Cindy Dyar, '07, is a legal-aid lawyer in southern Texas. Arielle Krause, '07, practices tax law with a firm in Washington, D.C.
Though their career paths are different, the alumnae share a life-changing experience: Both had summer internships in Cambodia through Michigan's Cambodian Law and Development Program. Now they're making it possible for other Michigan Law students to have the same opportunity.
For the second year, Krause and Dyar are seeking donations from Michigan Law alumni to support a summer intern in Cambodia, in addition to the three that the school funds annually. They want to help the student, the Law School, and the country they grew to love while working there.
"I had the most amazing time in Cambodia, and I knew every intern had a special experience there. I thought we could send one more student at least," says Krause, an associate with McKee Nelson who worked during her 1L summer for an NGO in Cambodia's Ministry of Land.
Last year Dyar's and Krause's fundraising efforts meant that Nick Ferre, now a 2L, could spend the summer in Cambodia working for the Arbitration Council, an independent tribunal that settles collective labor disputes. In a letter thanking last year's supporters, Ferre called his internship "a great stride forward" toward his goal of working in international public service.
"I had no clue what lawyers working to develop legal systems actually did," Ferre wrote, "and the chance to see that firsthand was invaluable."
Dyar can relate. As a 1L she aspired to do international human rights work, but by the time she landed in Cambodia, she was questioning her career choice. As an intern with the Cambodia Legal Education Center, she got both a great work experience and valuable career advice from colleagues.
"After that summer, I knew it was possible to find a job I wanted to do," says Dyar, now a staff attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
To support a Michigan Law intern in Cambodia, please visit www.law.umich.edu/giving and designate your gift for the Cambodia Alumni Fund. For information, please email Maher Salah at email@example.com or call 734.764.0373.