In 2013, Dr. Maan Bou Saber, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLPS) gave his first lecture to the class of the new Law Department of Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), and in less than 4 years; it rose to be among the finest law schools in the nation.
Today, NDU’s Law School is graduating its first cohort of Law students. On this exceptional occasion, an interview with Dr. Bou Saber was conducted to shed light on how this department has flourished throughout the years.
Q: What goals do you have for developing the Law School during your term as dean of the Faculty?
First, why become a dean? That is the million-dollar question.
Consider the many duties of a law school dean. A law school dean today is a leader (intellectual and otherwise), administrator, fundraiser, mentor, diplomat, problem-solver, faculty member, and much, much more.
I think, the biggest goal I have come to achieve is starting the Law School at NDU from scratch; that is, writing the curriculum, which is considered one of the top Law programs in Lebanon today.
In 2013, the Law School was established at NDU, Zouk Mosbeh, after being officially licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, as per the Decree no./9555/ dated 18/12/2012.
Q: What kind of emphasis does NDU place on the quality and prestige of an undergraduate’s application?
First off, we take students from an incredibly wide range of educational backgrounds. Our goal at NDU is to develop a student’s capacities and invest in their potential.
The law program at NDU aims to equip students with adequate theoretical and research background to follow graduate studies in the fields of Law, provide students with skills to integrate technology and learned techniques into practice, and instills leadership and efficient management qualities in graduates.
I assure you; with the variety of skills they will acquire by the time they graduate they will make notable contributions in the future!
Q: How much experience do the students acquire and what are today's students worried about?
I would have to say they have nothing to worry about given the fact that we are already getting calls from different firms asking to hire our students!
The Faculty of Law is proudly graduating its first batch, these students were provided over the years with free workshops of one hundred sixty-five hours, free training sessions, international legal conferences and competitions, in which they participated efficiently.
Our students participated in the Price Moot Court international competition held by Oxford University and won in the Middle East round.
Q: The top private law schools have had decades to build their endowments. We got started late in the game, and we are in the process of playing catch-up. Until we do, how do we compete?
In this Faculty, the Lebanese Law, with all its ramifications and details, is taught according to the official curriculum specified by the laws, decrees, and decisions that are valid and issued by the Lebanese Authority. Furthermore, it is important to note that the Faculty provides courses in Anglo-Saxon Law (Common Law), opening for its students wider horizons in practical life. The courses are taught in both English and Arabic.
The educational system is the American system of credits adopted in the most important universities around the world. A resolution was issued by the General Directorate in the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, determining that, according to the American system of credits, the duration of studying shall not be less than four years, the number of credits shall not fall behind one hundred thirty- eight. Studying in our Faculty takes a minimum of four years, the number of credits being one hundred forty, in addition to numerous workshops, training sessions, conferences, and competitions.
Q: What are the “crown jewels” of the Law School at NDU? Why should it be a prospective student’s first choice?
Even when learning the theory, NDU’s law students will spend a lot of time trawling through cases. We use real-life examples to demonstrate how the theory is applied. Students are left in no doubt as to whether the content they are learning will have real-life application.
The variety of skills they are provided with at NDU, puts the graduates at the forefront of employer's minds. Add to this the fact that law is one of the world's oldest fields of study, professions, human endeavor – you get the picture – and it's no surprise to see that graduates enjoy such good career prospects.
Q: Is there something you would like to share with the graduating students as they embark upon their journey?
First and foremost, I would like to ask them to drive safely, there’s nothing like honoring the ‘law!’
This is an exciting time for them, law is one of the world's traditional professions, pursue it and be prepared for a life of comfortable respectability.