Aimed at blending academic studies with practical insights into Qatar’s legal landscape, the College of Law and Public Policy (CLPP) of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has succeeded in helping students complete internships in institutions that ultimately seek to bridge the gap between the academe and the industry.

CLPP was established in 2015 under HBKU. Its Juris Doctor (JD) programme is the only one of its kind in the MENA region.

Fatimah Rahim, a JD student at CLPP, recently embarked on a three-month professional internship at the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Regulatory Authority. Each year, JD students are able to secure prestigious internships across various industries in the local and international market, extending their academic experience beyond theory-based classroom discussions in order to grasp the law’s practical significance across most professional disciplines.

Rahim is just one of 13 students at CLPP who have secured internships with prestigious organisations across the country. The innovative postgraduate law degree prepares students to create wide-ranging contribution within their future fields of business through its transnational comparative legal premise. Her internship at one of Qatar’s premier institutions in the fields of finance and business allowed her access into the day-to-day life of a legal policy expert.

In line with Qatar’s economic diversification strategy, QFC is a cornerstone national institution that has been dealing with foreign investment, banking, insurance and other financial services since its establishment in 2005. Its primary focus on the legal and tax environment is supplemented by its sub-entities: the QFC Authority, QFC Regulatory Authority, and the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre.

Speaking to how her postgraduate education complemented her internship experience, Rahim said that while each QFC entity is closely related with a different aspect of the law, its general legal framework is grounded on English common law due to extensive commercial dealings with foreign investors. CLPP’s curriculum effectively equips students with transferable skills with far-reaching implications that extend beyond any single legal system, which made it easier for students to navigate their way in a new environment.

My typical day at the internship was well-structured, but demanding at the same time. For instance, during my time with the Policy Enforcement Division, I would sit in on departmental meetings, shadow department members and create analysis reports on topics such as new policy implementation. Having direct access to experts in the field made this a unique and accelerated learning experience.’

CLPP’s framework ascribes to innovative teaching methods that include real-market insights through internship placements and collaborative events with local industry leaders.

While my studies made me well-versed in the theoretical framework of legal principles, case studies and provisions, my daily work at a vibrant commercial centre such as QFC brought the law to life, particularly within the context of legal business dimensions such as dispute resolution, corporate tax models, and profit repatriation.’

Rahim’s confident and proactive approach makes her an effective advocate for her professional development as well as judicial vocation, which she is set to pursue upon her graduation from HBKU later this year. With its world-class faculty, unparalleled research facilities and regionally-pertinent issues, the JD programme at CLPP prepares the young generation of thought-leaders, such as Rahim, for their place within the collective framework of Qatar National Vision 2030.

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