LL.M. Class of 2013
Everything seemed set in Mohammed Al-Mulhim's life. He'd graduated from college with an Islamic law degree, earned a master's in Islamic legal policy, and been appointed an administrative judge in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the country of his birth. But something stirred within him. "I felt I was missing something," he says. "I was not myself."
So he began talking to friends and family members about learning new skills in new places. A cousin living in Minneapolis told him about the Law School's stellar reputation and suggested he apply. But first, Al-Mulhim needed to improve his English, so he enrolled in the University's English as a Second Language program before beginning his LL.M. studies.
Now, with a firm grasp of English, Al-Mulhim is digging into his legal courses. He's most passionate about international human rights and has loaded up on three such classes so far, taught by Marsha Freeman, Barbara Frey, and David Weissbrodt. "These classes give you the keys and it's your decision to go further or not," he says.
Al-Mulhim is committed to moving forward. Before coming to Minnesota, he'd landed a teaching job at King Faisal University in Al-Hassa, a city of about 1.7 million people. When the upbeat 27-year-old returns, he hopes to open a human rights center at the college. "There's a huge women's rights movement in Saudi Arabia right now," he says.
Al-Mulhim is part of a large Saudi family. His grandfather had four wives from three different countries—Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and India. In his immediate family, Al-Mulhim is one of seven children, including four sisters.
He practically glows when speaking of his sisters, one of whom arranged a date for him—a common Saudi cultural practice—with the woman who later became his wife. "If you don’t have a sister, you are not a lucky man," he says. Luck continues to shine on Al-Mulhim. Dalal, his wife, recently gave birth to Abdullah, a healthy baby boy.
When he's not studying or spending time with his wife and young son, Al-Mulhim likes to try new recreational activities. He's visited a shooting range, experimented with archery and skydiving, ridden in a helicopter, and canoed at Lake Calhoun.
Up next? Says Al-Mulhim, "I want to ride a horse in the suburbs."