The Persian Gulf is turning into the destination du jour for American law schools looking for academic partnerships.
Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy last month announced that it is helping the Qatar Foundation develop a graduate legal training institute in Doha, Qatar. Now, the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law will collaborate with the Dubai Judicial Institute in the United Arab Emirates.
Under the agreement, the schools will foster research partnerships, joint conferences, faculty exchanges and practice opportunities for students. The programs will offer students and faculty insight into the increasingly international practice of law, according to officials from both schools.
"For example, Penn State law students and faculty will be able to create a study visit to the DJI to learn about law and legal institutions of the UAE and to experience a unique commercial hub in the Middle East," said Penn State dean Philip McConnaughay.
The partnership will support the mission of the Dubai Judicial Institute, said director general Al Sumaiti -- to train attorneys and judges and conduct research. The institute was founded in 1996 and also offers training for prosecutors and private and public sector agencies.
"We are committed to fostering and adopting initiatives to build on the potential of law students and welcome the opportunity to work with Penn State Law in what will most certainly be a successful and beneficial partnership," Sumaiti said in a written statement.
Karen Bysiewicz, Penn State's associate dean of graduate and international programs, said students have shown a growing interest in the Middle East. "Moreover, Penn State Law is well-positioned to be involved in trainings of lawyers and judges internationally," she said. "We have a number of judges or former judges on our faculty. We also have faculty members with significant international research, as well an extensive collaboration with the Penn State School of International Affairs."