Buenos Dias From A Costa Rican Internship

February 1, 2013 | By Courtney Ernston, J.D. Class of 2013

I have just started a legal internship in San Jose, Costa Rica, with the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, one of four international Courts in the world.   

First week and half here has been quite the experience already!  The Court operates ENTIRELY in Spanish, so I didn't really get a grace period to ease into things – although I must admit the total immersion into the language has already helped me tremendously.    

I am thrilled to be in this internship. This is the Court where the decisions that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights go for review – basically the Supreme Court on human rights in the Americas. I was put on a case that will be heard in about two weeks before the Court.  I've been tasked with writing a memo on Article 9 (freedom from ex post facto laws) using case law from the European Court of Human Rights, the U.S., this Court's jurisprudence and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights decisions in trying to show that the State violated this article.  Can't talk about much more than that on the case itself; it's very covert. Just preparing for my career as an international spy!   

In terms of logistics, we have a senior lawyer, a junior, anywhere from one to four interns (our superstar team has four), a legal assistant and a clerk.  I just got out of my first one-on-one meeting with my senior lawyer, and he seemed very impressed with my analyses thus far. He even threw in a, "Wow, I hadn't thought about using the language like that” -- and that felt pretty darn good!   

I look forward to more adventures during my semester in Costa Rica – but, for now, off I go to Panama to enjoy the beautiful beaches!    

Saludos a todos.

More News & Media

News

Legal Scholars to Speak at OU Law on Historical and Modern ‘Blackness as Nuisance’

Two legal scholars and authors will discuss historic and present-day permutations of a form of racial profiling in a Zoom webinar hosted by the University of Oklahoma College of Law, set for noon Wednesday, Oct. 21.

10/19/20

Blog

OU Law Conversations: Dean Emeritus Andrew Coats

What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.

10/12/20

Blog

OU Law Conversations: Robert Barnes

What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.

10/08/20

All News & Media

Thank you for your interest in applying to OU Law

Please select your program of interest to learn more about the application process.

J.D. ProgramM.L.S. ProgramLL.M. ProgramLegal Assistant Education Not sure? Learn more about admissions at OU Law