The opportunity to do something you loved during childhood doesn't always become reality, but for Middlesex Dubai graduate Laureen Fredah, her dream of becoming a lawyer has materialised after passing the New York Bar Exam and being accepted to the New York State Bar
A law graduate has said the opportunities, mentorship and support provided during her studies at Middlesex University Dubai have helped her achieve a life-long dream of being accepted to the New York State Bar.
Laureen Fredah, who graduated with the first cohort of the University's LLB programme in 2017, said she had always hoped to pursue a career in the legal profession.
“I knew I wanted to be a lawyer as far as I can remember. As a young child, I was always advocating for one thing or the other,” she explained.
While her initial studies led her to instead begin a career working in the aviation industry as cabin crew for the UAE airline Emirates, Laureen still dreamt of pursuing her initial passion of becoming a lawyer and began researching ways she could juggle her job while studying for a future in the legal profession.
“I have always wanted to study Law and at exactly the time when Middlesex University Dubai launched its Law Programme, I had decided to finally enrol for an LLB (a three-year UK qualifying Bachelor of Law degree). The options that were available in the region at the time were all online courses, which is still the case. These were not ideal as I wanted a full-time, face-to-face kind of experience.
“Working and living in Dubai, I needed to get the kind of education I knew would be perfect for me right here in Dubai. MDX Dubai happened to be the only University that was offering exactly what I needed, an English common law degree with full-time study. It was perfect.”
This meant Laureen could finally realise the dreams she had harboured from childhood.
“I have wanted this since I was a little girl and even when life did not go as straight as I had planned, I always wanted to come back to my first love - the legal profession.”
Combining full-time studies alongside her career with the UAE airline was demanding, says Laureen, but was aided by hard work, determination - and the support of the University’s faculty.
“It was challenging just like anything else juggled with work," she said. “The only motivation was how much I have wanted this and how far I had come to finally pursue it.
“I had worked hard at getting my Law degree - and not even work would stand in my way. I planned, used my leave days at work for the exam period, used my off days for lectures, put in extra work on the weekends so as to accumulate some days in the week for lectures; my whole life rotated around manoeuvring work and school.
“This was not easy but it was all worth it. Most importantly, my lecturers were very supportive. They gave me constructive feedback, entertained my questions, provided out of class explanations and were always available and ready to be of any assistance. They were the best support structure throughout my three years.”
The three years of support and hard work finally paid off in 2017, when Laureen, alongside 34 others, all of them students of the first LLB cohort at Middlesex University Dubai, graduated with a Law degree. With her LLB from Middlesex University Dubai, she was able to study for and sit the New York Bar Exam which she successfully passed and was then admitted to the New York State Board of Law in 2019. She is now allowed to practice as a fully qualified lawyer in the State of New York in the United States.
“Graduation and being admitted to the Bar is just the beginning of a new chapter in my life,” explained Laureen. “I am looking forward to finally start reaping the rewards from all the hard work.
“It is a period to start looking for legal opportunities and finally putting all the theory into practice.”
Laureen said she could not have realised her dream without the encouragement of her Law lecturers; and said - even post-graduation - the support system at Middlesex University Dubai continues to help her today.
"I am grateful that even after graduation, MDX is still supportive of all our next endeavours; be it job searching or assistance in furthering our education, the University is continuous of assistance and ready to help.”
Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of Middlesex University Dubai congratulated Laureen and said: “Laureen is a shining example of how dreams, determination and diligence can lead to success. It is a testament to the years of hard work invested by her and is a shining example of combining an excellent academic degree at Middlesex University Dubai with a top class Professional qualification ”.
Middlesex University Dubai is the first overseas campus of the internationally renowned Middlesex University in London. The campus, which opened in January 2005, has more than 3,500 students from over 100 nationalities and offers foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in a wide variety of subject areas.