Dr. Charbel El Kareh LL.M. , Class of 2021

What country are you from and where did you get your law degree?
I am originally from Lebanon, I got my Private Law degree and my Masters in Computer Juristic Science from La Sagesse University - School of Law - Beirut (6 years of law school), and my Ph.D. in Private Law from Paris-Sud University - School of Law, Paris - France (5 years post law school).

Tell us something about yourself and your country of origin?
I came from a long path in the legal industry, I started as an interim lawyer in 2001 when I was licensed for the first time before the Beirut Bar Association (BBA). I practiced in the beginning in two Lebanese law firms specialized in the fields of real estate and insurance law. Then in 2005, I established my own law firm under the trade name "E-lawyer Assistance", in which I have five associates and a network covering all the MENA/Gulf Region. During my career, I have represented a large number of clients, including corporations and individuals, and today I represent more than six insurance companies in Lebanon. In addition, I am the author of many books in the legal field, including one legal encyclopedia, articles and judgments commentaries written in Arabic, French and English Languages. In my bibliography, there are more than 13 books and more than 55 articles up to this date.

Why did you decide to seek a graduate degree in the U.S. and what attracted you to SMU Law?
My educational and practice backgrounds cover a wide area of legal systems, including Romano-Germanic/Franco-Germanic systems, but it still lacks the other Anglo-Saxon system. I was always curious and eager to learn about the basic principles of Common Law, the Stare Decisis doctrine, and most importantly how judges apply "The Reasonableness Principle", without following a codified preset standard. It was a continuous desire for me, until I happened to meet Dean Martin Camp. I personally see him as a charismatic professor that teaches far beyond the rule of law. Meeting him was the turning point toward going to SMU Law, and starting my career as a U.S. Lawyer.

What was your favorite class?
During my journey at SMU, I tried to be that sponge that absorbs as much legal knowledge as possible. I decided to take all  of the core J.D. courses, like Torts, Business Enterprise, Civil Procedure, Real Property, Professional Responsibility, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure. I really liked all the classes, but Business Enterprise was a special class because of the way Dean Camp teaches it. He makes it so interactive and I was personally very excited coming to class and was always happy to participate. Frankly, SMU Law has the best professors. They all take good care of the law students, and want to communicate thoroughly so that students have all the necessary information.

What is our favorite thing to do in Dallas?
I like everything in Dallas. The people are very kind and caring. In particular, SMU community was like a real family. I enjoyed every minute being there.

What are you doing now that you have graduated from SMU Law with an LL.M. degree?
Currently, my goal is to take the bar exam, then I will be open for opportunities, including joint ventures and alike. I believe that multidisciplinary collaboration can combine expertise, perspectives and tailor them to meet clients' needs. We never know what future holds for us, but I trust my hard work, goodwill and ambitions.

What tips or advise do you have for a new LL.M. student?
I advise them to stay on track. SMU is a great school, just do your part. Overcoming obstacles can be done with perseverance and persistence. Set your goals, and work toward achieving it. Don't let the first fall discourage you, you can always start again, just keep trying and let the sky be your limit.