Student Q&A: 2L Yasmine Hajjaji

Each month, the alumni newsletter features a Q&A with a student. Meet 2L Yasmine Hajjaji. She’s a member of the top-ranked Hastings Moot Court team and will compete this spring in the UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition.

Q: What led you to pursue a law degree?

A: My mother was my primary motivation to pursue a legal career. I grew up in my hometown of Tripoli, Libya, where I watched my mother establish herself as a top lawyer in a male-dominated legal community. She embodied a shift in traditional expectations of women and worked to implement a progressive human rights agenda in Libya. My mother’s achievements instilled in me a fascination with the legal profession, as well as determination to break cultural molds set for women in my country.

Q: What experience have you appreciated the most since starting at UC Hastings?

A: My experience at the Workers’ Rights Clinic has cemented my ambition to pursue a path in litigation. Under the mentorship of Professor Mai Linh Spencer and Professor Miye Goishi, I learned firsthand the tremendous and meticulous work that goes into being a litigator. The clinic has also provided me the opportunity to make use of my legal education at a time where many feel powerless amid a pandemic, as well as political and economic turmoil. At one point, my clinic partner and I managed to provide a client with some financial stability. This type of work feels incredibly rewarding and reminds me of the reasons why I pursued this career path.

Q: If you could choose any job after graduation, what job would you choose?

A: There are a few areas of law I am interested in. I envision myself working for a firm that has international clients. A job that would enable me to litigate in multiple jurisdictions and solve complex cases within different legal systems would be a profoundly enriching experience.

Q: Who would you have dinner with if you could choose anyone (dead or alive)?

A: I would choose to have dinner with Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain’s travels and experiences of various cultures through food were nothing short of remarkable. He did not shy away from parts of the world that were misunderstood and virtually unknown (including Iran, Libya, and Cuba). Being from an underrepresented country myself, I would benefit from picking Bourdain’s brain on his philosophies and motivations for visiting such places. I believe I would be humbled to learn from his worldly insight.