A proud moment for all, a shock to none: Nour Bou Abboud (BA’19) graduated from Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) with a Bachelor of Laws in 2019, and recently scored the highest national standing in the Lebanese Bar. On Wednesday, July 6, Nour returned to NDU to meet with University President, Fr. Bechara Khoury, where he congratulated her on her exceptional achievement in the presence of the Council of Deans.
Fr. Khoury expressed his pride at Nour’s success, commending her efforts and the sincerity with which she approaches her vocation: “It is always a special moment when our Alumni set out to put their education to the test, and Nour is proof that there is little standing in our way in rearing excellent graduates. As a Family here at NDU, it is a great reward watching our students and graduates prosper.”
Following her academic career at NDU, Nour went on to receive her master’s degree from Sagesse University. She owes her success in her post-graduate studies and ranking in the Bar exam to NDU’s Law program, which, in addition to the standard Lebanese law taught in all curricula in the country, dedicates a significant portion to introducing the students to Anglo-Saxon and common law. “This provides an additional cultural perspective,” said Nour. She continues: “At NDU, they were able to adapt the program to include a comprehensive theoretical structure that enables students to apply to any official exam.”
Nour speaks fondly of her time at the University, calling her years here “the best phase of [her] life.” She hopes that as an Alumna, she can still be part of NDU in a certain capacity, with the goal of eventually giving lectures. Given her status as a fresh graduate and her experience in the legal field, “I now know the work requirements and what you are expected to achieve on a practical level, so it would be beneficial to teach students what to target when they enter the work force,” she explained.
On the topic of practicing law in Lebanon, in a country undergoing economic unrest and general instability, Nour conveyed a certain personal responsibility as part of the generation that will inherit the legal system. She refers to being a lawyer as an idealistic profession, “so of course it is a challenge to study law in a country where, in many ways, the law is misused or neglected.”
However, aware that although significant and systematic change cannot be accomplished alone, Nour believes in doing her part and holding herself accountable in her work: “I did not study law for the sake of studying law, but because there is something I want to accomplish, a mission to fulfil. . . . A lot of people decide not to pursue a legal career because they see the discrepancy between what is taught in the classroom and the reality of the field.” She still holds out hope that a better legal practice is possible, though, despite these obstacles.
Nour is keeping her options open for the time being, choosing to take things day by day as she builds her career. “I used to be the kind of person to set long-term plans, but I learned, especially in Lebanon, that this is not a sustainable option,” she laughed. “I’m leaving it up to God. So for now, I’m going to work and see where that leads me.”
A refreshing and inspiring perspective from an Alumna who rose to the top of the ranks in the Bar is a great thing to witness. With Nour’s integrity and vigor for reform, there is not a shadow of a doubt that the Lebanese youth are capable of handling whatever the future sends their way. Congratulations to Nour from your NDU Family and we wish you all the best.