Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office, participated in the U.S. Rule of Law Initiative 6-day visit to Myanmar (Burma) in November 2013. As a part of the initiative, the bar association delegation of 12 lawyers visited the country to meet with Burmese legal and business contacts. Mynamar has recently moved to democracy after years of military rule, and has recently begin opening its borders to outside visitors. The delegation:
- Met with Professors of the Law School and Students at Yangon University.
- Visited the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and met with several officers of the Chamber
- Had several meetings with lawyers in Yangon
- Met with the Mandalay University Department of Law
Stratton was born and raised in Thailand. “It felt like going home in so many ways – the warm people, Asian food, the pagodas and temples.”
Stratton also found the lawyers, law schools, and businesses to be open to assistance from the United States.
“They had been frozen in time for 50 years.” Everywhere we went, everyone said, “we will take any help you can give us. They need law books as theirs were dated from the late 1890s and early 1900s, old British texts.”
Of the 32 foreign companies that had invested, only three were U.S.-based. “This presents a real business opportunity for our country to meet and assist in the development of the Rule of Law.”
The delegation was led by the president of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and the past president of the Minnesota Bar Association. To learn more about the trip, visit the OSBA website.