Dr. Shamini Ragavan’s love for the law began some 20 years ago when she started her career as a barrister in Malaysia specialising in civil litigation. Since then, she has taken on the mantle of a solicitor in England, followed by teaching and consulting stints at UK universities.
Today, she shares her distinctive expertise at Birmingham Law School’s Centre for Employability, Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER). “I was appointed as the Head of CEPLER in 2019 when the LLM in International Commercial Law was first rolled out in Dubai,” says Ragavan.
At the University of Birmingham (UOB) Dubai, she leads the law school’s efforts to help students forge successful legal careers. Her secret? Community. “As Head of CEPLER, I developed the CEPLER brand here in the UAE, which has grown exponentially since 2019,” she explains.
“I have been engaging with local legal communities and creating internship opportunities for my students. Annual visits to the DIFC courts (an independent English language common law judiciary based in the Dubai International Financial Centre) are planned to help students understand the Dubai legal market, whilst also inviting external guest speakers from the legal industry to speak to the students.”
This is just a snippet of the many exciting opportunities for students — mainly qualified lawyers working full-time in legal practice — to explore. Ragavan knows this as she has seen the impact of excellent legal education on legal professionals.
“The most fulfilling aspect of being part of the LLM programme is the feedback we have received from our LLM students on the excellent quality of teaching they received and how it translates to their career growth and progression,” she shares. “I get choked up simply by watching them graduate, and that is the single most satisfying feeling I get in this role.”
This sentiment was echoed by Dilyara Davletmuratova, who pursued the LLM in International Commercial Law. “I could say that I developed my drafting skills, especially academic drafting skills, which is a very important skill for lawyers. In addition to that, analytical and self-learning skills. All of these are very useful in my career,” she explains.
Upon graduation, Davletmuratova continued to apply the knowledge and experience she gained in Dubai during her day-to-day work as an in-house lawyer.
Why UOB Dubai LLM graduates stand out in the legal industry
Davletmuratova is one of many success stories you’ll hear from UOB Dubai’s LLM programmes. Many graduates embark on careers across the globe with multinational companies; some have even made their mark in the UK Home Office, Pinsent Masons LLP, HSBC, and Vodafone.
Employers are impressed by UOB Dubai graduates for many reasons. Their degree is from an institution ranked among the top 100 universities globally – evidence of one’s ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment.
Likewise, graduates of the four LLM pathways (LLM in Energy and Environmental Law, LLM General, LLM in International Commercial Law, LLM in International Dispute Resolution) have qualities that are much-needed in an increasingly global workforce — drive, diversity, the ability to work in a team, and cultural awareness.
Values like these are synonymous with the skills Ragavan aspires for students to develop to stand out in the legal sector: excellent communication, creative problem-solving, and critical analytical skills.
Preparing for life beyond university
Outside the classroom, students can put their legal knowledge and newfound skills to the test by participating in CV workshops, external guest speaker sessions and various webinars. These activities train students to position themselves better in the legal market — all of which will benefit their future careers.
They are also given access to all CEPLER events on the UK campus, allowing them to enjoy the best of both worlds, so students receive a rich and rewarding experience.
That’s not all. Dubai is a young and exciting city known for its diversity, friendliness and dynamic economy. In this, UOB Dubai graduates sit in the heart of an interconnected pro-business hub between the East and West. Like the university, this city is filled with opportunities and plenty of career options for talented graduates.
To level up your law career with an LLM, check out what the University of Birmingham Dubai offers here.
Follow the University of Birmingham Dubai on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.