March 2014 Bar Bulletin
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March 2014 Bar Bulletin

Sustainable International Development Program Celebrates 20 Years Promoting Social Change

By Alison Jones


On February 6, the University of Washington School of Law's Sustainable International Development (SID) program celebrated its 20-year anniversary with a special program to look back at what was accomplished in its first two decades and to look forward at where the innovative program is heading.

Prof. Roy Prosterman, who founded the program - the first graduate program at a U.S. law school to focus on international development law - was honored at the event.

"Professor Prosterman, today's event is a great tribute to your foresight and commitment to teaching future generations of practitioners who want to work in the field of global development, and the strength of the program today is really a testament to your vision," said Anita Ramasastry, current director of the SID program.

Students enrolled in the SID program receive practical, hands-on training in four key areas: rule of law and governance; law as a tool of poverty alleviation; global environmental protection; and corporate responsibility and sustainability. Graduates go on to work in fields such as human rights, government consulting, social entrepreneurship and international business. This year's class includes 19 students, the largest in the program's history, from more than 10 countries.

"This program has trained lawyers for the global common good for over 20 years," said Dean Kellye Testy. "It has created amazing practitioners dedicated to solving pressing social problems and improving the well-being of people everywhere. Its focus on using law as a tool for justice, for poverty alleviation in developing countries, while also protecting the planet and conserving its resources for future generations, is a remarkable achievement."

In his remarks, Prosterman thanked the UW community, including UW Law and SID alumni, law school faculty, current and former deans, as well as Ramasastry, for their strong support of the program over the last two decades, and took the opportunity to talk about the future of the program.

Also honored at the event were Stan and Alta Barer, who in 2010 founded the Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services - an interdisciplinary effort based at the law school focused on the role of law in promoting health, education and economic development. Currently, the second class of Barer Institute Fellows is earning LL.M. degrees through the SID program.

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