ALUMNI PROFILE Harrison Mbori, SJD in International and Comparative Law student (LLM ’16)
Building a strong foundation in international law
While studying law at the University of Nairobi, Harrison Mbori (LLM ’16) found himself thriving in academia. Like many students of the law, he originally set his sights on a career in the courtroom. But his focus changed when he realized that his true passion was teaching and research. Mbori first arrived at Loyola in 2015 to pursue a Master of Laws degree (LLM). The specialized LLM for International Lawyers helped to expand his interest and knowledge in international law, human rights, and alternative dispute resolution. After graduation, he assumed a faculty position at Strathmore University, where he served as a lecturer and moot court coordinator. He also completed training to be an advocate of the High Court of Kenya at the Kenya School of Law. He returned to Loyola in 2019 to enroll in the School of Law's Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD), where he is specializing in international and comparative law.
You completed your LLM in International Law at Loyola University Chicago and have returned to complete your SJD. What made Loyola the right place for you?
I chose Loyola for my LLM because I was able to combine my broad interest—international law—with my specific interest—Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). For my SJD, I chose to return because of the great scholars who had offered to be my supervisors: Professors James Gathii, Barry Sullivan, and Margaret Moses. Additionally, Loyola offered me a generous scholarship.
What do you enjoy most about your academic experience at Loyola?
The people are amazing. My interactions with faculty, administration, student support service professionals, and the other students have really made my academic experience enjoyable. The assistance, spirit of service, and collegiality from professors and students has been a huge highlight for me. So many people—the Dean, my academic director Insa Blanke, my advisors, the librarians (particularly Julie Grant)--have given me so much support in and out of school. This has made my transition back to Loyola quite smooth.
Have you faced any challenges as a foreign lawyer studying in Chicago?
I would say that it would relating the issues and concerns that are relevant for Africa while studying in the United States. International courses can be a bit Euro-centric, and there is a need to include or reference Africa and its issues and concerns as part of the learning and discussion.
What have you enjoyed most about living and studying in Chicago?
Chicago is a great city to live in because it is a microcosm of different people and different cultures from different parts of the U.S. and the world. It is not too big or too small for me. There are many interesting activities and places to visit when I want a break from law school.
Do you have any advice for students considering Loyola’s LLM and/or SJD Program for International Lawyers?
Loyola University Chicago is a great place to study because the LLM and SJD programs are designed well for the many different interests students wish to pursue. The professors and the administrative staff are very helpful and well qualified to lead students toward great academic success that is also relevant to society.
What are your key research interests?
My SJD thesis topic is dispute resolution in international economic law in sub-regional Africa. I am also interested in the nexus between international trade, human rights, and environmental law, and on governance and ethnicity issues in Africa.
What are your plans for the future?
I intend to be a full-time academic in Kenya and help solve the myriad of challenges that the people of Kenya and Africa face. I am a doctoral fellow at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. Strathmore also offered me a doctoral fellow academic grant for my research.