Law school’s Egypt program temporarily shut down due to protests

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In light of recent protests in Egypt which have resulted in looting and fires in the streets as demonstrators demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis program, in association with the Alexandria and Cairo University Faculties of Law has halted operations, at least for the time being.

The only program of its kind in Egypt where an American university teaches courses to students that result in the Egyptian students receiving the same master of laws degree as the students who attend courses at the school’s American campus, cohorts of about 65 students each have started each January since 2008. The 2011 cohort started classes earlier this month.

Frank Emmert, executive director of the law school’s Center for International and Comparative Law and director of the Egypt program, left Cairo on Friday and arrived in Indianapolis Saturday morning. He taught the first block of classes for the Egypt program for almost three weeks, up to and including Thursday, when he expected to leave Cairo due to the instability of the area, but that flight was delayed and he was booked on a Friday flight instead.

He said he did not expect the protests to fizzle out until the president resigned, and added the protestors, mostly middle-class, educated citizens, had grown more confident each day since the violence erupted a week ago.

Swadesh S. Kalsi, a retired attorney who practiced at Krieg DeVault and was scheduled to teach a course in Egypt starting today, left Cairo Sunday. As of this morning, the latest Emmert had heard was that Kalsi and his wife made it to Frankfurt, Germany, but had experienced delays on his flight back to the United States due to the weather. The important thing was that Kalsi was out of Cairo and safe, Emmert said.

While there were no other American professors for the program who were still in Egypt as of today, he said he and others involved in the program were concerned for their Egyptian colleagues.

The unrest in Egypt had been building, Emmert said, partially due to the economy and difficulties faced by the middle class.

Part of the reason for the law school’s program, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and has received funding for the 2011 cohort of students, was to help the country’s economy by training business lawyers. While many of the students who have started since the program’s first class in 2008 have had a connection to or interest in practicing business law, a large number of students also enrolled due to their interest in rule of law issues, including judges in the court that is equivalent to the federal Circuit courts in the United States.

“They don’t want to do it to help their government, they want to do it to help their country,” he said.

Because courses for the program are taught in blocks, Emmert said those involved with the program have decided to wait and see how things are going closer to mid-February when the next block of classes is scheduled to start.

A more in-depth article about the Egypt program will be published in the Feb. 16-March 1, 2011, print edition of Indiana Lawyer.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues