PUBLISHED:October 31, 2023

Blue Globe Newsletter, 2023

Dear International Alumni:

Oleg Kobelev

Welcome to the Blue Globe, the annual newsletter for the international alumni of Duke Law School. If this is your first time reading, Blue Globe serves to celebrate the achievements of our global community, share the latest news and events from Duke Law, and foster connections among our alumni, faculty, and current students.

In this edition, you will find a variety of stories and features that showcase the diversity and excellence of our students and alumni. You will read about how some of our alumni are making an impact in their fields of law, such as international human rights, cross-border corporate law, intellectual property law, and more. You will also learn about groundbreaking research and teaching activities of our distinguished faculty, who are leading experts across multiple legal fields. And you will get to know some of the members of the current LLM class, an extraordinary group of 84 students from 35 countries whose unique perspectives and experiences form an essential part of the Law School community.

This is my annual reminder that Duke Law School relies on the generosity of its alumni and friends to maintain excellence in legal education and scholarship. Tuition covers less than 70% of the Law School’s budget; the rest is financed through philanthropy. We hope you would consider making a gift — your support makes a huge difference in the lives of international students, faculty, and the community. It allows us to attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the world. Click here to meet recent graduates whose Duke journey would be impossible without your support.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the untimely passing of an extraordinary lawyer, a good friend, and a loyal graduate of Duke Law School, Mangyo Kinoshita (Japan) LLM ’05. Mangyo was the first LLM student from Japan chosen to be class speaker at graduation, a testament to the impact he had on the Law School community. You can read a beautiful tribute to Mangyo’s life and legacy here.

We hope that you enjoy reading this newsletter and that you stay in touch with us. We are always eager to hear from you and to learn about your accomplishments and challenges. Please contact me at and follow us on social media (Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and X (former Twitter)). You can also visit our website for more information about the LLM program and alumni resources.

Thank you for being part of the Duke Law family. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Oleg Kobelev

Associate Dean for International Studies


Class Updates

LLM students posing together

Our international students and recent graduates have been very busy! The first LLM father-daughter duo from Brazil made a splash (read about them here). A new student group, the Global Law Student Association, launched to represent the interests of all international law students, JD and LLM, and promptly won Student Group of the Year Award, a campuswide honor. Sanya Sharma LLM ’23 (India) received a prestigious Diana Award in recognition of her humanitarian efforts. A Duke Law School Vis Moot Court Team, ably coached by Ryan Mellske JD/LLM ’09 and helped by Assistant Coach Ronja Wosch LLM ’23 (Germany), won multiple accolades in Vienna and Prague, while the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program welcomed four new Duke Law Fellows, including Mujib Jimoh LLM ’23 (Nigeria).

In May we bid farewell to LLM and JD classes of 2023. We celebrated the accomplishments of the 2023 LLM class at the annual Candlelight Dinner, listed to an inspiring speech from Rennan Gil Alves Nascimento LLM ’23 (Brazil) along with his fellow class speakers representing the JD and Master of Judicial Studies programs, and learned about the importance of service and leadership from Kate Adams, general counsel at Apple. Our most recent graduates are engaged in a range of practice areas throughout the world, including investment funds, IP, M&A, real estate, immigration, antitrust, and international trade. Almost 50 percent of the class chose to sit for a U.S. bar exam and about one-third pursued either short- or long-term employment in the United States.

Alumni posing with Law School staff

And in August, we welcomed the 2024 LLM and 2026 JD classes. The LLM class consists of 85 students from 35 countries, including our first students from Iraq and Sudan. Click here to read about some of the remarkable students from the current class.  

In addition to LLM students, we welcomed four exchange students and two new SJD students. Twenty-four Duke students participated in the Exchange program in fall 2023, visiting law schools in Mexico, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Denmark, France, China, Singapore, and Belgium.

The LLM Ambassadors Program, an initiative of the Office of the International Studies that seeks to foster deeper integration between JD and LLM students, continues to grow. Read about the program and its goals here

New students are eager to meet and get to know current alumni. They had the opportunity to meet and network with 50+ international graduates in New York in October, and we plan two additional receptions – in Raleigh, North Carolina, in January and Washington in March. If your travels take you to either of these cities in the coming months, please be sure let us know — we would love for you to attend.

Alumni in the News

Do you know that every month our colleagues in the Office of Alumni & Development send E-news, a digest of all the amazing things that our alumni worldwide have been up to? If you haven’t received it, please make sure we have accurate email information for you in the Duke Law Alumni Directory. You can see the latest edition here.

Steven Strickey
Steven Strickey LLM '12

Some highlights from last year include: Thomas Telfer LLM ’92 (Canada) being admitted as member of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law; Sebastian Pech LLM ’18 (Germany) publishing an article on Copyright Implications of Tokenized Artworks Under US and EU Law as part of post-graduate fellowship at Stanford Law School; Maria Fernanda Diago LLM ’16 (Colombia) receiving Latin America Financial Lawyer of the Year award by Women in Business Law; Amy Pope JD ’01 (Switzerland) appointed next director-Ggeneral of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the first woman to lead the U.N. agency; Ronja Wosch LLM ’23 (Germany) writing about her experience at Duke for LLM Essentials, an online German publication serving prospective LLM students; and Steven Strickey LLM ’12 (Canada) being named the first vice judge advocate general in the history of the Canadian Armed Forces, where he will offer strategic support to the judge advocate general and act as deputy commander for the over 400 lawyers and civilian staff in Canada and around the globe.

International Alumni Visits

We love international visitors at Duke Law, even more so when they are our graduates. In March we welcomed Thomas Telfer LLM ’92 (Canada), Ryan Clements LLM ’18, SJD ’20 (Canada), and Catherine Lu LLM ’10 (China). April brought us Pierre-Yves Mauron LLM ’20 (Switzerland), Mohammed Al-Abdulkarim LLM ’21 (Saudi Arabia), and Ken Yun JD/LLM ’88 (Korea).

Alumni posing together

We also had a chance to connect with many alums from classes ending in ‘3 and ‘8 who travelled from all over to attend their alumni reunions. In May, we caught up with Juan Schmidt LLM ’07 (Germany). In June, we saw Howard Calleja LLM ’97 (Philippines), Wolfgang Ettengrueber LLM '15 (Germany), and Meshaal AlYahya LLM '21 (Saudi Arabia). In August, we met Lutz Becker LLM ’96 (Germany), and in September Manuel Sager LLM ’85 (Switzerland) returned to teach a fast-track course on Development Finance. In early October, Xin Dai JD ’09 (China) was on campus to speak with students and faculty, part of a delegation from the Peking University Law School. Also in October, we welcomed James Bergin LLM ’93 (Australia/USA), Maria Fernanda Diago LLM ’16 (Colombia), and Alejandro Sanchez-Mujica Almanda LLM ’07 (Mexico), Taisa Condino LLM ’21 (Brazil/USA), and Ross Hollingworth LLM ’19 (S. Africa/USA) to Duke’s campus as part of the Law Alumni Association leadership weekend. And in November, we hosted Mila Trezza LLM ’03 (Italy/UK) and Yana Britan LLM ’12 (Russian Federation/USA).

We look forward to seeing more international alumni on campus this year and next. Please come visit us soon!

Duke Law Around the World

Alumni posing with Dean Kobelev

In late September, Oleg Kobelev visited Mexico City, where he had the opportunity to meet with prospective students, university leaders, and many Duke Law alumni. James Ritch LLM ’90 graciously hosted an alumni reception for many Duke Law graduates, recent and not. Oleg is also grateful to Manuel Perez LLM ’23 and Rafael Vallejo Gil LLM ’06 for hosting him at their law firm, to Carlos Preciado Pardinas LLM ’16 for welcoming him to Universidad Panamericana, and colleagues at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and Tecnológico de Monterrey for the opportunity to meet and get to know prospective LLM applicants.

In October, Jabrina Robinson visited Brazil and Leslie Allen visited Chile, Peru, and Colombia as part of the Education USA LLM Tour. In addition to prospective applicants, they also met with many LLM alumni in these countries! This month, Jabrina will head to Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium to participate in a number of recruiting events. Dean Kerry Abrams will join Jabrina for special alumni receptions in London on November 6 and in Paris on November 7.

In late May 2024, Oleg Kobelev will accompany Dean Abrams for a visit to Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Please keep an eye out for important announcements with the details of this visit.

Summer Institute on Law, Language, & Culture (SILLC)

This year’s Summer Institute on Law, Language, & Culture (SILLC) welcomed a large and diverse group of international legal professionals to Duke’s campus. Thirty-two participants from 11 countries came together over a four-week period in July and August to learn first-hand how the U.S. legal system works, as well as how U.S. law schools prepare students for their legal careers.

SILLC Students posing in front of Law School

The group this year included three judges (a new record for the program!), a senior prosecutor, in-house attorneys from corporations and public entities, attorneys of all levels from private law firms, and a very talented group of law students from Peking University (PKU). Xin Dai LLM ’09 (China) was instrumental in establishing this new collaboration between Duke and PKU.

While some participants are staying at Duke through the academic year, either as LLM students or visiting scholars, others came to the U.S. just for the SILLC program. This latter group returned to their workplaces equipped with sophisticated knowledge about the U.S. legal world that will benefit not only them, but their colleagues as well. 

The SILLC program is, by design, a “personal” and supportive program. Students have direct, daily access to two Duke Law professors and teaching assistants from three continents, as well as the rest of the Office of International Studies staff.  New SILLC students are often surprised that the entire program team is eager to get to know them and to support them both academically and personally. This is part of the “magic” that makes SILLC an unforgettable experience for our students.

Duke-Leiden Institute in Global & Transnational Law

The Duke-Leiden Institute in Global and Transnational Law, a collaboration between Duke Law School and the University of Leiden, took place in The Hague, Netherlands, June 19 – July 19, 2023. The courses offered were Taxation of Cross-Border Transactions, Realizing Rights: Strategic Human Rights Litigation and Advocacy, New Challenges in International Trade Law, and Comparative Foreign Relations Law.

In addition to eight Duke Law students, sixteen students from Canada, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia joined the institute. The participants were able to attend several exciting events, including a visit to the International Court of Justice with a meeting with Judge Xue Hanqin of China, the International Criminal Court, a visit to the U.S. Embassy to the Netherlands with a meeting with Legal Advisor Emily Kimball, and a lecture by Judge Margaret deGuzman (United States) of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. The institute concluded with our traditional canal tour in Leiden. Students also took advantage of The Hague’s central local to travel elsewhere in Europe. All of the Duke Law students took the night train to Berlin for a weekend adventure.

We plan to hold the institute in The Hague again next summer. It is open to students who have completed at least one year of law study, students preparing to study for an LLM degree, and judges, academics, practitioners, and other professionals seeking knowledge of international and comparative law. If you or your colleagues are aware of students or practicing attorneys who may be interested in participating in the institute, please encourage them to review our website and contact Bonnie Blundell with any questions.

News from the Law School and Faculty

In addition to new classes of students, the Law School has welcomed new faces to the administration and faculty.


Alison Ashe-Card
Dean Allison Ashe-Card

Alison Ashe-Card, an experienced litigator, career services professional, and champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in legal education and the legal profession, joined us in July as the in inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She reports to Dean Kerry Abrams and has overall responsibility for developing and advancing DEI initiatives and supporting an inclusive climate throughout the Law School. Her portfolio of responsibilities includes collaborating with other administrators to help each unit achieve, track, and communicate its DEI goals; acting as a resource to individual students and student organizations in navigating inclusion and equity challenges; and representing the Law School in university-wide DEI efforts. 

Emily Ryo
Professor Emily Ryo


We are also excited to welcome four new scholars and teachers in July: Emily Ryo, a highly regarded legal scholar and social scientist who studies issues at the intersection of immigration law and criminal law, joined as a professor of law and sociology; Richard Katskee, a veteran lawyer and advocate whose career has focused on protecting First Amendment freedoms and defending anti-discrimination laws, arrived to direct the Appellate Litigation Clinic; Robert E. Bishop, an empirical scholar of the economics of corporate governance and securities law with experience in public policy, legal practice, and finance, joined as an associate professor of corporate law; and Lauren Fine JD ’11, a nationally recognized advocate for youth justice reform, returned to the Law School as supervising attorney of the Criminal Defense Clinic.

Finally, in May we welcomed Judge Tayeba Parsa of Afghanistan as the first Bolch Judicial Institute Rule of Law Judicial Fellow. Judge Parsa was among 250 women judges in Afghanistan, having served for a decade as a judge in the country’s commercial, civil, and public rights courts. She was serving as a judge in the Commercial Division of Appellate Court of Kabul Province in August 2021 when she was forced to flee for her life as the Taliban took power. And speaking of judges, 21 federal, state, and international judges began the Master of Judicial Studies program, including distinguished jurists from South Korea and Chile.

Lawrence Baxter
Professor Lawrence Baxter

We’ve also bid farewell to a beloved member of the faculty. Lawrence G. Baxter, an internationally renowned expert in both administrative law and financial regulation whose formidable intellect, global mindset, and bold vision led him to make major contributions in law, business, and society, retired from teaching in December. Professor Baxter came to Duke from South Africa in the mid-1980s, first as a visiting professor and then in two stints on the faculty interrupted by a successful career in banking, and he was a mentor to countless students.

Looking ahead, in 2024, Duke will launch more than a year of events celebrating the university’s 100th anniversary. The Centennial Celebration will culminate in May 2025 with commencement marking the 100th anniversary of the first Duke University graduating class. Be on the lookout for more details!

News from the Alumni Office

The Alumni & Development Office is in the midst of a busy fall semester, recently holding the Law Alumni Association and Alumnae Leadership Council board meetings, along with additional fall events such as the International Advisory Board meeting in NY, Board of Visitors meeting in Durham, a Professorship Dinner, and a Scholarship & Fellowship Brunch. 

We were thrilled to award Mariam Moseshvili LLM ’24 (Georgia) with the Judy Horowitz LLM Scholarship for academic year 2023–2024. Moseshvili’s desire to aid Georgia through her continued education earned her the honor of receiving this named scholarship. The award provides funds to support a deserving student who will have a positive impact on their countries and regions.

In spring 2022, Duke Law received a $10 million award from The Duke Endowment that provided matching funds for financial aid endowments. The challenge was a huge success, with ADO staff working closely with donors to secure 100% of the matching funds.

Lastly, we are already looking ahead to our Spring 2024 Reunion, which will bring back alumni from classes ending in 4’s and 9’s to Duke and Durham. We hope you will consider coming back to Durham, as we would love to see you. Please visit the Reunion website here if 2024 is your reunion year!