Name: Yasmin Zohar
Law School: the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya
- Where is home? What is it famous for?
I lived in Israel for almost all my life in a city near Tel-Aviv. Although my country is known around the world as a war zone where people ride camels, it is actually a very warm place with great people, great food, sun and beaches and all you can ask for in a small place in the Middle East.
- You came from a family of artists. Your grandfather was a painter, your grandmother is a goldsmith and your family is the heir of the well known Parisian artist Joseph Constant. What made you decide to pursue a career in law than in art?
From the first argument I had with my mom as a kid she said I would be a good lawyer. I have always wanted to be a lawyer and art to me was always more of an interest than aspiration. I love my work and I enjoy working as a lawyer, analyzing my cases, trying to find the best solutions for my clients and learning new ways to do that. Art has a big part in my life but it takes place on my walls rather than in my day to day life.
- Why did you choose Duke for your LLM?
Duke gave me the opportunity to study with a rather small but very unique and diverse group of people, to take courses from great professors and to do all that in a very unique, a little bit southern, different atmosphere which for an experienced lawyer seemed much more interesting than any other big American city university.
- What are your favorite memories of Duke?
Although there were difficult times, my days at Duke will without doubt be remembered as one of the best experiences of my life. I made great friendships and learned a lot about other places and cultures. I had great "movie-style" college experiences and I was taught by some of the best professors in the world. The small countryside area, the basketball games, the atmosphere and the community were my favorite memories. I know I will miss Duke very much and that I will be coming back for many visits.
- What is your plan after graduation? How do you think the LLM will help you with your career?
I will be working for a law firm in NYC as an associate for the corporate division and hopefully will do some work concerning Israeli companies in the US. There is no doubt that without my LLM and without the help of alumni and people at the Law School, finding this job was almost impossible.
- You have served almost three years of military service as an Operations Officer in the Israeli Air Force. Is such service mandatory? What are the values you have learned from such experience that have benefited your life and career?
The Israeli military service is mandatory. Being an Israeli means many things but it mostly means you have a deep connection to your country. Serving the military shaped my perspective. I have learned what responsibility is, the importance of brotherhood and how to act under stress and pressure. My military serviced has helped me build my characters as a lawyer, being responsible, taking initiative and being creative to find solutions in difficult situations.
- What advice will you give to international students studying in American law schools?
Take any advantage given. Learn the law and the cultures. Try to respect and understand other points of view and perspectives and give back. The more knowledge you have, the better you will become in solving problems. Knowing how things are done in one particular place can offer you another perspective.