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Zeineb Alhakim

For Zeineb Alhakim, Law in Society was the right opportunity at the right time. The brand-new programme is a perfect fit for her ambitions. No wonder she’s so enthusiastic about her study.

Why did you choose this programme?

“I knew for a while that I wanted to study law and I was looking for something with an international focus, knowing I wanted to work abroad once I graduate. Unfortunately, when I first wanted to enroll as a student, there was no programme in the Netherlands that seemed to fit the bill, so I wound up opting for a traditional law degree at VU Amsterdam. Halfway through my first year, I heard that VU Amsterdam was launching a brand-new programme called Law in Society. I checked it out and discovered it was everything I was looking for: internationally oriented, English-taught, small-scale and interdisciplinary. You don’t focus exclusively on law, but also get to explore related areas like psychology and criminology. I’ve always been interested in more than just law, so that was a big plus for me.”

What do you think of the programme so far?

“Law in Society is a small-scale programme, so the contact with fellow students and lecturers couldn’t be better! I feel like we’re all friends. We’ve already done several activities together. In the first year, we focused on the theme of diversity with the aim of bringing everyone together. For example, we had to organize an event where everyone brought a speciality from their home country. You learn a lot from each other’s cultures, which is a wonderful aspect of Law in Society. You’re not just focusing on yourself, but genuinely engage with one another. As regards the courses too, I am really enjoying myself. The classes are very interesting and very interactive. All told, I’ve had a great year!”

What do you hope to do after graduation?

“Before I started Law in Society, I wanted to become an international human rights lawyer. That’s still high on my list, but since starting the programme I’ve begun to see that my interests are broader. I’m still very much at the stage of exploring possibilities!

I also plan to keep my options open by taking the extra courses I need to enter the Dutch legal profession or the judiciary. In addition, I definitely want to do a Master’s and don’t want to rule out doing it abroad.”

What do you get up to when you’re not studying?

“This year I was secretary of the International Student Committee for QBDBD, our faculty association. For me this was a conscious choice: it reflects what my studies are all about and I was proud to represent Law in Society within QBDBD. It was a fun experience!

I was also a Student Ambassador for Law in Society, promoting the programme and giving presentations at open days and taster days. That’s something I want to do again next year. I currently have a part-time job but I’m looking around for something else that’s relevant to my studies. I have a small law firm in mind that specializes in international law and human rights.

If you are interested in more than just law and the international aspect appeals to you, I would definitely opt for Law in Society. It’s a first-rate programme and you make the greatest friends!”

Zeineb Alhakim