Jessica Peake 216x324Jessica Peake

LLB European, International and Comparative Law (2007)

Director, International and Comparative Law Program, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California, USA

When selecting where to go to University there was really only one obvious choice for me; the University of Sheffield. Not because I had any particular desire to move from Manchester to another dreary, wet, city in the middle of England (in fact, Sheffield turned out to be beautiful and anything but dreary), but because the LLB course in European, International and Comparative Law would allow me to spend a semester studying abroad! Before beginning at Sheffield I had broad notions that I wanted to be a "human rights lawyer" - likely without really understanding what that meant - but little did I know that Sheffield would launch me on a trajectory of studying and working in countries as diverse as Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Cambodia and the United States.

My time at Sheffield School of Law and subsequent career in international law was shaped, primarily, by three things: first, being Mistress of Moots of Ed Bram, second, participating in the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition and, third, the semester I spent in Hong Kong. Ed Bram took me on adventures to Brussels and Amsterdam, required lots of yelling up and down West Street and Division Street on various socials, and forged some of my strongest friendships. It also introduced me to the world of mooting and, when Dr. Sorcha MacLeod asked me to be in the Telders team of 2006, that opened up a world of public international law that I didn't know existed. Spending a semester at HKU during my third year was really the icing on the cake of a fantastic university experience.

It was directly as a result of my Telders experience that I applied to do an LLM at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and a result of that LLM program that I secured subsequent internships and jobs at the United Nations in New York, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. My experiences at the international criminal tribunals sparked my desire to do a second LLM in human rights at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and then to continue my studies with a doctorate in international criminal procedure, also at Penn. My doctoral research led me to spend at the University of California, Los Angeles, and now I am the Director of the International and Comparative Law Program at UCLA School of Law. There is not a doubt in my mind that, had I not been in Ed Bram, been supported by Sorcha MacLeod, and become involved in Telders, I would not be where I am today, and I really owe all of that to the Sheffield School of Law. It was the best decision I ever made, and one that I would make again and again if I had to start over.

Joining EdBram introduced me to the world of mooting and, when Dr. Sorcha MacLeod asked me to be in the Telders team of 2006, that opened up a world of public international law that I didn't know existed.

jessica peake