Graduating Louisville Law student reflects on position with international law, development group

Annelie Stallings

Thanks to a recommendation from Dean Colin Crawford, third-year Louisville Law student Annelie Stallings spent nearly a year working with the Law and Development Institute as an editor and researcher.

In this role, she worked closely with the institute's director, Professor Y.S. Lee. The institute, of which Dean Crawford is a member, is "an international network and center for law and development studies" for academics, students, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. "The LDI promotes world-class research in law and development studies, develops courses in law and development, undertakes law and development projects, and promotes various law and development activities including hosting academic conferences and facilitating international collaboration in the study of law and development," states its website.

Stallings explains that her first job assignment left her unsure of her qualifications: Professor Lee asked her to research the legislative changes North Korea has made concerning the economy and international trade.

"The subject proved to be as opaque as I had expected. I had to ask myself what I could say about North Korea, what information was available and what I could distill from that body of knowledge. Through that first task, I kept thinking, 'This isn't the job for me,'" she says. "I learned that opportunities don't always feel comfortable; they can ask you to be something you are not and cultivate skills that aren't natural to your chosen field. I learned to work through my discomfort and to appreciate how the experience stretched my knowledge."

Reflecting on her experience with the institute, Stallings points out that law and development are essential to bringing together different fields of law, including business, economics and human rights.

"It brought together various areas of interest and cultivated a flexible understanding of each," she says of her experience with the institute.