Ana Luquerna, ’21, Selected for Judicial Fellowship Programme at the International Court of Justice

Ana Luquerna
Ana Luquerna

Ana Luquerna, ’21, a  JD candidate whose interest in international law began at age nine when her family was granted asylum by the United States, will be a 2021-2022 judicial fellow at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, a highly competitive program designed to expose participants to international law and the work of the Court.

During law school, Luquerna worked for two years on the Law School’s Global Human Rights Clinic and one year on the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and served as articles editor on the Chicago Journal of International Law, president of the Human Rights Law Society, vice president of the Immigration Law Society, and vice president of the Latinx Law Students Association. She also worked as a research assistant to Tom Ginsburg, the Leo Spitz Professor of International Law; engaged in pro bono projects focused on refugee and immigrant justice; and interned for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, the UN refugee agency).

“From the beginning, Ana was clear about why she was at the Law School—she wanted to work in international law and serve the public interest,” said Clinical Professor Claudia Flores, director of the Global Human Rights Clinic. “In her two years in the clinic, she’s been unwavering in her commitment and passionate about the work she’s done on behalf of migrant workers and domestic workers.  I’m really excited to see how Ana’s career as an international lawyer unfolds.”

Luquerna will be assigned to Judge Cançado Trindade of Brazil. Participants in the 10-month program write memoranda, draft various types of legal documents, conduct research, attend public hearings, and sometimes assist judges with arbitrations, academic articles, and speeches. The International Court of Justice, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, typically has 15 judicial fellows each term.

“I cannot imagine a better place than the ICJ to start a career as an international lawyer,” Luquerna said. “A judicial fellowship at the ICJ offers the unrivaled prospect to participate in the development of public international law, justice, and cooperation while under the tutelage of the brightest minds in the field.”

Luquerna and her family immigrated to the United States from Colombia in 2002 as political asylees.

“I don't think I realized it at the time, but I was a participant in a system of international cooperation, and my family is a living example that that system can succeed,” Luquerna said. “I hope that through this ICJ fellowship, I will learn and become a dedicated lawyer for the system … that ensured my safety, facilitated my education, and introduced me to the field of international law. The principles of the United Nations, its treaties, and institutions inspire me to use my education and experience to work toward a more peaceful and cooperative world.”

As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, Luquerna, graduating summa cum laude, double majored in international development and political science and minored in French. She then spent a year as a Fulbright fellow in France, and subsequently earned a master’s degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford before heading to the University of Chicago Law School.

During law school, she volunteered with the International Refugee Assistance Program and, during her first year spring break, she provided legal services to women and child immigrants in detention through the Dilley Pro Bono Project in Texas.

“Ana’s a terrific researcher and student, as well as a passionate human rights advocate,” Ginsburg said. “We’re thrilled that she will be moving on to the ICJ and helping pave the way for more students working in international law.”

Luquerna will be the second Law School graduate to become an ICJ fellow. Marcos Garcia Dominguez, LLM ’13, JSD '19, was an ICJ judicial fellow (then called the University Trainee Program) in 2017-2018.

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