LLM LawAbdulrahman Aljohani, Saudi Arabia

Tell us a little bit about your background...
I grew up in Madinah in Saudi Arabia that is considered one of the three holiest cities in Islam. I graduated from the Islamic University which is the most ancient university covering Sharia Law as well as other specialties. Studying Sharia has expanded my interest in the law and enthusiasm to explore how the law is important if we are to live in a peaceful society. I worked in the law office, which enabled me to see how the law works in reality, which also increased my desire for my future career to be based within the law sector.

What inspired you to study your subject?
When I was studying for my bachelor’s degree, I planned to learn English as a second language in order to study English law, which is different from Islamic law, because I like comparing and analysing. In 2016, my country launched Vision 2030 to become one of the best countries in various fields, such as development, economics, and policy. As a result, there will be a lot of international business, and companies. This vision encouraged me to be one of the factors that helps to achieve the aims of the vision successfully, and that can be by learning the era’s language, which is English, and studying English law, as most agreements between countries are based on these two channels. Also, one of the most important factors that encouraged me to study this subject is that students with no background in English law can study general courses, such as LLM, which equip them with knowledge about more than one area of the law.

Why did you choose to continue studying for your Masters at the University of Strathclyde?
Two of my friends have studied at the University of Strathclyde and recommended that I should study there also. Additionally, I read about the LLM course on the website and noted how varied and interesting the classes are, especially for students who plan to study in one more area.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde, so far?
The huge knowledge and experience of the lecturers, as well as their method of teaching, is immensely impressive. They have the ability to encourage students to work together and in groups, which refines the students’ skills, such as the ability to discuss and exchange ideas and opinions.

How have you found studying online, in the current situation?
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, I tried to study certain topics online, but did not feel comfortable with this way of learning. Then, the pandemic imposed this way of learning as mandatory. There are clear differences between teaching face to face and online, but I adapted to the situation, and have benefitted greatly from the lectures that I’ve attended and the assignments that I’ve completed.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying your course?
There were a couple of professional skills that I have learnt, but the most important skill in my opinion is critical thinking. My critical thinking skills have dramatically developed, not just in the academic sense but also in the rest of my life. I’ve become more analytical about my decisions, and no longer accept any information without first checking that it is accurate and reliable. Moreover, I am aware that this skill might help me to become a specialist/more competent lawyer in the future.

What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
If I were to offer advice to people who are interested in taking this course, I would suggest that they read the information about the classes for the courses they are planning to study before making a decision and not hesitate to ask students who have attended them before or the members of the support team for the course. They should feel free to discuss any questions with their lecturers and classmates during the lectures, who will be happy to help. If they are not interested in a specific area of law, they can try to study more than one area, such as commercial, criminal, or investment law.

What have been the main challenges studying at postgraduate level?
There are many challenges that students might face during the period of their study. For example, how to manage their time when working on more than one project at the same time and how to create a balance between their studies and the rest of their life. Also, it is important to develop skills in researching, as studying for a master’s degree entails undertaking a lot of research and completing assignments, as well as working with groups, all of which can be challenging.

How has your scholarship supported your studies?
I received a scholarship from my government, which really supported me, because it meant that I didn’t have to pay any course fees. Also, my government covers everything that I might need for my studies, so this enabled me to focus more on my studies.

What do you think of the support available?
They have been incredible. Everything that I need, they’ve done. Also, they appreciate the circumstance of students; for example, I got Covid-19 and was sick, and they were with me like a member of my family.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I am planning to work in the UK with a law office to get experience. If not, I will return to my country to start my new life. I will particularly focus on developing my skills as a lawyer because I wish to work with an international law office in my county. However, if I get a chance in the future to continue my studies, I will definitely do so.