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Third-year student draws on experience, takes advantage of opportunities to become skilled orator
FEATURE RELEASE (March 17, 2011) – Third-year Wayne State University Law School student Haddy Abouzeid knows how to craft an effective argument. The Moot Court vice chancellor began honing his skills long before enrolling at Wayne Law in 2008.
In fact, Abouzeid’s exemplary oratorical skills first surfaced in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, after, as Abouzeid recalls, immediate and dramatic shifts took place in the social dynamics at his West Michigan high school.
“Many of my peers viewed me with guarded suspicion at best, or treated me with outright derision at worst,” said Abouzeid, the son of an Egyptian immigrant to the United States. “There was no shortage of ‘jokes’ about my alleged ‘affiliation’ with Osama bin Laden. As the only person of Middle Eastern descent in my high school class, I dealt with issues most of my fellow students never had to face.
“I realized, though, that I was the first Arab-American most students at my high school had ever encountered. So I diligently worked to educate those who had verbally harassed me rather than retaliate with insults or violence that would only reinforce stereotypes about Arab-Americans.”
In doing so, he realized his ability to effectively articulate an idea, craft an argument and persuade an audience – something that amplified his aspirations of attending law school.
Abouzeid earned his undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University and applied to Wayne Law shortly thereafter. At the beginning of his second year, he jumped at the opportunity to join the Law School’s Moot Court organization.
“My involvement with the Moot Court program has undeniably been one of the most rewarding experiences of my law school career,” said Abouzeid, who will be the first attorney in his family. “Moot Court has played an integral role in my ability to analyze and articulate legal arguments with confidence, which is essential in practice.”
Though he has gained a substantial amount of experience through Moot Court, he also has sharpened his skills through an internship at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, where he works in the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Unit on assignments pertaining to serious felony crimes and preparing motions, indictments and the occasional appeal, and arguing in court.
“Through my internship, I’ve been able to put the knowledge and skills I’ve gained from Wayne Law’s superb faculty in action before the judges of Michigan’s trial courts,” said Abouzeid, who began working in the Preliminary Examination Division prior to the Anti-Gang Unit. “The rich exposure to courtroom litigation during my experience with the Prosecutor’s Office has provided an exceptional opportunity to enhance my oral advocacy and writing skills and has introduced me to the rigorous demands of court. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with – and learn from – the talented practitioners in the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.”
"Haddy is an outstanding and hard-working young man,” says Michael Harrison, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor in charge of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, a U.S. Department of Justice program. “His contributions to our office have been significant and he continues to provide invaluable service.”
Abouzeid, who had his choice of several law schools to attend, strongly recommends Wayne Law.
“Although law school is inherently competitive, there is no cut-throat atmosphere at Wayne Law,” he says. “I find that my peers in school and, in particular, within the Moot Court program – not to mention the faculty and alumni – are exceptionally supportive of my success.
“Additionally, Wayne Law projects and embodies a sincere commitment to cultural diversity, which, after my post-Sept. 11 experience, means a lot to me. I am very excited about the soon-to-be-completed Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.”
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Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.