AUWCL Announces Dual Degree Program in Azerbaijan

Program Will Strengthen Partnership Between AUWCL and ADA University School of Law in Baku, Azerbaijan

American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) is deepening its commitment to diversifying academic access, advancing international law, and promoting global justice. To further these goals, the International and Comparative Legal Studies Program at AUWCL is expanding its partnership with ADA University School of Law in Baku, Azerbaijan to offer a dual-degree program. 

International and Comparative Law Faculty members with ADA University leadership and US Ambassador to Azerbaijan.

The new dual-degree program, offering a Bachelor of Law and an LLM, will follow a 3+1 exchange structure. Participants will spend three years studying at ADA University, followed by a fourth year at AUWCL. 

Padideh Ala’i, the director of the International and Comparative Legal Studies at AUWCL, and Fernanda Ellenberg, associate director of the International Legal Studies program were joined by professors Jamie Abrams, Stephen Wermiel, and Jeff Lubbers, as well as Adeen Postar, director of the Pence Law Library, traveled to ADA University to celebrate the new program and discuss the next steps such as building a law library at ADA University and strengthening legal research and writing, administrative law, experiential education and other areas at ADA Law School. 

“These are exciting times to be an international and transnational lawyer,” Ala’i said in her remarks.  “I believe Azerbaijan has an important role to play given your position between the East and West and intellectual potential and history.  International law should no longer be just for US or European lawyers to dominate and create. It is your turn now. Take it.”

According to U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mark Libby, the new dual degree program strengthens the partnership between ADA and AUWCL, fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas.

(from left to right) Adeen Postar, Padideh Ala'i, Stephen Wermeil, and Jamie Abrams in Baku, Azerbaijan.

"I was honored to be present at the launch of this joint initiative between ADA and AUWCL," Ambassador Libby said. "Such collaborations are instrumental in enriching academic discourse and building bridges between our communities. A strong foundation in law and a well-educated legal profession are essential cornerstones of any free and democratic society."

Ala’i noted that programs like the one between AUWCL and ADA University are important for developing the next cadre of international lawyers.

“A good international lawyer must first have an excellent grasp of one legal system so that he or she can then learn about others,” she said. “They need to have some comparative understanding and understanding the role of transnational legal order.”

Ala’i hopes partnerships like the one between AUWCL and ADA University will have a lasting impact not only on the lawyers who participate in the program but also on the world as a whole.

Adeen Postar (left) and Padideh Ala'i (right) in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“I believe this is an opportunity for young lawyers who can think out of the box and have a global vision and education that can understand the role of law in different systems through their work in government, private sector, and civil society to bridge differences and help create a new international legal order that addresses our common challenges.”

Click here to see more photos from the faculty trip to Azerbaijan.

~ Story by Brice Helms