Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) College of Law and Public Policy (CLPP) aspires to be a world-class provider of legal education with an international reputation for quality and innovation in teaching and research.
Owing to its position at a global crossroads in terms of culture, business and geopolitics, Qatar is at the heart of a region that requires leaders who can manage multi-faceted relationships that span different legal systems and who have a command of a wide range of skills.
HBKU’s CLPP addresses this need by offering training to graduate students from a range of disciplines in the skills needed to understand the diverse legal systems – civil, common, and Sharia – that inform Qatari law and that govern the complex events and transactions, both in the region and throughout the globe. In its initial year of operation, the college enrolled students in its Juris Doctor (JD) program, the first graduate law degree program of its kind to be made available in the MENA region, housing with its Law School.
HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy has further developed auxiliary programs to increase the visibility of the college to government and corporate leaders, both locally and globally, in order to foster the growth and connectedness of the college as well as provide broad opportunities for students and future graduates.
Professor Clinton Francis is the Law School’s Founding Dean. During his time serving in this post he retains his tenure at Northwestern University School of Law, where he has been on the faculty since 1978. Professor Francis obtained his initial legal training in New Zealand, where he completed LLB and LLM degrees and where he was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the New Zealand Supreme Court.
After teaching at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Professor Francis completed a Doctorate in Law (SJD) at the University of Virginia School of Law, with fellowships from the Fulbright and DuPont Foundations. He moved to Northwestern University from University of California Berkeley School of Law, where he taught as an associate. Since joining the Northwestern University School of Law faculty in 1978, Professor Francis has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards and has served on and chaired a variety of university and Law School committees within Northwestern. He has taught courses in collaboration with the Kellogg School of Management, participates in executive training programs and regularly teaches in Seoul, South Korea. He has served on the boards of several corporations and continues to undertake select professional consulting assignments.
Qatar’s emergence as a global economic, political, and cultural leader has generated a rapidly growing need for lawyers who understand the complex interaction between local and international legal systems. Accordingly, HBKU’s JD program exposes students to the foundational legal skills required to advance Qatar’s development and position of global leadership. The JD’s curriculum introduces students to the legal challenges confronting newly developed and emerging sectors vital to Qatar and the region, including Energy, Healthcare, Finance and Global Investment, Infrastructure Development, Media and Cultural Endowment. Ultimately, students graduating from HBKU’s JD program will possess the skills to become multi-dimensional global leaders who assume key positions in Qatar’s diverse knowledge-based economy.
The legal profession in Qatar is undergoing significant change both in how it serves its clients and how it develops talent. As Qatar grows, its legal system is growing as well and new issues are emerging in various areas, such as business, economics, politics, the environment, human rights, international relations and trade. These issues require the engagement of talented lawyers who can cope with the new structures and complexities to eventually safeguard the growing trends in industry and administration that we witness today. The College gives guidance to students on the opportunities that exist for new lawyers entering the market and the skills that are necessary for such lawyers to succeed in today’s complex and fast paced environment.