Thanks to the generosity of Charles E. Cobb, former Ambassador to Iceland, and his wife, Sue Cobb, J.D. ’78, former Ambassador to Jamaica, Gunnlaugur Geirsson traveled over 3,600 miles to pursue his LL.M. in International Law degree at Miami Law.
“After reviewing various postgraduate law programs offered in respected law schools in Europe, and taking into consideration that my legal education and background had mostly been influenced by civil law and a European perspective, I decided last fall that I would benefit most by taking my LL.M. degree in the United States,” said Geirsson.
“Coming from the Scandinavian model where education is more or less free of charge, I knew that the financial aspect of my studies in the United States would be my biggest challenge.”
The Cobb Family Fellowship provides a living stipend for a graduate of the University of Iceland to study at the University of Miami for one year.
“The Cobb Family Fellowship, together with a generous scholarship from the University of Miami School of Law, has provided me with the opportunity to learn about the legal system in the United States, experience how American lawyers are trained and explore the field of international law in a challenging, encouraging and multinational academic environment,” said Geirsson.
Born in Sweden to Icelandic parents, Geirsson grew up in a multicultural and multilingual environment. He spent five years of his childhood in Quinhamel, a small rural village in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, one of the poorest nations in the world. He eventually moved to Iceland, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Public International Law at the University of Iceland.
“The LL.M. program in International Law is flexible and offers diverse courses, not only within the field of international law, but it also allows students to take courses from Miami Law's extensive course catalog alongside fellow American J.D. students,” said Geirsson. “It is my opinion that the school and program are clearly designed to prepare students for a high-level career in international law. “
Before attending Miami Law, Geirsson worked as a Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Iceland and as a lawyer at the Department of Security at the Ministry of the Interior.
“I hope to have developed skills and the necessary qualifications to work across borders and to transact with lawyers from diverse traditions and backgrounds,” said Geirsson. “I have no doubt that pursuing my additional Master's degree at Miami Law will open up new perspectives and complement my current personal and legal background. When I graduate in 2018, I will bring this experience with me back to Iceland where I will return to my work as a Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Iceland."