Student in the LL.M. Transnational Business program
Hometown: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Undergraduate: Kampala International University
Born in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Rodney Kassala traveled many places to gain an education. As a young child, his grandmother raised him and his sister as his mother had to travel to the United Kingdom to find work to support their family. After elementary school, he moved to the city to attend boarding school where he lived on campus and visited with family who lived there. It was during those years that he was introduced to the field of law as his aunt's husband was lawyer and his uncle was going to law school. He often heard them discussing and talking about the law and admired his uncle's collection of law books. He also liked how they dressed as lawyers. Still, at age 16, when his aunt approached him after middle school and presented him with the option of high school or vocational school, he chose to attend veterinary school. He moved to another city and finished veterinary school by age 18. While he enjoyed veterinary school and found it interesting, he realized soon after enrolling that any likely employment would be for the government and that was not the capacity in which he wanted to work for the government.
Deciding to resurrect his interest in the law, Rodney, travelling to another city, enrolled in a two-year legal certificate program in University of Dar es Salaam. After finishing the program in only one year, at the age of 20, Rodney moved once more-this time to Uganda to commence a bachelor's degree in law. After finishing this program, he completed a Postgraduate program in Laws, Mediation and Arbitration in Tanzania and joined Laws School of Tanzania for Postgraduate in Legal Practice and in 2010 he secured his law license. Prior to joining his family in the United States in March of 2011, Rodney practiced international business law as corporate counsel for a carbon offset, forest products and renewable energy company mainly operates in Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan. Realizing that he needed more knowledge and resources to compete on an international legal level, Rodney began researching international law programs for enrollment, ultimately choosing McGeorge because he knew he wanted to practice in California. As a student in the Transnational Business Practice LL.M. program, Rodney appreciates the focus on theory and practice, rather than just theory.
He also notes that in the United States, people seem more aware of their rights and it seems easier to exercise them. In comparison, most Tanzanians do not know their rights and have little power or resources to exercise them. In his free time, Rodney likes to work out at the gym and spend time with friends and cook. Ten years from now, Rodney hopes to be working as an international legal practitioner.