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Successful Careers in International Law Panel

November 15, 2013

By Lukas Bylund

Law students and practitioners interested in international law gathered at Thomas Jefferson School of Law on Tuesday, November 12, to hear accomplished attorneys discuss their experience’s practicing in different fields of international law. The panel provided the community an intimate opportunity to discuss careers in international law, ask questions, and meet with the panelists after the event.
Presented by the State Bar of California International Law Section and co-sponsored by Career Services and the International Law Society, the panel was a great success with law students, practitioners, and faculty in attendance. Professor William Slomanson moderated a panel of four attorneys including Lizbeth Flores, LHF Law, Enrique Hernandez-Pulido, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, Joseph Lestyk, retired General Counsel of Ahlstrom USA, Inc., and Karine Faure Wenger, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP.    

The program gave the panelists an opportunity to discuss their respective paths to pursuing an international law practice, to provide advice about an international law practice in the global market, and to answer questions from those in attendance. 

Lizbeth Flores, founder of LHF Law who specializes in international law, recommends doing something that sets you apart from others, such as community service, traveling, or learning other cultures to understand foreign ways of life and business. Specializing in business law with more than 10 years of experience in international law, Ms. Flores mentioned that bigger firms typically have more international contacts and business.

Enrique Hernandez-Pulido, a partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP who represents clients in international tax planning and related international matters, contributed significant insight throughout the event. Mr. Hernandez-Pulido commented that certain international clients are much more personal than American clients. To successfully represent them requires the extra step of getting to know them on a personal level.  Mr. Hernandez-Pulido further advised attendees that finding a specialization in international law generates a greater demand. 

Joe Lestyk, retired General Counsel for Ahlstrom USA, Inc., kept the audience intrigued with valuable insight and stories as he discussed his exciting career after graduating from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.  Advising the audience to be prepared for anything, Mr. Lestyk expressed that his job as general counsel required lots of creativity and some flexibility.  Although he became an expert in one area of law, he acknowledged that corporate business law in the international arena requires “a jack of all trades” who is knowledgeable about a variety of areas. Recognizing that international law may require a lot of traveling and perhaps living abroad, Mr. Lestyk indicated that those interested should be aware and considerate it when making a decision.
Karine Faure Wenger, who serves as corporate immigration counsel to a wide range of clients, arrived from France to attend law school in the United States. Mrs. Wenger provided great advice to law students seeking to immerse themselves in international law.  A member of the Jessup Moot Court team during law school, Mrs. Wenger recommended getting involved in anything and everything related to international law which includes studying abroad, taking courses in international law, and immersing yourself in a field of interest. 

The panel was a huge success and provided law students and practitioners with an interest in international law the opportunity to hear first-hand from those who have found success practicing internationally. The Thomas Jefferson School of Law community is grateful to the State Bar of California International Law Section for hosting the event at Thomas Jefferson and thanks Career Services and the International Law Society for co-sponsoring such an informative panel of attorneys.