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School of Law announces new American university partnership


School of Law visiting academics Zachary Cooper and Nourin Abourahma

Birmingham City University’s School of Law has announced an exciting new partnership with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU), one of America’s most prestigious law schools.

Visiting academics

The partnership sees Birmingham City University welcome two JD candidates, Zachary Cooper and Nourin Abourahma. During their time with the School of Law, they will contribute to two specific projects. Nourin will support the UPR Project at BCU, which sees the University submit reports to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review.

Zachary will be supporting the Centre for American Legal Studies (CALS) and Centre for Law, Science, and Policy to design and deliver a project with the School of English. The project will explore the language of equality in UK Supreme Court case law through corpus linguistics.

A mutually beneficial partnership

“I will bring a unique perspective to the project from my own academic training in the United States,” says Zachary.

Zachary is already familiar with the School of Law, meaning the opportunity to spend time there was an appealing one. “I’ve always been interested in law, as well as international politics and relationships, so the idea of studying American law from a UK perspective was highly intriguing for me.”

Nourin feels her background will provide unique contributions to the project. “I was born in Egypt, raised in Palestine and am now an American citizen,” she explains. “Such a diverse upbringing and experience of multiple legal systems has helped me form a unique perspective on international law.”

Worldwide reputation

The partnership, Zachary feels, will be mutually beneficial. “ASU will benefit from the increased opportunities for students to study internationally, while BCU will be able to further the mission of CALS by attracting American academics with direct knowledge,” he explains. “I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities the project will provide.”

Dr Sarah Cooper, Director of Research in the School of Law, feels the partnership demonstrates the School’s global reputation. “It reflects the growing research of the School and its centres,” she says. “Research within our centres is attracting partnerships from institutions around the world.

“This partnership allows us to enrich the School of Law’s academic community through engaging with talented US researchers.”