PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Law’s new LL.M. program and one of its first students, Ali Farid of Iraq, were featured in the Bangor Daily News this month.
To read the story and watch a video interview with Farid, click here.
Maine Law’s LL.M. is a post-professional degree. The program is intended primarily for foreign candidates who have earned a law degree outside the United States. Participants will learn about the American legal system and context, including an Introduction to U.S. Law, taught by Professor Martin Rogoff.
Farid, along with students from Saudi Arabia and Somalia, are the first students enrolled this fall. Students can specialize in topics such as law and development, law and nation building, human rights, business law, maritime law, and intellectual property. They also can choose to earn special certificates in Oceans Law or Global Information Privacy.
“We can help shape their studies to meet their professional goals. It is all personally tailored,” said Professor Charles Norchi, director of the new program. Professor Norchi is also the director of Maine Law’s Center for Oceans and Coastal Law.
This year, in many ways, will serve as a pilot year for the program, Norchi said. He envisions a program eventually of 12 or fewer students per year.
“We are purposefully reaching out to contacts in France, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, China, the Middle East and Afghanistan,” Norchi said of himself and his faculty colleagues. “We can do well recruiting directly, because of our contacts.”
Farid, a 23-year-old native of Iraq, is one of the first three students in the program. A combat interpreter for the U.S.-led Coalition Forces during the Iraq War, Farid earned his law degree in Baghdad and moved to Maine last year on a Special Immigrant Visa.
Ultimately, Farid wants to use his law degrees to help refugees and immigrants, perhaps as a law professor or working for an international organization such as the United Nations.
“I have ambition,” Farid said. “This is a great opportunity. This is going to expose me to the whole world, literally. It is what I was born to do.”
The addition of the LL.M. program represents another step as Maine Law continues to increase its global outreach and engagement. Maine Law offers student exchanges with universities in France, Canada, Hong Kong, England and Ireland. The Law School brings international speakers to Maine, and visiting scholars this fall include people from China, Thailand, Japan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The school’s newest legal clinic, the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, also opened this year and will primarily serve clients who are seeking asylum from countries around the world.