Mohamad law student

Mohamad El Daouk

Lebanon

LLM Construction Law

Tell us a bit about your background…
I am a graduate international student who had attained his Bachelor of Laws from the University of East Anglia in Norwich before coming to the University of Strathclyde. I am from Ras Beirut, Lebanon and had lived abroad in the United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia before coming to the United Kingdom.

What inspired you to study your course?
Growing up in a diversity of countries including my native country Lebanon, I valued the importance of the law particularly when I stumbled upon the construction and commercial industries. I came to this resolution after continuously seeing my father engage in construction claims and disputes throughout his work as a director at a large construction firm in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At that stage I comprehended that construction law was certainly one of the areas I sought to specialise in.

Tell us a little about your scholarship, and how this has supported you in your time here.
I was awarded the Strathclyde Prestige Award upon entry between August-September 2018, which was apparently awarded to one person per course if I am not mistaken. The scholarship has mostly given me a morale boost from Strathclyde, proving to myself that the institute I am studying in, undoubtfully believes in my capabilities.

Why did you choose to continue studying at the University of Strathclyde?
Upon applying for a master’s degree, I was stuck between reading construction law (LLM) at Strathclyde or at King’s College London (MSc). I ended up choosing Strathclyde due to the fact that it provided a more flexible and practical course rather than the other universities. Strathclyde also has the oldest LLM within this discipline in the United Kingdom, which stems back to more than 30 years.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde so far?
Being the founder of the first Arabian and Middle-Eastern Society, I believe that the opening of such society this year was a great achievement, due to the fact that it had been in the making for many years. I believe that in itself is a highlight as it can only add to Strathclyde’s enormously diverse and multi-cultural students’ union.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
Throughout this course, I have mostly capitalised on skills I have gained from work experience. However, the one unique skill I have gained solely from reading construction law at the University of Strathclyde is the ability to quickly grasp and critically analyse information that I have never come across before. Such skill will reflect positively on my career as a future construction solicitor. 

What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
My one piece of advice for future applicants would be to diligently undertake the due research, reading and understanding of the place they are considering to study at.

What have been the main challenges studying at postgraduate level?
Due to the very helpful teachers at Strathclyde, I believe that many possible challenges have been mitigated by their constant presence for help during class, when needed. As a law student, the most challenging aspect is getting accustomed to the differences between the legal disciplines of Scotland, Northern Ireland and ‘England and Wales'. 

What do you think of the support available?
I believe that the university does provide sufficient support to its students. Most of the time there will be someone to help the student. The only addition that would suffice as a great surplus to postgraduate courses would be to include more practical experiences to the courses rather than 100% in-class taught material. For construction law particularly, that would mean to include a few days during the year to take the students on a 1-3 day work experience at a prominent law firm, court or mediation venue. This would help students put their gained knowledge at Strathclyde into practice, as construction law is a very niche discipline by itself. 

What are your ambitions for the future?
Upon attaining an LLM in construction law, I will continue my studies at the University of Oxford by reading Theology and Religion at Harris Manchester College. I will be particularly focusing on the jurisprudence of law and the philosophies binding law and religion across the various religious traditions due to their ongoing roles in places such as the Middle-East. After that, I seek to become a construction solicitor that will eventually work as an in-house lawyer at an international construction firm to draft contracts, help avoid claims, and to solicit the firm when it does find itself in a construction dispute.