When Pamela Tibihikirra-Kalyegira was told her Fulbright fellowship would take her to Indiana, she was initially dejected. “I complained bitterly at the U.S. Embassy in Uganda. It seemed I would be living in the middle of cornfields!” admits Tibihikirra-Kalyegira, who was a stay-at-home mom for five years after earning her law degrees and prior to becoming a law professor in Uganda.
Her fears were assuaged when she got to Bloomington and found it was a vibrant, international community. The fellowship afforded her the opportunity to do research in the School’s top-ranked Law Library, work closely with Indiana Law professors, and study at one of just 10 schools nationwide that is participating in the Carnegie Report. “I teach back home, so many of the faculty here see me as a colleague instead of a student. People in Bloomington and at the Law School have been very friendly and helpful.”
Pamela’s two young sons remain at home with her husband, an investment fund manager. With the motivation of returning to her family more quickly, she plans to complete the 30 credit hours required for her SJD within two academic years in residence. Completion of the degree and her research on legal education and accreditation will enable her to help change the way lawyers are taught in Uganda. “At the time I studied, there was one law school, and now there are about 10. This project is about helping to establish quality assurance standards for the growing interest in legal education. In private practice at home, I could make lots of money, but I’d rather do something that makes an impact.”
Studying in the United States: “I had studied in Africa and Europe, and I wanted to try the other side of the world. The United States is leading in some fields, and I wanted to have a taste of that.”
Wisdom from the ages: “I have met so many friends here through international student ministries and at church. I’m learning about the culture from American families. I especially enjoy meeting older people—they are so full of wisdom and have wonderful stories to share of America’s history and place in the world.”
Innovative Curriculum: “I was able to audit The Legal Profession class when it was first introduced [in the fall of 2007]. The way law and legal ethics are being taught here has given me a lot of ideas I can introduce in Uganda. Bringing in practitioners with real problems, for me, is really exciting. Indiana Law is way ahead in the game.”