Former Nigeria prosecutor’s LLM year features US practice experience

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Among the many talented foreign-trained lawyers set to earn Georgia Law’s Master of Laws (LLM) degree this month is Gladys Ashiru, who arrived with considerable experience as a prosecutor in Nigeria. She’s enriched this experience this year: in addition to her academic studies and a professional development trip, Gladys has worked as a volunteer prosecutor here in Athens.

Having immigrated to the United States, Gladys chose to put her career back on track by pursuing an LLM at Georgia Law. She says she was impressed by the collegiality she encountered during a visit to campus, and swayed by LLM graduates who spoke glowingly of their experience here.

Gladys’ strong interest in criminal law prompted Laura Tate Kagel, our Center’s Director of International Professional Education, to connect her with the Athens-based Office of the District Attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit, whose staff includes a number of Georgia Law alums. Assistant District Attorney Paige Otwell (JD 88) became Gladys’ mentor and introduced her to District Attorney Ken Mauldin (JD 80). After Gladys enrolled in Mauldin’s Spring 2016 Trial Practice course, he offered her the opportunity to observe and help out in the D.A.’s office. With the semester now at an end, Gladys recounts:

“It was an amazing experience for me. The internship broadened my horizons and exposed me to perspectives different from mine, especially in areas relating to jury selection and trials.”

After commencement on May 21, Ashiru plans to take the Georgia and New York bar exams, and also hopes to contribute to legal reform in Nigeria. Although she says that Georgia Law was challenging, she also found it rewarding, and calls it

“the best choice I made!”

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