International Law Alumni
Santa Clara alumni provide tremendous opportunities for our law students. Successful alumni in prominent places can mentor and guide our future graduates. Our alumni around the globe include the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Mariana Islands, a former Commissioner on the national Human Rights Commission in Korea, a Legal Officer at the International Criminal Court, and numerous attorneys in private practice in firms in China, Germany, and other countries.
Allison Pruitt (JD and Public International Law Certificate, ’16) is currently a Staff Attorney at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, a non-profit organization in the Bay Area dedicated to providing free or low-cost legal assistance and education on virtually any civil matter to persons living with HIV/AIDS. ALRP accomplishes this mission through either direct representation of clients or by careful placement of clients with one of ALRP’s 700 Panel Attorneys.
While at SCU, Allison worked as a Student Attorney in the International Human Rights Clinic for three semesters, and traveled to Honduras and Washington D.C. for Clinic projects. She participated in summer abroad programs in Costa Rica and Switzerland, and interned with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (first in a field office in San José, and later at the headquarters in Geneva). Allison also served as the President of the International Law Student Association, and an Associate for the Santa Clara Journal of International Law.
After graduation, she externed with the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco – a non-profit firm that litigates high impact human rights cases on behalf of survivors of torture and other grave abuses. While waiting for her bar results, she continued to work with the Clinic as a Graduate Fellow.
Sophia Areias JD ’14 is currently the Senior Programme Manager of the Business Integrity Programme at Transparency International Cambodia. In her current role, she works largely on promoting and increasing transparency, integrity, and accountability in the private sector. While TI Cambodia’s focus is largely on anti-corruption, she has also broadened the scope of the program to include responsible business conduct, particularly the links between business, human rights, and corruption. In addition to her work with TI Cambodia, she lectures at the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE). This year, she designed the legal research and writing program for the English Master of International Business Law and International Public Law Programs at RULE. Prior to joining TI Cambodia, she worked with Destination Justice, where she focused on Access to Justice programming in Cambodia.
During her time at Santa Clara Law, she participated in the International Human Rights Clinic, interned with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in Accra, Ghana, and spent her final semester interning in the Trial Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). She states that Santa Clara Law offered her multiple opportunities to pursue a career in international human rights from the internship opportunities, to the faculty, to the moot court program.
Katherine McDonnell JD ’13 is currently the Director of Legal Advocacy for Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL). CAL is a legal NGO focusing on business and human rights and corporate accountability. CAL researches, designs, and tests new legal strategies to hold corporations accountable for violations of human, environmental, and labor rights. Prior to joining CAL, Katherine worked at EarthRights International (ERI), a human rights NGO working at the intersection of human and environmental rights. She worked closely on ERI’s Foreign Legal Assistance strategy, and led in the development of a Community-Driven Operational level Grievance Mechanism (CD-OGM), which was piloted in partnership with a community impacted by Myanmar’s first Special Economic Zone. During her time at ERI, Katherine worked in the US, Myanmar, and Thailand.
At Santa Clara, Katherine participated in the first year of the International Human Rights Clinic. The Clinic provided thorough and useful guidance and support on developing professional skills, and opportunities to use them in real world situations. In fact, one of Katherine’s main clinic projects ended up overlapping with one of her first projects at ERI. The Clinic also helped her to work through questions and ideas on how to continue this work beyond law school in a meaningful way. Katherine was also able to spend her final semester interning with a human rights NGO in Quito, Ecuador. Katherine credits these experiences, and the incredible support of the Santa Clara faculty, with helping to prepare and equip her to be a better human rights lawyer.
Matthew Warren JD ’15 is a Staff Attorney at the Western Center on Law & Poverty in Oakland, California. His current work includes litigating housing matters in state and federal courts, advocating for the production and preservation of affordable housing, and providing technical support for legal services attorneys across California. Prior to Western Center, he served as a Senior Attorney for the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. Through his practice, Matt works to combat displacement of households of color from the diverse communities of California. As much as possible, he strives to incorporate principles of international human rights (e.g., the human right to housing) into his advocacy.
While at Santa Clara Law, Matt participated in the International Human Rights Clinic, the International Law Student Association, the Santa Clara Journal of International Law, and the summer study abroad program in Singapore/Cambodia. Matt additionally interned in the Human Rights Liaison Unit at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Office in Geneva during law school. He received a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Human Rights from Arizona State University, and he received his undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University.
Noémi Desguin JD ’14 is currently a litigator in Brussels, her main areas of expertise is migration and asylum law. She is assisting asylum seekers throughout their procedure and filing cases in front of the alien court when asylum has been denied. She is also filing cases in front of the judiciary for cases of detained irregular migrants that are about to be deported.
During her semester exchange at SCU she had the chance to participate in the international human rights clinic (IHRC) and to work on two different projects (amicus curiae brief before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in support of a petition filed by the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and a report on the implementation of the inter-american legal framework to address violence against women).
After her SCU experience, she completed the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Démocratisation in Venice where she could deepen her theoretic knowledge about human rights. Thereafter, she did an internship with Housing for Humanity, an NGO based in Delhi, and combined research work for the University in Antwerp. She is the co-author of the book “The Right to Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor in Delhi”, published by the Law & Development research group in Antwerp. Her love for field work ultimately led her to work as a litigator for the many asylum seekers and irregular migrants in Belgium.
Cheri Kramer JD ’13 is currently an international tax attorney working in house at Amazon. Prior to working at Amazon, she worked at Cisco Systems and PwC. Her work is international in nature, and beyond US tax law, a large part of her job is dedicated to analyzing bilateral tax treaties as well as domestic law in various countries. Through her work, she is able to travel several times a year to places like Tokyo, London, and Singapore.
Anya Marinkovich JD ’09 is currently an associate with the international arbitration and dispute resolution group at Python & Peter Avocats, in Geneva, Switzerland.
While at SCU, she participated in the International Law Student Association, the Santa Clara Journal of International Law, and the summer study abroad program in the Hague. After passing the California Bar, Anya was hired as a Legal Assistant in a case before the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague.
After concluding the case before the UN-ICTY, her personal life took her to Switzerland, where she continued her legal education by obtaining a bilingual (French-English) Master in Business and Tax Law at the University of Neuchâtel. She eventually decided to pursue a career in international arbitration.
What she appreciates the most about practicing international arbitration in Geneva, and international law in general, is the fact that she gets to work with people from diverse legal backgrounds and in that sense is always learning new approaches to legal questions. She finds that there is a deep respect between international lawyers for different national laws and practices as well as a common interest in distilling the legal principles that underpin all legal systems, regardless of how different they may seem on the surface. Also, where the underlying legal principles are truly divergent, it is always interesting to try to understand why this is so and use such information to improve one’s own understanding of the world.
Anya says her interest in international law can be traced back to her time at Santa Clara Law, where she was greatly influenced by the incredible knowledge and passion of SCU’s international law professors, Professor Jiri Toman and Professor Beth Van Schaack.
Benjamin Qiu focuses his practice on venture capital financings, fund management, corporate governance, and intellectual property portfolio building, licensing and protection. He represents emerging growth enterprises from a variety of technology sectors, with extensive experience working with electronics and software companies and Internet start-ups.
Mr. Qiu is particularly well suited to advising on issues of emerging company formation, governance and financing, having previously served as Senior Counsel and Fund Director at a prominent investment fund for companies in the mobile computing, e-commerce and cloud computing sectors. Mr. Qiu has supervised the formation of USD and RMB denominated venture capital funds and handled more than 50 financing transactions related to technology companies. He serves on the board of certain growth companies financed by top-tier venture capital funds. He has also advised multinational companies from the U.S., Europe and Japan on intellectual property asset development, licensing and enforcement in China, and represented Chinese companies in patent, copyright and commercial litigation in the U.S.
Mr. Qiu is a frequent speaker at local and international conferences on the subject of venture capital, the start-up company environment, intellectual property and digital privacy.
Mr. Qiu is a registered arbitrator of the High-Tech and Intellectual Property Arbitration Center of the South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (also known as the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration).
Shane Y. Hong is a senior foreign attorney at Kim & Chang. He practices in a wide range of corporate and IT areas, with a focus on fair trade and antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, privacy and information protection, anti-bribery, and labor and employment. As a U.S. attorney and member of the IT Industry Group at Kim & Chang, he is responsible for new business development of high-tech companies and tech startups in the IT space. Throughout his career, Mr. Hong has been actively involved in many high-profile transactions in Korea relating to Korean businesses including IT, software, hardware and CMOS image sensor technologies. Prior to joining Kim & Chang, Shane served as the Representative Director and Senior Legal Director of Oracle in Korea.
During law school, Shane attended the Summer Program in Seoul in the summer of 1997 under the guidance and mentorship of Professor Phil Jimenez. He maintains that the global approach and application of law and business, which he learned and applied at Santa Clara Law has guided and continue to enable him to adapt to new methods of learning and work, fortify his legal skills and development capabilities, identify and embrace new business opportunities, cultivate his team-based approach by fortifying his communication and collaboration skills, and form a broad worldwide human network by establishing strong business relationships with Koreans and foreigners worldwide.
Shane moved to Korea after graduating from Santa Clara Law in 1999. He lives with his wife, Tracy, who is a violinist, and his two sons, Holden and Hudson, in the Seongbuk-ku hills overlooking Seoul.
Lucas Chang, Ph.D., is a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. He counsels clients on corporate and securities transactions, which include foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, private equity investments, and public offerings. As a senior partner of Morgan Lewis’s Greater China practice, Lucas splits his time between Silicon Valley and China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Before launching his legal career, he spent 10 years as a research scientist and technical team leader at IBM Research and Union Carbide Corporation. He also serves on the advisory board of the Asian Law Alliance.
Lucas worked full-time during his years at Santa Clara Law (August, 1991 – July, 1994). He had always been interested in the international aspects of many legal subjects ranging from corporate law to licensing to intellectual property rights, as well as antitrust and unfair competition. During his school years, he took about ten business and personal trips to foreign places such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. All those exposures strengthened his conviction that there would be a role for a U.S.-trained lawyer to play in cross-border business transactions and dispute resolutions.
Lucas has returned to SCU and lectured on the evolution and development of the legal environment in China for Professor Anna Han’s “Chinese Trade & Investment Law” class each year for the past seven years. Morgan Lewis’s Beijing office continues to host up to two interns each summer from Santa Clara Law’s Summer Abroad Program.
M. Scott Donahey, based in Palo Alto, California, arbitrates and mediates disputes both nationally and internationally, having sat as an arbitrator and mediator in more than 300 cases. Mr. Donahey has a J.D. from Santa Clara University, summa cum laude, an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. from Stanford University, with distinction. Currently, he serves as Adjunct Professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, and the Golden Gate University School of Law, where he teaches courses in Law & Technology, and in International Dispute Resolution. In 1999, Mr. Donahey received the President’s Award from the National Patent Board for Outstanding Service in the field of ADR. He was named as a SuperLawyer in the field of ADR seven consecutive years. Mr. Donahey is a mediator for the Northern District of California Federal District Court and for the First Appellate District of the State of California.
Elizabeth Wheeler Little has been working as a Legal Officer in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2007 and is currently the judicial clerk for Judge Geoffrey Henderson (Trinidad & Tobago) in the Court’s Trial Chamber. The ICC’s specialized international tribunal only tries cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Prior to her current job, she worked as a Law Clerk at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, as a Legal Researcher at the Supreme Court of Rwanda, and as an intern in Chambers at the ICC. In addition, she is also one of Professor Jerry Uelmen’s liaisons in The Hague for the Santa Clara summer program and regularly coordinates the student visit at the ICC.
As a law student at Santa Clara Law (J.D. 2005), Ms. Little was enrolled in SCU’s summer study abroad course in human rights in Geneva/Strasbourg, and as a 2L, received a Public Interest & Social Justice grant for a summer internship at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. She was a member of the Santa Clara Law Review and was a Markulla Center for Applied Ethics Research Fellow.
Colette Rausch earned her B.A. degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and her J.D. degree from Santa Clara Law. She was previously Director of the Department of Human Rights and Rule of Law at the Kosovo mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; resident legal advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice in Hungary and Bosnia; and an attorney in the office of the state attorney general, federal prosecutor, and federal public defender in Nevada. She currently serves as the Director of the Rule of Law Center for Innovation at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., focusing on criminal justice and police reform initiatives that have included missions and projects in Afghanistan, Guatemala, Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Peru, Nepal, Burma, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.
Jessica Tipton was drawn to Santa Clara Law by the breadth of international programs available to students. During the first summer of law school, Jessica headed off to Costa Rica to engage in human rights class work and observation of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
With hopes of combining her passions of public interest work and traveling, she was able to find an internship at the Center for Justice and Human Rights in Brazil. While in Brazil, Jessica helped put together cases against the state for human rights violations. Jessica’s gained substantial personal and legal knowledge from her experience and enjoyed giving back to the community.
Upon returning, she became the president of ILSA and served on the Journal of International Law. She also did an internship during the semester for the Center for Justice and Accountability located in San Francisco. She also spent a semester abroad interning at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. She was able to get credit from Santa Clara while working for Chambers at the Tribunal as well as meet and network with people interested in public international law from law students and professionals around the world. After graduating from Santa Clara, Jessica became a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP, specializing in intellectual property and employment law. During her time at Morrison and Foerster, Jessica worked on litigation matters for global companies and was able to draw upon her international legal knowledge when working on cases in international jurisdictions. Jessica spent two years at Morrison and Foerster before accepting a position with Visa Inc.’s legal team. She joined the Global eCommerce group where she specializes in licensing agreements, global privacy, and global expansion of eCommerce. Jessica supports clients from around the world and continues to follow her passion of international law.
Ann Marie E. Ursini is a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions section in Washington DC. There, she prosecutes international violent crime, smuggling, and human rights cases and advises senior policy makers on international humanitarian law and international criminal law, regularly calling upon her international legal training and experience from Santa Clara. She has developed and provided training for foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators on transnational organized crime at the International Law Enforcement Academy and at the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. She is a mentor in the American Society of International Law’s Women in International Law Mentoring Program. Ann Marie previously served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Jose, California and practiced in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.
At Santa Clara, Ann Marie was the Editor in Chief of the Santa Clara Journal of International Law and organized a symposium on The Future of International Criminal Justice. She participated in the Pace/ICLN International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition, in which she and her teammates placed first in the North American Regional Competition before competing in the global finals in The Hague. Ann Marie also participated in Santa Clara’s summer programs in The Hague, Geneva, and Strasbourg. Ann Marie graduated with her JD from Santa Clara in 2009, and she will complete the LL.M in National Security Law at Georgetown University Law Center in 2016.