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Tel Aviv University Int’l LL.M. program seeks top students worldwide

TAUi’s world-renowned 10-month program is taught entirely in English. Watch an info session and learn how to register for Fall 2022.

Laila Wenzlaff, an aspiring German attorney who had studied at Heidelberg University, wanted to branch out into public international law. India’s Shardool Kulkarni, a litigator before the Bombay High Court, hoped to acquire some real-life education beyond textbooks and academia.

Wenzlaff and Kulkarni, both 25, turned to the Parasol Foundation International LL.M Program at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann Faculty of Law—an innovative curriculum established in 2013 that now offers more than 50 classes, seminars and workshops taught entirely in English.

“Our program is unique,” said admissions manager Orit Gontmaher. “We have a wide range of classes that international students have the opportunity to take. They can follow a general track or choose to specialize in international human rights, law and technology, or business and law.”

The 10-month program, which requires a previous law degree and English language proficiency, “explores contemporary challenges to law that stem from the processes of globalization, technological innovation and entrepreneurial dynamism, both local and global,” says its website.

The law and technology track focuses on the legal aspects of big data, artificial intelligence and the Startup Nation, with courses on intellectual property rights, cybersecurity and related issues.

The business law track, meanwhile, covers the fundamentals of business strategy catered to a legal audience. Course curricula are drawn from business law as well as the MBA progtams of leading schools abroad, with courses on startup financing and governance, shareholder activism, issues in competition law, and negotiations in the technology industry.

This year’s cohort of seventeen students includes future lawyers from Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany, India, the United States and elsewhere. Of the seventeen, six are in the international human rights track.

Some students have previous ties to the Jewish state, others don’t. In Wenzlaff’s case, her father had studied in Israel, and her mother had volunteered as an au pair there years ago.

“We have had so many interesting classes, on subjects like international armed conflict, legal theory, and philosophy,” she said. “We have, for instance, a course on global governance and human rights. It’s about the development of international law and how it emerged.”

On March 21, law professor Hila Shamir will host a webinar titled “Human Trafficking: Combatting a Global Phenomenon.” The panel—which is free and open to all students interested in the LL.M. program as well as those with a previous law degree—is a good example of how the program incorporates current events as well as theory.

“We have had many extra sessions on the conflict in Ukraine,” Wenzlaff said, adding that a big topic now is Ukraine’s genocide claim against Russia before the International Court of Justice. “Many professors have changed their schedules in order to talk about this war and its legal implications. That’s what being a lawyer is about—not just reading books but applying the law.”

Wenzlaff, who’s already been in Israel for half a year, plans to stay five more months. She particularly enjoys the field trips that are part of the curriculum. In February, the group did a two-day adventure through Israel’s coastal north, exploring an Arab-Israeli fishing village, one of Israel’s largest Kibbutzim, and Arbel National Park and Nature Reserve. And in a few weeks, the group plans another trip, this one to Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Kulkarni, a 2019 graduate of the University of Mumbai’s five-year law program, said he heard about the Parasol Foundation’s LL.M. program from a friend in India who done the program.

“My core interest has always been constitutional law and human rights, but I didn’t want to have only a theoretical, purely academic perspective,” Kulkarni said. “Tel Aviv University is quite reputable internationally, but what really made me select this program was that—in contrast to others—this one integrates perspectives from legal theory, comparative constitutional law and legal history, which you don’t commonly find in LL.M. programs.”

To register for the program, please click here. The deadline for applicants is March 31.

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