Fulbright Scholarship Helps Bangladesh Lawyer Realize Dreams with International Arbitration LLM


Md Monzur Rabbi is from Dhaka, the capital and largest city in Bangladesh, where a civil case can wander through the court system sometimes for as long as ten years. The Miami Law LL.M. in International Arbitration candidate would like to change the situation.

Md Monzur Rabbi

The 29-year-old UK-qualified barrister and advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh outlined in his Fulbright application just how he would try to bring another option to those affected by justice slowed in his home country.
"In Bangladesh, there are nearly three million court cases pending in the system," he says. "If you are a family having a disagreement about an estate settlement, for instance, by the time a case reaches a conclusion, all the assets could have been used up by the litigation. People in the situation could have suffered irreparable misfortune that could have been avoided if the case had settled sooner.
Making an Impact on Judicial System in Bangladesh
"I want to start a pro bono community dispute resolution center where mediators can bring cases to a quick and equitable end for all parties involved," Rabbi says.
Rabbi is both a determined and measured man. After completing his legal studies at the University of Dhaka, graduating at the top of his class with a focus on international and comparative law, he continued at the University of London and the University of Northumbria to become qualified as a barrister.
Back at home, he began handling some of the transactional works at his father's law firm, focusing mainly on telecommunications regulations and commercial interests. Before that, Rabbi worked as an associate with the chambers of Ajmalul Hossain QC, where he worked on a number of domestic and international arbitration matters.
Applying for a Fulbright
While working at Ajmalul Hossain QC, Rabbi came across some information about the Fulbright Program, an international educational exchange.
"I had never heard of a Fulbright and thought I'd give it a try," says Rabbi. "If I had known how competitive it is, I might not have applied. But I had been thinking about a dispute resolution center for a while and saw this as an opportunity to advance the idea towards reality.
"It was pleasantly surprised when I advanced in the selection and securing the scholarship was a bit of a shock," he says. "I was actually with a client and went to my email to pull up a document. When I saw 'Congratulations' as the subject line of an incoming email, I had trouble concentrating on the rest of the meeting. It is such enormous honor."
Studying International Arbitration at Miami Law
Rabbi says that the international arbitration curriculum at Miami Law is more than he could have dreamed. "To study under Jan Paulsson is without compare to anyone in this field," he says.
"All of the instructors are on the international stage. The diversity of the students in the program is incredibly wide-ranging – there are twenty-nine countries represented. Between the faculty and the students, the exposure is nonpareil."
Serving as Judge in Moot Competitions
While at Miami Law, Rabbi served as a judge at the international round of the 2017 Price Media Law Moot Court Competition at the University of Oxford in England. The moot fosters and cultivates interest in freedom of expression issues and the role of media and information technologies in societies around the world.
"I had participated in the moot in 2011 as a student," Rabbi says. "It was quite an honor to return as a judge, and I am forever grateful to Miami Law for sponsoring my attendance. Without the assistance, I would not have been able to participate in this prestigious and highly educational event."
Returning to Bangladesh Upon Graduation
When Rabbi completes his degree in May, he will travel back to Dhaka to resume his career as a lawyer and begin to set into motion his dispute resolution center.
"I am very grateful to my parents for their longstanding support in my life and career and I believe that my early lessons of jurisprudence from my father contributed a lot in developing me,” he says. “Additionally, many have been encouraging along the way, including Syed Afzal Hossain, barrister and advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh,” Rabbi says.
“What started as a germ of an idea has moved ever closer to fruition, thanks to the life-changing experiences provided by the Fulbright Program and the University of Miami School of Law. It genuinely has enriched my life and will impact my community positively at home."
More on the White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. program
More on the International Moot Court Program