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Professor Strengthens Ties to Cambodia Law School, NGOs

May 13, 2019

  • Professor Klonoff's class in Cambodia.
  • Professor Klonoff with 240 pounds of donated law casebooks, and his Cambodian students.

Earlier this year the call went out to Lewis & Clark Law professors: ‘please donate your unused casebooks for a Cambodian Law School.’

As a result, Professor Bob Klonoff delivered some 240 pounds of law books at a value of approximately $20,000, to the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The books will be a significant help in augmenting the English track program at the law school.

This spring was Professor Klonoff’s fourth visit to the school. “Lewis & Clark alum Dustin Combs ’12, who spent two years at a Phnom Penh law firm, was responsible for the school initially inviting me to visit,” recalls Klonoff.  “I really enjoyed the students and have returned three more times to teach a law class.”

Klonoff has also been able to set up externships in Cambodia for Lewis & Clark Law students in the areas of environmental law and human rights law.

Tess Jacobsen has a summer 2018 externship at the Vishnu Law Group, the first public interest environmental law firm in Cambodia. She analyzed Cambodian policies, laws, and regulations and worked on various land rights issues.

“This externship was a different opportunity for me because I got to experience what a US attorney can do in a foreign country in the environmental field,” Jacobsen said. “Ultimately, this externship directed and clarified my future career goals.”

Theresa Trillo is planning for her externship in Cambodia with attorney Brian Rohan. She will be based at a local NGO in Phnom Penh called Community Empowerment Development Team (CEDT). She will work on a range of community rights and environmental governance matters including a new initiative, Green Equity Asia, which focuses on private equity investment, biodiversity conservation, and long-term community livelihoods.

“I am interested in practicing international environmental law,” explained Theresa, “so working with Brian in Cambodia should be an amazing learning experience.”

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