Every year William & Mary Law School is proud to welcome students from all over the world to take part in the LL.M., or Master of Laws, program. This program enables students to enroll in courses at the Law School and deepen their understanding of the American legal system to apply that in their businesses and legal practice back home. William & Mary has been fortunate to have students from multiple continents take part in this program and offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. In particular, the Law School has enjoyed having multiple LL.M. students from Saudi Arabia.
Nasser Alkoblan (Class of 2018) chose William & Mary based on its high national ranking and the opportunity to attend the nation’s oldest law school. He previously worked for the Arab National Bank and finds his education here helpful for working in an international context. He has delved into the study of dispute resolution methods. Alkoblan noted that an American legal education has been useful in illuminating the points of comparison and contrast with Saudi Arabia. Learning American legal doctrine has helped him to better understand his own legal system.
Sami Alshehre (Class of 2019) wanted to study in the United States after seeing the positive impact it had on his father, who previously completed his studies in America. Alshehre wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and chose William & Mary on the advice of friends.
Watin Alzahrani (Class of 2017) loved her classes, particularly Torts with Professor Lederer. She also valued her experience in the Law School’s Professional Responsibility course. Alzahrani noted that some of her coursework exposed her to new legal doctrines while other courses, such as Property and Contracts, reinforced core concepts that she had learned in Saudi Arabia.
In addition to learning legal doctrine, LL.M. students also have the opportunity to take part in applied classes related to the practice of law, such as Legal Writing and Lawyering Skills. Alshehre has found his Lawyering Skills class particularly helpful because he wants to practice as a lawyer and has been able to learn more about negotiation and client counseling skills. Alzahrani noted how different Legal Writing was from anything she had previously learned in Saudi Arabia, so she was happy to broaden her legal experience by learning American legal drafting techniques.
Another benefit to the program that all of the students remarked on was the opportunity to practice English language skills. Alshehre commented on the joy of watching his young son learn English while enrolled in the local public elementary school and using it at home. Following graduation, Alshehre hopes to continue practicing language and other skills he has acquired in America.
The benefits of the LL.M program go both ways. Both students and faculty are enriched by having diverse experiences and backgrounds in the classroom. According to Professor Darian Ibrahim, an expert on business law, securities regulation and entrepreneurship who has taught numerous LL.M students, “it is wonderful to have the Saudi students in class because they offer insight about business and law from a different legal system.”
When not in school, students in the LL.M. program explore Virginia and the surrounding areas. Alshehre enjoys the opportunity to travel around the U.S., and Alkoblan recently explored the Smoky Mountains and New York for spring break. Alkoblan also noted that he enjoys visiting the historical sites in Williamsburg and the surrounding area that were instrumental in the founding of this country.
Whether it’s the chance to learn more of the law, develop lawyering skills, practice English, or explore local history, William & Mary Law School has much to offer international students through the LL.M. program. The Law School community has also learned much from these students who bring their variety of experiences and legal knowledge to Williamsburg.
About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.