Prince Sultan University and ABA ROLI Partner to Train Women Law Students in Saudi Arabia

Women law students discuss best practices in the classroom (above),  and complete their monthlong legal program on the accounting principles relevant to legal practice (below) in Saudi Arabia.
Women law students participate in a mock trial exercise (above),
and perform a moot court demonstration at the program's closing ceremony (below) in Saudi Arabia.

It is axiomatic here at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) that well-trained and diverse members of the legal profession are critical for the rule of law in any country. This is true in Saudi Arabia, where Prince Sultan University (PSU) and ABA ROLI recently partnered to teach 26 women law students practical skills such as accounting principles relevant to legal practice, law practice management, legal writing, and oral advocacy.

The monthlong series featured four different themes taught by five pro bono legal experts from the U.S., who brought decades of legal experience and expertise to share with the aspiring attorneys. The project began with a course on introductory accounting principles where Thomas White, adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, worked with the students on how to apply these principles to their future legal practice.

Dawn Schock, a founding partner at SK Appellate Group, LLP followed up on the accounting for lawyers, leading a law practice management course where she shared strategies and best practices to build and manage a new law firm. To complement the law practice management course, the Saudi law firm of Abdulaziz Alajlan & Partners, in association with Baker & McKenzie, hosted a discussion surrounding what international law firms look for while recruiting first year associates. PSU Law School graduate, Hanan Eesa, also visited as a guest speaker during the second week and shared her experience as a Dentons associate with the students and what it was like to be a young female lawyer in Saudi Arabia.

The third week of the course featured Genevieve Mann, professor, and George Critchlow, professor emeritus — both from Gonzaga University School of Law — who helped the students strengthen their skills in legal writing, drafting legal memoranda, writing client advice letters and letters to opposing counsel, and developing court pleadings.

For the final week of the program, Kristie Bluett, an international development expert consultant, taught oral advocacy to the students helping them develop case analysis to advocate for clients and other trial skills such as interviewing clients, questioning witnesses, and presenting oral arguments. The women also practiced direct examination questions during a mini mock trial and advocating for important legal issues before appellate courts as part of a moot court exercise.

As the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, this practical skills course allowed female students to gain exposure to principles necessary to support their success in the legal profession. PSU’s ongoing relationship with ABA ROLI is largely thanks to enthusiasm generated by a program on interactive teaching methodologies that ABA ROLI supported for PSU faculty in 2016. ABA ROLI proudly supports partners like PSU for their leadership in legal education in Saudi Arabia and their dedication to supporting excellence in the legal profession among the next generation of lawyers.

To learn more about our work in the Middle East and North Africa, please contact Angela Conway at