Professor Mark Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has been working as a Fulbright Specialist at the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in Thimphu, Bhutan since July.
The Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law is the first law school in the history of the Kingdom of Bhutan, a country of 750,000 people located between China and India.
“It’s an incredible honor to help launch the first law school in Bhutan, a country that went from being an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy less than ten years ago,” Wojcik said. “The Bhutanese Constitution entered into effect in 2008 and this new law school is going to train the lawyers that the country will need to implement that Constitution.”
Upon his arrival, Wojcik helped teach a month-long orientation program before classes formally began. The law school’s first class has a total of 25 students—13 women and 12 men—from all parts of Bhutan. Students were chosen from a national pool of 499 applicants. Successful applicants then took a special version of the LSAT. The top 50 candidates were then interviewed, and 25 were admitted based on their scores, grades and a personal interview.
“The students here are great,” Wojcik said. “They were selected from a national search that produced the best of the best students for this first class.”
Although Wojcik’s Fulbright Specialist Grant recently finished, he volunteered to remain for seven additional weeks to work with the students, faculty and administrators as they adjust to their new roles. Wojcik will also use this time to research Bhutanese law and legal developments, and to teach classes using comparative law materials from the South Asia region.
Fluent in several languages, Wojcik has taught and lectured in 11 foreign countries, including the University of Lucerne in Switzerland, the Free Law Faculty of Monterrey in Mexico, Vytautas Magnus University School of Law in Lithuania, and the University of Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy. He also founded the Global Legal Skills Conference, an international legal skills conference that has been held in the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico and Italy.
A faculty member since 1992, Wojcik teaches International Law, International Business Transactions, Lawyering Skills, Torts and Sexual Orientation Law. He is the President-Elect of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers and is a Board Member of the Legal Writing Institute. He is the Diversity Officer for the American Bar Association Section of International Law and a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. He has served as chair ten times for different sections of the Association of American Law Schools.