Parisa Pirooz: "I am one step closer to my goal of becoming an international human rights lawyer."

My internship at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (“ICNL”) has finally come to an end! After spending nearly three months at ICNL’s Washington, D.C. office, the time to prepare for another year of law school has arrived.

As I reflect on my months at ICNL, I think of all the skills I gained that I did not possess prior. I spent weeks issue-spotting legal provisions and drafting remedies for foreign governments and foreign civil society organizations, so that local laws become consistent with international standards. This is crucial for both foreign and local civil society organizations that have the right to provide their services without arbitrary disruptions by local governments.

During the days that I was not researching or writing for the above project, I researched legislation in U.S. states that affect the right to peaceful assembly. These included laws that hinder free-speech practices in public spaces as well as those specific to monitoring free-speech on U.S. university and college campuses. It is important to note that since the 2016 Presidential elections, anti-protest legislation has alarmingly increased throughout the nation.

Lastly, I attended various local policy events in Washington, D.C. My favorite involved a panel by the Project on Middle East Democracy (“POMED”), titled, “What the Trump Administration’s Budget Means for the Middle East.” The panel discussed the Trump Administration’s first annual budget request, which has received widespread criticism for its proposed cuts to foreign assistance, particularly to the MENA region. It was an eye-opening experience to learn from former U.S. government officials about the current administration’s decision-making and the potential impacts it may have on U.S. foreign relations.

Overall, I am very grateful for the opportunity to extern at ICNL. The exposure to international laws, whether in the form of researching, writing or reading, provided me with added knowledge in this specific field and its practices. I am forever thankful to PAIAA and the Ansaris for allowing me to reach one step closer to my goal of becoming an international human rights lawyer.

Yassamin Ansari