PUBLISHED:January 23, 2008

Guldane Gulfer Ozsahin '08

Interview With

Name: Guldane Gulfer Ozsahin
LLM 2008
Home: Turkey
Law School: Ankara University

  1. Where is home? What is it famous for?If home is the place where you are happy, I would say that now Durham and Duke Law are home. On the other hand, I am from Turkey, the country where the East meets the West. I grew up in a small town, Corum in Turkey. Corum is a historical city established close to the ancient civilization of Hittites, famous for its historical places and ruins. After I graduated from law school I began to live in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, where you can find friendly people and delicious cuisine.
  2. You are the first woman in your extended family to pursue a law degree, while your aunts and cousins did not continue their education after primary school. What was the force that drove you to the legal career?When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to tell me that I would be a good lawyer in the future, perhaps because of my persistent manners in almost all matters that interested me. After graduating from high school, I thought that I could have a lot of opportunities to serve my community as a lawyer and decided to pursue a legal career.
  3. You were a lawyer for the Capital Markets Board, the securities regulatory authority in Turkey for ten years. What made you decide to pursue an LLM degree in the U.S.?There were two reasons that encouraged me to pursue an LLM degree in the U.S. First, U.S. securities regulations are important references to the emerging capital markets regulators. After having reached certain level of professional maturity and accumulated sufficient experience in almost all components of an emerging market as a legal expert, it was time for me to give back to the Capital Markets Board what I can learn from the more advanced U.S. markets. Second, through my husband's LLM experience in Georgetown Law School, I realized that it was best to improve my legal profession, with international vision and common law perspective particularly in securities and corporations law.
  4. Your husband received an LLM from Georgetown University in 2003. Why did you choose Duke for your LLM?Georgetown University Law Center is a distinguished place to pursue an LLM degree. It was once our home and I could have chosen Georgetown. Long ago I read an article about Duke in a Turkish newspaper while I was a student. After that day, attending Duke became a dream for me. I also heard from almost everyone that Duke and Durham are family friendly. In particular, the positive and encouraging manners of International Studies Office reaffirmed my determination to come to Duke.
  5. What do you like most about Duke so far?The hospitality of the International Studies Office staff, the distinguished law professors, and the beautiful and family-friendly campus. As a mother of two, I am glad that during my studies my children have a lot fun and good memories. What impresses me most about Duke Law is, it gives me the idea of "you can do it, you should pursue it."
  6. What is your plan after graduation? How do you think the LLM will help you with your career?I plan to work in an area where I can combine and use the professional experience I brought from Turkey and the legal training I have received here at Duke Law. I believe that having this kind of international experience and understanding of common law issues will contribute to my career.
  7. What advice will you give to international students studying in American law schools?Learning the basic concepts of common law is a good experience for a lawyer from civil law countries. It will broaden your views and analytical skills. However, certain studying habits that civil law students established during their legal education may need to be improvised. Last but not least, take the advantages of being a student abroad and enjoy the cultural diversities.