International reach: Law student studied at the Peace Palace

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Wayne Law 3L student Alexis Cobau enjoyed a summer study experience she describes as “an international law student’s dream come true,” after studying private international law for three weeks at the Peace Palace at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands. She attended daily lectures by professors and lawyers from around the world, top experts in their fields.   

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I was able to do things I’d only dreamed of as a kid,” she says. “The Peace Palace is only open to the public on weekends, so every day we went through the same security those who work there do. We were able to visit the beautiful gardens at our leisure, eat lunch in the Peace Palace cafeteria, and were given unfettered access to the largest international law library in the world.    

“The Peace Palace is such a beautiful and significant historical structure—I would get chills every day when it came into view on my way to class. I was able to make incredible friends from all over the world, had the opportunity to meet a judge from the International Court of Justice and discuss international legal issues with tons of super intelligent, accomplished international law students and lawyers.”   

Cobau also enjoyed a day trip to the nation’s capital of Amsterdam.

“The city is lively and really beautiful, with canals and boats lining practically every street. There are a ton of tourist and cultural attractions and while I was only there a day, I probably could have entertained myself for weeks with everything there is to do there,” she says. “I was able to see the Anne Frank House and the Museum of Amsterdam, which gave an abridged version of the city’s expansive history.”

With accommodations at The Hague close to the beach, Cobau and her friends enjoyed walking along the boardwalk and visiting the myriad of restaurants and shops there, as well as watching weekend fireworks festivals. She also enjoyed riding at a stable near the Peace Palace, and interacting with local residents.

“The Hague and the Netherlands as a whole has a tremendous public transportation system, as well as a lot of amazing cultural attractions, so getting around and seeing the city was really easy and fun,” she says. “I would love to go back because there were so many things I still want to do but just did not have time for.”

This was not the first trip abroad for the Grosse Pointe Farms native. Cobau headed to Wayne Law in 2015 after earning her undergrad degree in Asian Studies with a concentration on Chinese language and culture from the University of Michigan, during which she spent a year in Beijing—her second visit to China, after spending a couple of months as a high school student with a host family in Harbin.

Cobau, who in her 2L year worked as a legal assistant at the Southwest Detroit Immigration and Refugee Center, interned this past summer with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review at the Detroit Immigration Court and will intern with the WSU Office of the General Counsel for the Winter 2018 semester. She plans to finish out her 3L school year strong, graduate, pass the bar, and launch her legal career.

“I hope to find a job that uses my international experience, not only from The Hague, but China as well,” she says.




 

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