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A Love Letter to Philadelphia

  From the Balkans to Latin America to Canada: Temple Law gave Safo Musta LLM ’02 her passport to the world. I will never forget the first time I set my eyes on Philly’s skyline. I was in a cab, exhausted and sleepless from a long flight, five thousand miles away from my hometown of Tirana, alone and nervous at the thought of the unknown ahead of me. Then the lights of a great city emerged in the distance. I felt as if I was thrown on the set of ″Philadelphia,‶ a legal drama from 1993, the only reference I had at the time to a city that would soon become very dear to me. The view before my eyes was stunning. An air of excitement filled my lungs. It was love at first sight. I arrived in Philly in August of 2001 to pursue an LL.M. in American and International Law at Temple Law School, a dream made possible thanks to the prestigious Ron Brown scholarship program of the US Department of Education for …

Building the Rule of Law in Albania

When I entered law school in my native Albania, at the tender age of 18, I had strong idealistic beliefs. I began my legal studies as a mission, but, like almost all young idealists, I faced disappointment after confronting the systemic corruption in the Albanian justice system. To avoid that corruption as much as possible, I steered away from both public administration and litigation. I then directed my efforts into the private sector and commercial law. This later became my focus in the Master of Laws for Foreign-Trained Lawyers (LLM) program at Temple University Beasley School of Law. I very much enjoying living in Philadelphia, while attending classes as part of the Temple intensive English (IELP) and LLM programs. Living and studying abroad changes one on so many levels. I will never forget the extraordinary professors; their use of the Socratic method differs so greatly from higher education practices back home. The engagement with professors and students, both in and out of the classroom, shapes one’s thinking and presents challenges with far-reaching effects. My Temple …

Temple Law Spotlight: Beijing LLM alum, Zhao Jianwei BJLLM ’03

In July 2021, Henan, China was suffering from severe rainstorms. Houses were flooded, roads turned into rivers, and public transportation was destroyed. Many civilians were stranded in the middle of the flood, with no water, electricity, or internet. Zhao Jianwei, a 2003 alumnus from Temple’s Beijing LL.M. program and appellate court judge in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, responded right away to the disaster. Judge Zhao used to be an outdoor rescue team leader, so when he heard about hundreds of civilians awaiting rescue, he picked up his rescue equipment and drove straight to the disaster zone with his colleagues. Soon after he left home, the road was blocked by the floodwaters, making it impossible to drive a car. Zhao unloaded his kayak and let the passengers sit in it, while he was pushing the kayak in the water. When Zhao reached Kangzhuang village, the rescue team was already in action with motorboats. However, due to the complex alleys and roadblocks, the motorboats were unable to reach the center of the district. With no time …

Reflections on AIDS Awareness Month and the Case for Public Health Law Research

As we observe AIDS Awareness month this December, we find ourselves looking back on the most challenging year from a public health perspective in at least a century. The current pandemic places all of us at the direct crossroads of public policy and public health in a daily reality unrivaled in most of our previous experience. Thinking about the impact of school and business closures, restrictions on gatherings and travel, mask mandates, and how to distribute vaccines highlight just a few of the law and policy responses we now interact with to keep ourselves and each other safe. As we pause each year to recognize those living with HIV, and remember those lost to AIDS, the condition caused by the virus, we must also remember that we suffer many of those losses, especially the early ones, because of the original failures of the public health response to the HIV epidemic. These failures included but are not limited to a minimization of the government’s role in public health response and related delays to address the spread …

Spring Semester in Japan – Experience It for Yourself

Hi, my name is Christina Snyder. I graduated from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in 2013, the Beasley School of Law at Temple in 2018 and I am currently pursuing my Tax LLM at Temple Law. Safe to say I love Temple and Philadelphia. However, during my spring 2018 semester I found a new love, Japan. I had the opportunity to participate in the Temple Law School Study Abroad program at their Temple University Japan campus for my last semester of law school. Although nervous about living in a foreign country with a very different language and culture the staff at Temple Law School (both campuses) assured me everything would go great and boy, were they right. Although I was there to study I had the time of my life. Education didn’t happen just in the classroom. Most of the classes are held one day a week in the evenings. This left plenty of time for traveling, exploring and eating. The law program arranged a number of group trips including a sumo …

The Temple Law Rome Program – An Unconventional Law School Experience

“So, what are you doing this summer?” Every law school student hears this question regularly. Traditional answers include working as a research assistant, a judicial clerk, or a summer associate, and each of these experiences is unique and valuable. However, during my first year of law school, my answer to that question was an unconventional one. I studied abroad in Rome through the Temple Law Rome program. A number of factors contributed to my decision to go to Rome; I had always been interested in studying abroad and my closest friends were enrolled in the program. But in hindsight, this program delivered more benefits than I anticipated at the time of enrollment. For me, Temple Law Rome provided valuable insights that I used in job interviews and enabled me to really get to know my Temple Law professors. I spent my afternoons and evenings strolling through the city streets, periodically taking breaks to grab a cappuccino or a slice of pizza. The number of attractions to see in Rome is astonishing—the Forum, the Coliseum, the …

More Than Volunteering

If you asked me five years ago if I ever saw myself completing a marathon, the answer would have been a stern no. Despite the fact that I loved team sports, I never considered myself a runner. However, this fall, when two students told me they wanted to complete the Philadelphia Full Marathon their senior year, I could not say no; I was their running mentor after all. Students Run Philly Style (SRPS) is a nonprofit organization that provides youth with mentorship, training, and opportunities to run nationally-recognized races without cost. SRPS encourages kids to “run” the streets instead of being consumed by the violence often found in their neighborhoods. I became involved with SRPS in the fall of 2016 while I was still a high school English teacher. Within three months, alongside four of my students, I was crossing the finish line of my first half marathon. Since then, we have completed the Philadelphia Half Marathon a second time, the Broad Street 10-miler twice, countless other informal races, and most recently, the 2018 Philadelphia …

Circle of Law School Life: A Love Letter To Mentors

There is a small gem of a coffee shop tucked away on a side street in Center City named Elixr. I have been there twice: once in my first semester of law school, and once last week. Afterward, I posted this on Facebook: A friend commented that we could appropriately cue music from The Lion King. Though I graduated knowing how much I owe my Temple Law mentors for all their support and guidance, my Owl pride has amplified in the past few weeks as I started my job at the Defender Association. Many of our trainers were my former professors or internship supervisors, such as Temple Law Owl Marissa Boyers-Bluestine (TLAW ’95), who is the Executive Director of the PA Innocence Project, and Director of Advocacy/Famed Evidence Professor Jules Epstein. Part of my training even included a presentation from Kevin Harden (TLAW ‘10) about the importance of networking and mentorship. When I sat down to interview my first client, I realized my mentor Paul Messing (TLAW ’73) had represented him 15 years ago. I …