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Three Seton Hall Law Students Chosen to Participate in Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program

Prestigious program offers American law students an opportunity to work with advocates-general and leading judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union

Dean Acheson StagiairesThree Seton Hall Law students were chosen to participate in the prestigious Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program at the Court of Justice of the European Union. Yasmine Fulena (pictured, right), Class of 2014, has begun her stage (internship), and Catherine Savio (pictured, left) and Ariel Risinger (pictured, center) both Class of 2015, will commence their terms in February 2015.

The Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program is organized through the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and the European Union. The program provides American law students and recent graduates with an extraordinary opportunity to work with advocates-general and leading European judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Court of Justice interprets European Union law and ensures its equal application across all states of the European Union. This year the three stagiaires, or interns, will work in the cabinet of a judge and assist in drafting materials for hearings, in addition to performing research on substantive areas of European Union law as requested by either their judge or the judge's clerks. This program offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into an important judicial process that is different from the American approach.

“Only 28 law schools in the U.S. may participate in the program and nominate candidates,” explains Professor Tracy Kaye, who, along with Professors Elizabeth Defeis and Catherine McCauliff, prepare students to apply for the Program, guiding their course choices and supporting them in the application process. “We are so pleased that all three of our nominees were accepted to the program. Even more impressive is that among participating schools, only Seton Hall Law students will serve as stagiaires this academic year.”

Yasmine Fulena, who is currently serving as stagiaire to Judge Camelia Toader (Romania), initially learned about the Program upon reading about it on the school’s website. “After meeting with and learning more about the Program from Professors Defeis, Kaye, and McCauliff, I decided to apply.” Fulena explained. “I am extremely grateful for their constant support, encouragement, and advice throughout the application process. All of my courses and the skills I developed while at Seton Hall Law have helped prepare me for this experience, in addition to providing me with a strong foundation for understanding the fundamentals of European Union law and legal relations at the international level.”

Ariel Risinger, who will work with Judge Borg Barthet (Malta), President of the Sixth Chamber, credits her European Union Law professor, Catherine McCauliff, as the person who encouraged her to apply. “After taking her class and hearing about the experiences of Seton Hall Law’s most recent stagiaire,” she said, “I knew I wanted to apply and began to lay the groundwork for my application over the next four semesters.” Risinger credits her various international law classes and her participation on the Jessup International Moot Court team with preparing her for this opportunity. “Professor Kaye has been unwavering in her support and encouragement for the past two years. Thanks to Professor McCauliff’s guidance and insight, I had an excellent paper on an issue of EU law to submit with my application.”

Catherine Savio ’15, who will serve as stagiaire to Vice-President of the General Court, Heikki Kanninen (Finland), came to Seton Hall with an interest in pursuing international law. “I decided that when I attended law school, I would pursue every practical and hands-on learning opportunity that I could,” she said, “and the Dean Acheson Program is a practical experience that will allow me to intimately experience a completely different legal system, which I am sure will help me in my future practice.”

“Experiential learning is vital in legal education today,” said Dean Patrick E. Hobbs, “And Seton Hall Law prides itself on the unique opportunities we seek for students to hone their legal skills and gain vital professional experience. The Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program offers a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students and recent graduates. As the nine Seton Hall Law students who have served as stagiaires will attest, it lays the groundwork for great career success.”

Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey's only private law school and a leading law school in the New York metropolitan area, is dedicated to preparing students for the practice of law through excellence in scholarship and teaching, with a strong focus on clinical education. Founded in 1951, Seton Hall Law School is located in Newark and offers both day and evening degree programs. For more information visit


Janet LeMonnier
Executive Director, Communications
Office: 973-642-8583
Cell: 973-985-3165
Email: [email protected]

October 20, 2014