Centre News

Sara Hall ’11 has no objections to legal internship in Bosnia

March 7, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       
Sarajevo, Bosnia Sara Hall ’11 is spending this semester doing an internship with
the Defense Council of Bosnia in Sarajevo, where she has been
able to see amazing sights, including the orthodox church above
—“my favorite building in all of Sarajevo,” she says.

Study abroad is an integral part of the Centre experience for 85 percent of Centre students—but some continue to study abroad even after graduation, including Sara Hall ’11.

Hall had a path of study in mind when she began working towards her law degree at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Fla., but didn’t know it would lead her to an internship working on international war crimes with the Defense Council of Bosnia in Sarajevo.

“When I came to law school, I knew I wanted to study international law and human rights,” she says. “Our school has this fellowship every semester. I knew this would be a great opportunity to get my feet wet in the international field while gaining valuable legal experience.”

As one of four students chosen for the internship this semester, Hall has gotten a first-hand look into important legal issues in the Eastern European country.

“I have been working on research and appeals for some high profile cases that deal with the war that happened in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia in the early 1990s,” says Hall. “It has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to work on such cases at such a young age. It has really opened my eyes to the International Criminal realm of the law.”

Bosnia is 5,000 miles away, and some aspects of daily life are much different than in the United States—but nothing Hall can’t handle.

“Bosnia, despite popular belief, is a very safe country. I have had a great time,” Hall says. “The biggest difference is how people really take time for themselves. Lunch or drinks with friends is not a quick half-hour-long affair—it’s at least a few-hour-long event. The people here are so friendly and the atmosphere is really relaxed. Everyone walks everywhere— everything takes a little longer, so nothing seems rushed. Much different form the hustle and bustle of American life.”

Having studied abroad before, Hall knows that her internship will have a long-lasting effect—both professionally and personally.

“Having this opportunity to work with the Defense Council will give me experience that I might not have gotten elsewhere,” she says. “Not only am I able to hone my legal skills, I am also learning the law of another country, how to incorporate domestic and international law, and how cases are handled at an international level. Having this opportunity will definitely be a great contribution when I am out there looking for a legal career.

“On a personal level, I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to live here for four months, soaking up the culture, meeting new people and understanding the history of the land,” Hall continues. “I have really enjoyed working on the cases I have been assigned. This experience is something that will stay with me for years to come.”

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

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