Internship offers international business law experience

Globalization is creating a vast array of new opportunities for Canadian business abroad and for foreign companies in Canada. Consequently, there is also a great need for Canadian lawyers with international business expertise.

Osgoode Hall Law School has long recognized this growing trend and has responded with a variety of initiatives. One such initiative is an internship, made possible by a $45,000 gift from the Toronto offices of Dale & Lessmann LLP, that offers both hands-on experience and study in international business law.

For each of the next three years, one Osgoode student will receive $15,000 for a four-month internship. Two months will be spent at Dale & Lessmann LLP, a trans-nationally operating law firm with clients in Toronto, Europe and the US. The following two months will be spent at Osgoode working on international legal research.

The first winner of the award is Kathryn Yardley (right), a law student now entering her second year at Osgoode, who has already begun her internship at the firm. "This internship is exciting because it provides a link between my law school education and possible future careers involving my interests in international law and the German language," she said. "It’s very different from learning the law inside a classroom, and every day I’m learning new things."

Eric Bremermann (left), a lawyer at Dale & Lessmann LLP, was instrumental in establishing the internship. Bremermann’s volunteer work on the advisory committee of York’s Canadian Centre for German & European Studies (CCGES) made him aware of York’s unique strengths in this field, and the centre introduced him to colleagues at Osgoode. Bremermann says that for many law students, international law means public international law – global trade and peace treaties. "We don’t get involved in trade agreements. We get involved in representing companies that are internationally active in business and that’s private international law," he says.

For the Osgoode Hall portion of the internship, the student will be working with Professor Peer Zumbansen (left), Canada Research Chair in the Transnational and Comparative Law of Corporate Governance, member of the CCGES executive, and co-editor in chief of the German Law Journal. "The student’s time here will be dedicated to collaborative research on transnational law and comparative private law," said Zumbansen. "Combined with the practical application at Dale & Lessmann LLP, this internship will provide an excellent grounding to law students seeking a career in international private law and also strengthen Canada’s knowledge base in this area."

Winning students are chosen from the group of student editors working with the English-language legal periodical, German Law Journal, edited at Osgoode Hall Law School and at the University of Idaho College of Law. The recipients of the summer internships furthermore must demonstrate excellence and be active in supporting the work of CCGES and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Submitted by Bruce Mitchell, marketing & communications specialist, York University Foundation.