“Remember, track the money!” And we’re off–
Eyes glued to our laptops, we frantically scan news articles, read affidavits, track down property deeds as well as articles of incorporation, and request mutual legal assistance to investigate Swiss bank accounts. We strain to unravel the mystery before us. Suddenly, the silence ends. A group member erupts in jubilation: “GOT IT!” She’s just found a key lead in an affidavit, or perhaps a new shell company on a bank check.
Currently, I’m in the third week of a simulated exercise at GW Law’s international money laundering class. Half the time we spend learning the law; the other half, we track money in groups using intuition, our legal knowledge, and best practices and methods. In the end, we will each write a report that pieces the evidence together to see if, in fact, we have been following activity that is truly illegal.
Nothing against the Socratic method, but rather than casebooks (and hornbooks, and blackletter outlines…), we read foreign and domestic statutes, international conventions, and case studies of famous money laundering schemes from around the world. The course is taught by two accomplished practitioners: a former FDIC Deputy General Counsel and the current Head of Training for the Basel Institute on Governance, International Centre for Asset Recovery. For me, it’s perfect.
I majored in international affairs at GW’s Elliott School and studied at Sciences Po Paris. I currently work in that field, and in the evenings, I study at GW Law.
Having finished courses like torts and contracts, I wanted to look at international affairs through a legal lens– that’s really why I decided to go to law school. In addition to international money laundering, I’m taking corporations, international business transactions, as well as an upcoming survey of modern Islamic transactional law taught by a specialist who flies in from Dubai.
For those with similar educational and professional backgrounds, or even similar interests, I hope my entries will highlight the exciting possibilities of a legal education at GW Law built on an international affairs foundation.