For Kuwait student, a dream to teach law is about to come true

Call her professor. She's earned it. 

Maha Albesharah's goal was to be a law professor in her home country of Kuwait. 

And she's about to reach it, after she completes her studies to earn an S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Albesharah is among 14 S.J.D. candidates representing nine countries currently enrolled in UVA Law’s Graduate Studies Program, according to an article on the school's news service, UVA Today.

That program provides an American legal education to lawyers who have got their first law degree in their home countries. The S.D.J. is intended primarily for aspiring legal academics and is the most advanced degree conferred by the law school.

For Albesharah, this was quite the journey. She got her law degree from the Kuwait University School of Law, which is where she will teach. She earned her LL.M. from the University of California at Davis School of Law.

So's been schooled on both U.S. coasts ... 

Albesharah’s dissertation examined foreign direct investment in Kuwait, and why foreign investors are hesitent to do business there, the school's news story said. In 2017, the foreign investor ratio decreased by 27% in Kuwait. Up to 95% of Kuwaiti government revenue is from oil, she told the school news service, and plummeting prices have hurt the country’s economy, making foreign investment more important.

Albesharah will teach business law, according to the school.  As she has developed as a legal scholar, she found herself interested in commercial law and securities regulation in particular. 

“Even if it was hard, I just loved it,” she said of her initial legal training in Kuwait. “I loved reading those laws, analyzing them. My friends were telling me that they wanted to be detectives and lawyers. And they asked me, ‘What do you want to be?’ I said, ‘I need to be a law professor. I want to teach.’”

(Photo by Julia Davis)