International Law Committee

What is the International Law Committee?

The International Law Committee is a standing committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. It is composed of legal practitioners who are involved or have an interest in international law.

What does the Committee do?

The Committee meets monthly to discuss issues related to the international law, international organizations, legislative systems of other countries, and doing business overseas. Committee members meet invited speakers from different countries who share first hand experience in and knowledge about the field. Members of other committees of the Philadelphia Bar Association are invited to the meetings, which could be of their interest. The Committee maintains and develops links with local non-legal organizations involved in the international relations.

Among other activities of the Committee are: co-sponsoring of the international exchange law student program; organizing an annual reception for international LLM students of area law schools; maintaining relationships with and inviting members of the foreign consular corps in the Philadelphia area; and development of the Twinning Relationship and international attorney exchange program with the Bar Association of Lyon, France. The Committee encourages participation of corporate legal departments in its activities.

Philadelphia-Lyon Bar Exchange Program

The Philadelphia Bar Association has had a sister bar agreement with the Lyon Bar Association in France since 1997. One of the most successful aspects of this prestigious "twinning" relationship has been the annual exchange of young lawyer interns between the two cities.

Interns from Lyon in Philadelphia

Every year, three or four young lawyers-in training from Lyon will typically spend a six-month internship at a host Philadelphia law firm. The interns usually arrive in Philadelphia in September and stay until the end of February. Past interns have found the program not only enjoyable, but also invaluable in learning more about how American lawyers and business leaders think. We have even heard warm compliments concerning Philadelphia restaurants.

Information for Hosts

Benefits to Host Firms: From the Philadelphia host's point of view, the program provides a good way to develop international contacts and perspective — at virtually no expense, since our hosts do not pay the French interns. However, the interns are provided with an office, desk and computer, together with the opportunity to attend meetings, court appearances and other events where appropriate. Participating firms: Large and small firms and even the federal courts have played host to these international lawyers, including Reed Smith, Pepper Hamilton, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Wilson Elser, Duane Morris, Honorable Linda K. Caracappa, The Erb Law Firm, PC, and Frost & Zeff.

Please contatct Danielle Jouenne at or Michael E. Scullin at if you are interested in being a host.

Philadelphians Interning in Lyon

While placements are possible for practicing attorneys, the International Law Committee most frequently facilitates placements for Philadelphia-area law students in law firms in Lyon. Placements are available for June and July and are ideal for students just completing their first year of law school. For more information about the internship, read an article published in the Philadelphia lawyer by one of our recent participants.

The Program is not compensated though students may be eligible for academic credit and financial aid depending upon the policies of their U.S. law schools. Basic French competency is needed to benefit from the experience. Interviews will be required prior to final selection. The ILC will try to match the student’s experience and interests with the practice focus of the law firm.

How can I join the Committee?

Committee membership is open to members in good standing of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Meetings of the Committee are normally open, upon advance notification, to everyone who is interested in international law. To apply for Committee membership online, click here.

How can I obtain more information about the Committee?

If you would like more information about the International Law Committee, please contact co-chairs:


Diane Penneys Edelman
Villanova University Charles Widger
School of Law
299 North Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
(610) 519-7047

Jeremy D. Heep
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
3000 Two Logan Square
Eighteenth and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 981-4972