“I’ve always been interested in international human rights law,” said Alex Lydon, L’15. Her internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has put her off to a good start toward a career in the field. Richmond Law awarded its first international Bridge to Practice Fellowship to Lydon in August 2015 to help make that internship possible.
Lydon knew that she would need extensive internship experience to secure a job in the competitive field of international human rights law. She consulted with international law professor Chiara Giorgetti, who pointed her in the direction of the tribunals. And it just so happened that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was hiring interns.
It was a week before the July bar exam when Lydon heard that she’d been hired for the internship. She had three weeks to finish preparing for the exam, take the test, and then get ready for a trans-Atlantic move before the internship started in August 2015.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is in its final stages, and her work has been focused on the case of Ratko Mladic, the General in charge of the Bosnian Serb Army during the war. She spends her days helping lawyers prepare for cross examination, checking citations, and helping prepare the final trial brief.
“One of the biggest challenges for me is learning this entire conflict,” said Lydon. The tribunal prosecutes a complex series of war crimes conducted in the Balkans during the 1990s, and Lydon has spent a large portion of her five-month internship learning about the background and nuances of mass crimes and genocide.
The hard work is worth the effort. “I see really terrible things every single day,” said Lydon, “and it just gives me more motivation to put Mladic away and to help bring justice to the victims of all the families there. It’s really rewarding.”