Menaka Nayar JD/LLM ‘14

January 7, 2014Duke Law News

Menaka Nayar JD/LLM ‘14

Menaka Nayar spent her 3L fall semester in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, working for a United Nations investigating judges assisting the tribunal trying members of the Khmer Rouge for genocide and other violations of international criminal law. “It was a fascinating and eye-opening experience,” says Nayar, whose related research project was supervised by Laurence Helfer, the Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law. “Duke’s willingness to work with me to facilitate my externship meant that I was able to take advantage of an amazing hands-on opportunity to learn the field of international crimi- nal law and transitional justice.”

Nayar, who held a 2L externship in the Durham District Attorney’s Office and a 1L summer research internship at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway supported by a Carroll/Simon public interest fellowship, hopes to engage with issues of international human rights and social justice throughout her career. That’s why she pursued the externship in Phnom Penh while working as a 2L summer associate at Linklaters, where she will return after graduating. “I knew that actually getting to practice in the area would be valuable,” she says.

The JD/LLM program offered a “perfect fit” for Nayar’s academic and professional interests. And the Duke University graduate says she was surprised by “the mind-boggling breadth of courses available to students who are truly interested in learning more about the law, and the approachable nature of the professors.”

The generosity of the Robbins family has made a difference in her life, Nayar says. “My time at Duke has been transformative, and their aid has enabled me to have a truly multi-faceted and remarkable law school experience.” 

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