For Judge Eyad Alsamhan (‘22), pursuing the LLM from BYU Law is the fulfillment of a long term goal. After receiving graduate degrees in intellectual property law from the University of Jordan, in Amman Jordan and from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, he became one of the youngest judges ever appointed to the Jordinian Judicial Council, the constitutional authority in his home country of Jordan. Alsamhan says each of these opportunities inspired him to continue his studies at BYU Law.
As a judge of the Jordinian Judicial Council, Alsamhan specializes in general civil jurisdiction and mediates complex, high-stakes cases. He is experienced in generating artificial intelligence with applications in judiciary settings and has published numerous articles on judiciary ethics. “Studying at BYU Law has changed the way I look at certain issues and certain cases,” he says. “The rule of law is very strong in the United States.” Alsahman hopes to one day serve a broader jurisdiction as an international judge with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also referred to as the World Court. The ICJ is one of the six principal bodies of the United Nations and the fifteen justices settles disputes between states in accordance with international law and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues. “Many people in the world don’t have the privilege of living in nations that support justice and democracy. My desire is to help achieve justice for all people.”
While at BYU Law, Alsamhan has served on the Student Management Board for the International Center for Law and Religious Studies and had the opportunity to participate in research projects and assist in conferences throughout the year. He has also worked as a teaching assistant in BYU’s Middle Easter Studies Arabic Program. “I have tried to take advantage of each moment and each opportunity at BYU,” Alsamhan says. Fluent in five languages–Arabic, English, Polish, Japanese, and French–he considers himself a lifelong learner and is grateful for parents who prioritized education. “My mom studied law at the University of Jordan and is a court mediator. Both my father and mother have guided me, supported me, and always pushed me to keep going.”
Alsamhan says the LLM program at BYU Law has not only been a valuable component of his legal education, it has taught him to achieve a more balanced life. “The biggest challenge I have faced during the last year is learning how to manage everything. I learned to be more flexible, to prioritize my time, and to say no to things.”The married father of two says while the last several months have been demanding, living in Utah has had many benefits for his family. “It’s a very family-oriented place. People are welcoming and friendly. My wife has made connections in the community and become involved in different projects. Our children are learning so much. The professors have been so welcoming and helpful. Each has had a big impact on me. God had given us so much, I would like to pay it back.”