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Nine countries represented in ONU's LL.M. program

Sep 21, 2012

Fourteen lawyers from nine different countries have begun studying toward their Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law at Ohio Northern University’s Claude W. Pettit College of Law this month.

They make up the seventh class to join ONU’s unique, one-year graduate law program, which focuses on providing lawyers from transitional countries with the skills to help build democratic institutions and the rule of law in their home countries.

ONU President Dan DiBiasio said that both the number and quality of the students, as well as the countries represented, including five new nations, reflects the strength and recognition the LL.M. program has achieved. “This program is typical of the commitment Ohio Northern University has made to educating its students for public service not just in Ohio or the United States, but throughout the world,” he said.

The seven women and seven men in this year’s class include lawyers from South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Liberia, the Maldives and Iceland, all countries represented for the first time. The class also includes lawyers who continue the developing relationships between the LL.M. program and Georgia, Tanzania, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

This year, the students will be provided a close look at the 2012 election, with visits to a local board of election, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, various political campaign offices and political rallies. In addition to coursework, other activities include visits to the Ohio Supreme Court, observation of jury trials, and a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., in the spring.

The LL.M. program at Ohio Northern University began in 2006 with a grant from the United States Department of State. This year’s students are supported by a variety of sources, in addition to University scholarships, including the United States’ Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan and the governments of Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. As a condition of their scholarships, the students must commit to returning to their home countries and spending at least two years in the public sector advancing legal and government reforms.

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