Law without Borders: From Belgium to New York to Berlin

Liselotte Kasse B’nicco was a Belgian 2022-2023 Fulbright Master’s Student in Law at NYU. She holds a Master of Laws degree from Ghent University (2021). She dedicated her studies to international and human rights law, participating in projects such as the Human Rights Law Clinic and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. After graduating, Liselotte worked as an Academic Assistant at Ghent University and completed an internship at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. During her LL.M. studies, Liselotte obtained NYU’s International Law and Human Rights fellowship to work for the European Center of Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin for a period of three months. Currently, Liselotte is an associate at Hanotiau & van den Berg in Brussels.

Q: “Can you please describe your grant project?”

I pursued a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Legal Studies at NYU School of Law to further specialize in international law and human rights. NYU’s law faculty holds a very strong reputation in international law and my LL.M. offered me the opportunity to learn from renowned professors in my field of interest. I enrolled in courses and seminars, such as International Criminal Law, International Organizations: Law and Diplomacy, Strategic Human Rights Litigation, Transitional Justice, Law and Global Governance, and International Investment Arbitration.

Q: “How did you hear about the Fulbright Program? What motivated you to apply, and what do you remember from the selection process?”

I was informed about the Fulbright Program through the university I attended in Belgium (Ghent University). They offer several information sessions and presentations on studying abroad, and the Fulbright Program was named as one of the funding options. I applied because I wanted to do a master’s degree abroad, and the U.S. seemed a very exciting and challenging destination as their education system is entirely different from the Belgian system.

Q: “What have you accomplished during your time in the USA? What can you tell us about the initial outcomes of your program?”

I had the privilege of working with renowned professors in the field of international law and human rights. I worked as a research assistant for Professor Philip Alston and I was selected as a member of the Transitional Justice Leadership Program under the supervision of Professor Pablo De Greiff. Further, had the opportunity to participate in NYU’s International Law and Human Rights Emerging Scholarship Conference, where I presented my research, engaged in stimulating discussions, and received valuable feedback from experts and colleagues. My experience greatly expanded my understanding of international law and human rights. Through NYU’s culture of critical thinking and open dialogue among students and faculty, I am convinced that my legal skills have significantly improved. As an additional highlight, I was awarded an International Law and Human Rights Fellowship, which funds placements at organizations dedicated to international law and human rights.

Q: “What will you do after your Fulbright grant? In what ways has your experience in the USA this year impacted your plans for the future?”

NYU offers a range of funded post-graduate fellowships to which you can apply as an LL.M. student. With the help of NYU’s International Law and Human Rights Fellowship, I had the opportunity to complete a three-month fellowship at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization that uses litigation to enforce human rights. With the knowledge and experience I have gained during my studies and internships, I recently started my legal career as an associate at Hanotiau & van den Berg in Brussels.

Q: “What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying to the Fulbright Program?”

I would encourage anyone who wants to study in the U.S. to apply to the Fulbright program. Fulbright gives access to a great network in the U.S. They organize events themselves and inform you of cool events to go to in the city! To me, studying in the U.S. has been a very rewarding experience. I made friendships spanning the globe, was introduced to a variety of cultures and traditions, and engaged in an entirely different educational system. I was no longer sitting in class and listening to the professors, I was holding conversations with them and my fellow students. While it was a challenging experience, I ended up growing as a person. I definitely recommend applying!

Grantee 2022-23_2

Articles are written by Fulbright grantees and do not reflect the opinions of the Fulbright Commission, the grantees’ host institutions, or the U.S. Department of State.