Kendra Magraw ('10) has been accepted into the Master in International Law program at the distinguished Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva. Only about 25 students are admitted to the two-year master's program each year.
The Geneva program is "one of the most prestigious and competitive programs in graduate international programs in Europe or North America," says Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, one of the professors who recommended Magraw.
The program features in-depth training in contemporary issues in international law and courses in complementary disciplines. Further enriching the educational experience are the international diversity of classmates and the participation of speakers from Geneva's international legal community.
"I am very excited," says Magraw, who graduated in May with a business law concentration. "The program will provide me with the education and tools for my eventual practice as an international lawyer. Further, I am looking forward to being in Geneva, which is home to many international organizations and is the epicenter of international law."
Magraw has already seen some of her future teachers in action. They appeared as counsel in Argentina v. Uruguay, the case she worked on during her time as a clerk for Judge Thomas Buergenthal at the International Court of Justice, The Hague. She also worked as an intern with the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., and as a consultant at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
At the Law School, Magraw was president of the International Law Society in her third year and was a Note & Comment editor on Vol XIX, 2010, of the Minnesota Journal of International Law. In the summer 2009 issue, she published the Note, "Universally Liable? Corporate-Complicity Liability Under the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction," in which she discussed the possible expansion of universal jurisdictional powers as applied to corporations that aid or abet human rights violations.
Magraw says that the article likely affected her acceptance into the Geneva program and credits the professors who helped her develop it. She also thanks the many faculty members who had "an important and central role in my development as a lawyer."
Magraw is from Potomac, Maryland, and completed a joint undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. "I came to Minnesota in part because of its reputation for having a strong international law faculty," she says. She spent her final semester of law school at the Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay, to gain a perspective on a civil law system. She believes this type of exchange can be very valuable for those hoping to establish an international practice.
The Graduate Institute of International Studies was founded in 1927, one of the first institutions in the world formed to study international relations. In 2007, it merged with the Graduate Institute of Development Studies to form IHEID, enabling a wider range of teaching and research activities.