Legal Ethics

My Favorite Course in Legal Studies

Name: Melinda Szekeres
Country: Hungary
Year: Class of 2019
Major: Social research and public policy, with minors in visual arts and legal studies
Course: Legal Ethics

This course balances theory and empirical research about the legal profession with US legal ethics rules and case law.

Why This Course

I had experienced Professor Swethaa Ballakrishnen's teaching a few years back. I was amazed and knew that I wanted to take a class with her again.

Prior to this course, I had not seriously considered a career in law, so I am glad this course familiarized me with the profession. I will be interning at an international law firm in London this summer and I am glad that I will be able to critically reflect on my experiences.

I was talked out of taking the Legal Ethics course as most students do it only as a requirement. I am glad I did not listen to them because this class ended being my favorite course that semester.

Melinda Szekeres, Class of 2019

A Typical Day in This Class

Each day, all nine of us from the class would come prepared having read theory, model ethics rules, and case law. Professor Ballakrishnen would come with additional lecture material with the primary focus of the classes being discussions.

These discussions were always dynamic - sometimes even heated - and led us to build up inside jokes and common vocabularies.

During each class, two students would read additional materials and would be on the “panel” to give direction of the discussions alongside the professor. While the course was grounded in the US context, these panel discussions allow us to bring in international perspectives to the topics we were studying.

What I Loved About The Class

I loved our last class. We ditched the classroom to sit by the palm trees at the center of the campus and finished our conversations about the future of the legal profession. This intimate and relaxed yet rigorous environment characterized the entire course. Being in a different setting made me even more aware of this.

Tips on Navigating What Major or Course to Take

I decided most of my courses based on the professors who taught each course. As I am pursuing a very broad liberal arts degree that does not very directly lead to a career trajectory, what mattered most to me was to take courses with professors and students who would challenge my assumptions and push me to perceive the world in a more expanded and nuanced way.

NYUAD has a two-week long add or drop period for courses and I always made the most of this by attending the first session of the course that intrigued me. This helped me to identify the courses that will help me grow the most.

The social research and public policy (SRPP) major is great for exploration too. I was able to take coursework across all the social sciences and think about big picture social questions through both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Legal studies has some of NYUAD's best professors. Exposure to legal research and writing tools have been important complements to my studies.

Why NYU Abu Dhabi

NYUAD is one of the most international colleges in the world and the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff create a very unique learning and socializing environment.

My parents at that time were concerned about me going to such a new university, but I would not have changed my college for the world. Here, I got to play a more active role in shaping the institution especially as a first and second year student when I participated in all student interest groups! I cannot thank NYUAD enough for all the opportunities I have been offered.