Students enrolled in Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Juris Doctor Program take on legal internships

08 Sep 2016

Students enrolled in Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Juris Doctor Program take on legal internships

Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU’s) College of Law and Public Policy have held a special Ramadan event for students from its Juris Doctor (JD) graduate law program aimed at bringing them together with leaders from Qatar’s legal community and celebrating the college’s first program of legal internships, which are being held throughout the summer.

Last year, the Juris Doctor (JD) program became the first program to be launched by the college. It delivers a customized legal curriculum that uses innovative methods of instruction that focus on meeting the needs of the Gulf region’s most important industries. The internships have been organized to offer students the chance to experience the practice of law and solidify the theoretical understanding of legal issues and concepts learned in the classroom.

“The JD program is the first of its kind in the region and the nature of this program fosters innovation and resourcefulness within our students while greatly developing their legal knowledge,” said Professor Clinton Francis, Founding Dean of the College of Law and Public Policy.

“I am grateful to all the faculty and staff who have been so supportive of such a pioneering program and I am proud of what our students have accomplished so far. I’m delighted the students are getting the opportunity to enjoy internships at a variety of organizations across Qatar, and am grateful to all of those offering internships. Such real-world experience working alongside legal professionals can only enhance their knowledge and build connections that will have a lasting positive benefit for all involved.”

Professor Francis’s comment came at a Suhoor hosted by the College of Law and Public Policy which offered an opportunity for the JD students to gather together with a wide range of local legal stakeholders and discuss the practical aspects of their education. Among those attending the Suhoor were representatives of the Qatar International Court Dispute Resolution Center, Sultan Al Abdulla & Partners law firm, Ghada M. Darwish law firm, Al Sulaiti law firm and the Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery.

Ibrahim Al-Jabor, a JD student currently interning at Siemens, commented: “I was drawn to HBKU’s JD program because of both its academic and practical components that prepare students to successfully enter the market after they graduate. For me personally, the degree supplements my long career in engineering projects and contracts.”

He continued: “Doing an internship allows me to apply what I learned in the classroom in a real and practical setting, offering me insight in how legal issues are worked out in the real world. It also offers students access to prospective future employers.”

Ammar Saed Aldien is another JD student who is taking advantage of the internship program, interning at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and the international law firm, White and Case LLP, at various points in the summer. He said: “I am a firm believer that you don't learn something properly until you apply it. A summer internship seemed like the ideal opportunity for me to prove to myself and others that what I had studied in class could help me excel in the field, and my experience so far couldn’t be better.”

“The internship brings to life legal concepts, contracts and memos that my classmates and I learned about this past year. I believe being a part of the first class of the first JD program offered in the region will give me an edge when applying to jobs as my studies offer me a detailed and comparative approach to law.”

Commenting on HBKU’s innovative JD degree program, Dr. Zien Alabedeen Ahmad Shabab from the Qatar International Court & Dispute Resolution Center, legal advisor to Qatar's First Court, said: "Based on my experience completing a JD degree abroad, I strongly advise anyone who is interested in law to consider enrolling in HBKU's JD program. The program is unique because it focuses on the practical aspects of law, in addition to the theoretical aspects and touches upon international legal issues, equipping graduates with the legal skills to tackle many diverse issues."

HBKU is fully committed to building exceptional programs that are comparable to the best of those offered internationally. HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy seeks to be a leading legal education provider with an international reputation for quality and innovation in teaching and researching facilities. The Juris Doctor (JD) postgraduate degree program is available to candidates who hold an undergraduate degree in any major from an accredited college or university.

The summer internship program is part of an undertaking by HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy that students’ learning experience be in line with the needs of Qatari society and involve interaction with the community. Other initiatives from the JD program include a Legal Leadership Speaker Series, where prominent legal experts from across the country are invited to visit the college to share their knowledge and experience with students.