250.00 Prize
Justine Eldridge
Lessons from the Arab Spring of 2011 for the Development of an Iranian Feminist Movement in the Future 

2010 Winners

First Place Prize ($2,000 prize): Bioethics inthe Organization of American States: Establishing a Human Rights Treaty to Combat OrganTrafficking by Lia A. Mandaglio.

Second Place ($750 prize): Combating Illegal Movie Piracy in China: A Three-Tiered Approach in Theatrical Films, DVDs, and Online Streaming by Jessica Wang.

Third Place ($250 prize): Oil Spill Pollution Solutions: International Liability for the Deepwater Horizon Crisis in a Transnational World by Jessica Urban.

2009 Winners

First Place Winner: Yaniv Roznai , Let the "Carolina" Sink

Second Place Winner: Kyung Eun Latimer, Journey to Access to Medicine -- TRIPs & Compulsory Licensing

Third Place Winner: Margaret Seward, The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism and Energy Efficiency in Buildings

2008 Winners

First Place Winner: The Legal Implications of Nearshore Outsourcing to Mexico, Renee Dopplick ($2,000 prize)

Second Place Winner: GOING PUBLIC: The Prosecution of Rape Under International Law and its Effect on the Public-Private Divide, Liane Aronchick ($750 prize)

Third Place Winner: Body Snatchers: Transnational Organ and Tissue Trafficking, Kathryn G. Reid ($250 prize)

2007 Winners

First Place: Benjamin Brockman Hawe, "The Iraqi High Court; A Retrospective and Prospective View" ($2,000 prize)

Second Place: Sapana Shah, "Islamic Banking and Finance: Shari 'a -Compliance and the Reinterpretation of Riba" ($750 prize)

  • Third Place: Jesse Chui, "Legal Reform in Japan at the Dawn of the 21st Century" ($250 prize)

What Does the International Law Section Do?

The International Law Section of the California State Bar was founded in 1987 to serve California lawyers handling international and trans-border legal matters in a variety of practice areas, including corporate and business transactions, litigation and arbitration, tax, regulatory and trade matters, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and family law, amongst others. 

With well over a thousand members, the Section organizes programs and events at The State Bar of California Annual Meeting and at events organized by the Programs Committee of the Section. The Section also publishes and distributes two key publications — The California International Law Journal, a collection of practical articles on various aspects of international practice, and an online newsletter, The California International Law Section Newsletter, containing information of interest to our members, including networking activities, educational opportunities and job postings.

What are the Benefits of Membership?  

  • Membership is Free for Law Students — There is no cost to become a law student member of the International Law Section!
  • Networking — By attending a Section event, you will have an opportunity to network with lawyers who work in an exciting and dynamic practice area.
  • Career Development — By networking at Section events and reading our online job referral column in The California International Law Section Newsletter, you can learn about internships and career opportunities for licensed attorneys. The Section also actively participates in career forums at law schools, and will advise you of these dates as they are set.
  • Resources — Our Section's Executive Committee strives to keep our website current and up to date. As a member you will be entitled to log into our Members Only Area and review current and past issues of The California International Law Journal. You will also be able to review other on-line services available only to members.
  • Discounts — As a member of the International Law Section, you will be entitled to receive valuable discounts at events sponsored by the Section. 
  • Law Student Writing Competition — The Section holds an annual Law Student Writing Competition. Besides a cash prize, the winning article is published in our prestigious California Intrernational Law Journal.

Where Are the Best Sources of Section News and Information?

The California International Law Journal

International Law JournalThe California International Law Journal is published quarterly and delivered to full members of our Section by mail. Law student members can request copies of articles in the Members Only Area of our websigte. The Journal contains practical articles on a variety of subjects.

For example, a recent journal included articles on: “Vietnam-Overview of Foreign Investment” by Oliver Massmann and Katharina Kuehn; “Conducting Document Discovery in International Commercial Arbitration-A Practical Overview” by Nathan D. O’Malley; “The Basics of the CISG” by Allison E. Butler; “Doing Business in India-Introduction and Update for Lawyers” by S. Elizabeth Foster; “Practical Tips on Negotiating with the Japanese” by Rudy Guyon; and “Immigration to the U.S. Tax Planning and Fast Track Permanent Residency” by Stephen A. Malley.

We hope to see articles written by Law Student Members in upcoming issues! (Being published in a prestigious journal will surely enhance any future resume!) If you are interested in writing an article for the journal, please contact our Editor Mark J. Wakim at .

The International Law Section Newsletter

The Section publishes The International Law Section Newsletter quarterly.  The  Newsletter is delivered electronically to all members, including law student members. It contains short articles on matters affecting international practitioners, announcements on upcoming programs, biographies on our Members, requests for assistance or help from fellow Members, and other items of interest. We welcome your contributions to our Newsletter. Please contact Editor Elizabeth Foster at with contributions, questions or suggestions.

Does the Section Meet in Person?

As a law student member you may attend any of our full committee meetings and educational programs, notice of which will be posted on the website and sent to you via the International Law Section Newsletter. Let one of us know if you are attending one of our meetings, We promise to make you feel welcome!

How Much Time is Involved in Being a Member?

We appreciate the fact that as a student you have very little free time. It is really up to you to decide how much time you want to devote to the Section. You can choose to simply login and utilize our on-line resources or you can choose to attend our programs and meetings, network with our membership, or, perhaps, write an article for our Journal, submit a piece for our Newsletter, or coordinate career forums for students. In all honesty, the more time you spend and devote to our Section, the greater the benefits you will receive!

How Do I Join the Section?

In order to join the Section, you will need to:

(1)  Fill out the “My Law Student Profile” on the Website for the State Bar of California:

Or use the Section Enrollment Form to enroll in up to three Sections for free as a Law Student.

(2)  Bookmark the Section Web site: You will find Section-related news, copies of our Journals, and meeting and committee information.

(3) Upon receipt of your Request to Join the International Law Section, we will send you a member identification number and a password to login to the Members Only Area of the International Law Section’s website.

What Does it Cost to Join the Section?

There is no charge to become a law student member of the International Law Section. The International Law Section hopes to assist you in making the transition from the study of law to the practice of law. We hope that in the course of your study you will see the benefits of membership and will become a full voting member— and a future leader of our Section— once you are licensed by the State Bar to practice in California.

Julie Martinez, Section Coordinator
International Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
415/538-2368 fax

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