Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Faculty Feature: Teresa Farah

This spring, International Transactional Attorney and University of Arkansas School of Law Adjunct Professor Teresa Farah, returned to teach the Law of International Contracting. Having taught courses in International Finance, International Business Transactions, and International Contracting since the spring of 2010, her students have consistently benefited from Farah's twenty-plus years' experience in international business. Accomplishments that were recognized by the American Bar Association selecting her as one of ten Legal Rebels, an award which in 2010 recognized solo practicioners with innovative and interesting practices.
In May, Farah will travel to Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania to speak at the International Scientific Conference presenting a lecture on Ethical Issues for the Lawyer in International Negotiations. She will also teach two courses and will be blogging about her experience here.
 Professor Farah's remarkable biography is below.
 Teresa Farah is an international transactional attorney who has worked in international business for over twenty years. She currently runs her own international legal practice, TM Farah Law Firm, Inc., out of NW Arkansas. In her practice, she advises clients who are interested in growing their business globally or who already have a global presence. She renders services to clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to governments as well as small to medium size enterprises.
Prior to establishing her own practice, Teresa worked in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for seven years, both in private practice as well as for the government of Dubai.
While in Dubai, she was the Founder and General Counsel of The Executive Office, which is the private office of the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In her capacity as General Counsel, Teresa managed the legal requirements of all entities under the authority of The Executive Office of the government of Dubai, which included but was not limited to: Dubai Development and Investment Authority (the investment authority for the government of Dubai); the Dubai Mercantile Exchange; Dubai International Capital, LLC (private equity and investment firm); Dubai Energy Limited; Dubai Healthcare City (a 4.1 million square foot healthcare free zone); Dubai Industrial City; Dubailand, LLC (a multi-billion dollar, 3 billion square foot development with over 200 real estate, leisure and theme projects); Jumeirah, LLC (a luxury hotel and hospitality group, which owns/manages Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Essex House in New York and Carlton Tower in London); Dubai School of Government; and Dubai Humanitarian City.
During her tenure with the Dubai government, she was the lead counsel representing the government of Dubai in numerous joint ventures between the government and multinationals as well as Fortune 500 companies, inclusive of the following transactions: joint venture between the government of Dubai and New York Mercantile Exchange, creating the Dubai Mercantile Exchange; joint venture between Dubai Healthcare City and Harvard Medical International; and collaboration between the government of Dubai and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to create the Dubai School of Government.
She served on the Board of Directors for the Dubai Mercantile Exchange and for the Dubai Healthcare City.
Prior to working in Dubai, Teresa worked as an international trade consultant for Xenel Industries, Ltd., a multi-billion dollar Saudi corporation involved in global trade, transportation, petrochemicals, infrastructure development, healthcare and investments.
Teresa started working in international business in Washington, D.C. as the Trade Dispute Director for the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce. In this position, Teresa developed, implemented and managed a trade dispute reconciliation service in which she mediated commercial disputes between U.S. companies and Arab companies, recovering millions of dollars for clients. She advised U.S. clients on foreign investment regulations in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait; Islamic halal certification; international shipping; and industrial regulatory requirements for Arab countries. She also developed an arbitration service in conjunction with outside legal counsel.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Matlock Keynote Speaker at International Conference on Challenges of Sustainable Agriculture

The article below is a reposting of a UA Newswire story on Marty Matlock, professor of ecological engineering at the University of Arkansas. View the original story here.
Marty Matlock, professor of ecological engineering at the University of Arkansas, presented the keynote address at the 4th Global Feed and Food Congress April 10 in Sun City, South Africa. 
Matlock’s presentation, “The role of animal agriculture in feeding 10 billion people sustainably,” was part of a three-part session focused on meeting sustainability challenges.  
“The challenges, opportunities and potential risks related to sustainable agricultural production are a direct result of competing land uses,” Matlock said. “Agricultural production, including crops, pasture and grazing, currently utilize more than 40 percent of the Earth's surface. In order for global agricultural producers to meet the increasing demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel, while at the same time reducing inputs and impacts, we must use every tool currently available in our collective tool box and continue to develop innovative tools that address emerging problems in an efficient, earth-friendly manner. Our future success is dependent on what we do today.” 
Marty Matlock is a professor in the biological and agricultural engineering department at the U of A, serves as executive director for the university’s Office for Sustainability and is area director for the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability.
 Novus International, Inc. of St. Louis, a global leader in developing animal health and nutrition solutions, sponsored Matlock’s appearance at the conference.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Free International University of Moldova Expresses its Gratitude

On Monday, April 8th, Professor Christopher Kelley travelled to Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, to teach a Negotiation Skills workshop at the Free International University of Moldova. Professor Kelley was welcomed to Moldova through the support of the Center for International Cooperation, which organizes regular events on campus for students, faculty, and staff. The workshop was a success, said Center officials, providing "a significant contribution to the internationalization of our students...[and] an important experience for them to learn from such a remarkable specialist." The ULIM posted a news release recently on their website about Professor Kelley's visit. 

The School of Law has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with the Free International University of Moldova thanks to Professor Kelley, who served as a Fulbright Scholar in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova in 2011. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Transnational Negotiation Course to be offered in Kyiv

UA School of Law Professor Christopher Kelley, Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine (2005) will be traveling back to Kyiv once again to teach a two-credit course in Transnational Negotiation. The course will offer current UA law students an opportunity to develop cross-cultural negotiation skills in an international setting.

 The course will take place over the fall break, and will be hosted by the Law Faculty of the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, Ukraine. Shevchenko has been ranked one of Ukraine's greatest universities, arguably the greatest. It is known for it's splendid, iconic red building across from Taras Shevchenko Park.

The University which is named for an iconic Ukrainian poet and artist, has a fascinating history beginning with it's establishment in 1834. Students will negotiate with Shevchenko law students, and visit many of Kyiv's cultural and historical landmarks.Enrollment for this unique course is limited. Interested students should contact Professor Christopher Kelley by email at .

Friday, April 5, 2013

Prof Kelley Leads One-of-a-kind International Experience in Belarus

Seven University of Arkansas School of Law students got a unique hands-on experience in international law when they traveled to Minsk, Belarus, as part of a course on Transnational Negotiation.

The two-credit-hour course is taught by Professor Christopher Kelley, an expert in international law and emerging legal systems in Eastern Europe, and included a week-long trip over spring break to Belarusian State University in Minsk, paid for by the students. There the American students teamed up with Belarusian law students to engage in negotiation exercises. When not in the classroom, students were invited to meet with Belarusian ministry officials and tour cultural sites.

“This is a unique opportunity in that no American law students have ever been invited to study like this in a group in Belarus before,” Kelley said. Kelley was the first American Law Professor to lecture at Belarusian State University’s law program, lecturing in English on legal writing and negotiation.

“When I did the legal writing class, I asked the Dean if he’d be open to a broader program where American and Belarusian law students could work together, and it grew from there,” he said.

Kelley took on the enormous logistical task of obtaining travel visas for his students and structuring a class around transnational negotiation.

“I’ve done similar trips before – last year I took law students to Moldova – but that was more about comparative law and the students’ own individual legal interests, and it wasn’t the same sort of structured program that we’re doing now,” he said.

While study abroad programs are popular with undergraduate students, lengthy summer abroad programs tend to be less popular in law school because law students traditionally take summer legal jobs instead. The University of Arkansas School of Law offers a summer-long study opportunity in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as a joint summer program at Cambridge University in England with the University of Mississippi. By offering a week-long study abroad trip, Kelley condensed as much learning as possible into a short period of time.

“It can be hard to get a student to commit to a full summer abroad, especially if you’re looking at a legal career and you’re not sure you want to focus on international law,” he said. “This course with a shorter trip gives students a taste of international law and still leaves their summer free for work or a longer international program.”

Third year law student Andrew “Whit” Cox, who attended the School of Law’s St. Petersburg program in Russia, was a fan of Kelley’s approach. “The negotiations aspect of the course was a great move by Professor Kelley,” he said. “It allowed for much more in class interaction with the Belarusian students than the lectures in the St. Petersburg program.”

“We spent nearly all day, every day in the classroom. Our students have taken practical courses in negotiation, but the Belarusian students had not, so in addition to me doing some lecturing, we paired our students with Belarusian students on negotiation teams. It wasn’t an ‘us vs. them’ set up. Our students were actively engaged with the Belarusian students, which allowed them both to practice and to guide and teach,” Kelley explained.

“All of the students in the course spoke English but some were better at it than others,” second-year law student Angela May said. “So not only were we working on negotiations, we also helped the students who weren’t so strong in English understand what the issue(s) were and in a sense taught helped them with their English skills.”

The in-class exercises gave Arkansas and Belarusian students a chance to interact on a more personal level than is typical in many classes.

“I think this course was unique because the class created interaction, through legal education, with foreign students. The practical exercises that we engaged in with the students from Belarus taught me not only a lot about myself as an individual and American, but also a lot about others,” third-year law student Nick Alexander said. “One student said it all, “we are all people.” I think this theme sums it all up. It was fascinating to see the similarities in negotiating styles between everyone. I was surprised to learn that the students were more alike in their goals than not.”

“My favorite part of the trip was the exchange with the Belarusian students both in class during negotiations and after class when they took us to some of their favorite local joints,” said Cox. “On Thursday night we bought dinner and drinks for the Belarusian students at a traditional Belarusian restaurant to show our appreciation for the wonderful hosts that they were. It was truly a great trip filled with cultural exchange and diplomacy. Professor Kelley did an excellent job of putting this program together.”

Nearly all of the students who attended already had international experience through personal travel, but jumped at the chance to broaden their horizons further.

“I lived in Australia for two years as a missionary for my church, and I was interested in international law before this trip,” said law student Paul Pellegrini. “I’m definitely still interested in a career in international law after going to Belarus. Belarus was amazing!”

The experience furthered a desire to practice internationally for most participants.

“I have always been interested in the international aspects of business and law and someday I hope to live and work abroad,” May said. “Being in Belarus has enhanced my desire to work in international law.”

Alexander added, “I have always considered a career in international law and this course has strongly reaffirmed that desire.”

“I firmly believe that there is a need for lawyers in all areas of the world,” said third year law student Ben Barnett. “Everyone has the same human desires, and if you can help them achieve those, then your services will always be in demand.”

Professor Kelleys' various international law course offerings are available to interested LL.M. students as well as the J.D. students.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The School of Law launches the Accelerated J.D. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program

Last fall, the University of Arkansas School of Law announced plans to launch an Accelerated J.D. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers. The program would seek to recruit a small number of qualified foreign attorney's who wished to further their legal education in the U.S.

With the support of the Faculty, Staff, and Administration, the Accelerated J.D. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers was successfully launched, and will welcome its first candidates in the Fall of 2013.  The program grew out of an increasing desire for foreign attorney's to blend their legal education obtained in their home country, with the curriculum offered in a traditional U.S.- based Juris Doctor course of study.

The School of Law has been fortunate to experience the unique perspectives brought to the classroom from previous international law students, particularly within the renowned LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law. In fact, the LL.M. Alumni have been a vocal support group advocating for programs like the Accelerated J.D., and have been instrumental in recruiting the first group of accelerated candidates. Among the benefits offered to accelerated candidates, is the ability to transfer in a number of credits from a students previous legal coursework outside of the U.S. into their Juris Doctor program, thus "accelerating" the time required to finish their degree. In addition, successful completion of the Juris Doctor degree will satisfy the degree requirement for eligibility to sit for the bar examination in any state in the U.S.

 Keeping the program small  has been the at the forefront of the planning and structure of the program, and will be reflected in the recruitment and matriculation of only the most qualified students. The program will be administered under the direction of Don Judges; Associate Dean for Graduate and Experiential Learning and E.J. Ball Professor of Law. Dean Judges will serve along with several members of the Law School Faculty, on the Graduate Legal Studies Committee, the committee that will ultimately make the decisions regarding admissions. We are looking forward to welcoming our first group of accelerated candidates, and will be posting updates, as well as student biographies here in the near future.