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BC Law Abroad

The Lands of Opportunity

As international matters take on new urgency, members of the BC Law community are doing their part to make the world a better place. Legal innovators in regions around the globe, they personify the good that can come from a focus on humanitarian ideals.

Illustrations by Dana Smith

Around the world, as nations race to adjust to the demands of growing economic, cultural, and environmental stresses, the international legal norms that have helped to steady their course over decades are also being put to the test. In moments such as these, it’s comforting to know that lawyers like BC Law’s Phillip Weiner ’80, Wasana Punyasena ’04, and Pierre-Alain Conil, LLM ’11—to name but three of those interviewed in this survey of alums working abroad—are endeavoring to share the lessons they learned in law school to peoples around the world. Their work—together with expanding faculty and curricular endeavors at the Law School—be it for a country under siege, in a beleaguered African nation, or at a global law firm, illuminates the impact that BC Law is having.



Phillip Weiner ’80 / Speaking the Language of Justice
Tribunal by tribunal, Weiner has wielded the words of law—fairness, human rights—to counter the words of war—ethnic cleansing, genocide.


Jihyun Cathie Tak ’06 / Creating a Culture of Integrity
Tak leads her company’s compliance operations throughout Asia.

Cecilia Vieira de Melo LLM’11 / Defending Human Rights
De Melo bravely stands against transnational megaprojects to protect rural settlements.

Andrew Hughes ’05 / Found in Translation
A law firm career in Tokyo focuses Hughes on renewable energy.

Wasana Punyasena ’04 / A Calming Presence
Punyasena questions the world’s colonial-era system of humanitarian aid.

Pierre Alain Conil LLM’11 / Oui, Paris
BC Law’s master’s degree serves Conil well as “Pierre the Notaire.”


At Home and Aboard / BC Law enjoys renewal in global engagement.
A worldview comes from many places, and right now Dean Odette Lienau, born in Indonesia and a scholar of international economic law and politics, is providing fresh perspectives and incentives to grow BC Law’s global imprint. With Associate Dean of Faculty and Global Programs Katharine Young, Director of Graduate and Global Programs Vik Kanwar, and a cohort of students and globe-savvy faculty, Lienau is realizing renewed emphasis on international scholarship and programs, study-abroad and LLM opportunities, exchange relationships, University collaborations, and more.