Global externs are back at work
Public Relations - Published: July 13, 2011
2011GlobalbloggersThe federal government and the United Nations are summer learning laboratories for Widener Law students.

With the help of Visiting Distinguished Professor of Law Michele D. Forzley, three students were able to secure summer placements in global externships. Forzley is supervising the students using the internet and Skype and in person where possible.

“These experiences provide our students an opportunity to work inside government and an international organization with a focus on public and private international law, and the policy issues of their host organizations,” Forzley said. “Last summer marked the first time our students held externships at these organizations – and both places renewed their requests for externs this year. That speaks volumes about the quality of work Widener Law students produce.”

The program was first developed in 2010 through the school’s Health Law Institute with a global health law focus. It was broadened to all disciplines for 2011, in recognition of the importance of international work places for students.

The 2011 students and their assignments include:

Harrisburg-campus student Adam Gibbons and Delaware-campus student James Doyle are both working at the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration in Washington, D.C.

Doyle recently returned to the United States from China, where he spent the spring semester studying international law at the Southwest University of Political Science & Law. In the externship, he is preparing a report on rare earth elements used in the medical industry. Rare earth elements are a group of minerals vital to the manufacture of medical devices, among other things.

Gibbons is at the administration studying the domestic and global market for veterinary drugs. Like Doyle, he will prepare a report on his findings by the end of the summer. Part of his work will involve examining aspects of the veterinary drug industry and the social, economic and environmental issues that come with the use of drugs on animals – including the effect on human health from the consumption of meat treated with drugs while the animals were alive

Harrisburg-campus student Halak Mehta, a resident of Harrisburg, is working for the United Nations’ 2015 Millennium Campaign in the office of the U.N. Development Program in New York City. The campaign is intended to end extreme world poverty through achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. She is providing support in comparative global policy research of HIV/AIDS and will prepare a comprehensive analysis to determine if the goals are achievable by 2015. She is also preparing a side event conference sponsored by the campaign office that will take place at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September.

Mehta will continue working on projects for the office as a third-year law student this fall.

“Externships give students a chance to see how things work in the real world – one that is increasingly global – and they strengthen the educational experience,” Forzley said.

The students have been chronicling their experiences online through the Global Extern Blog, hosted by the law school. Read it at