Class of 2018
MPA Class of 2018
LLM in U.S. Law & Policy Class of 2017
Undergraduate: Herat University
Mohammad J. Rahimi graduated from McGeorge's Master of Law (LLM) program in May 2017, and is currently pursuing the Master of Public Administration degree at McGeorge. He decided he wanted to become a lawyer in order to improve the devastating political and economic situation in Afghanistan, his country of origin, which he found very troubling even as a teenager.
Mohammad recalls his childhood in Afghanistan, "Lack of law, good governance, democracy, and existence of domestic war between the tribes and political parties disabled people to stand and fight for their rights. Lack of jobs, trades, and business pushed people to immigrate to foreign countries. Informal or traditional punishment systems have become the only method of solving the legal and criminal disputes. Judgeships were held by mainly illiterate local and tribal leaders, and their orders and decisions were the law of the land. Those terrible systems made me think about ways [Afghans] could stop them or how we could change this inhumane system."
To become part of the solution, Mohammad went to law school. During the last year of the legal education, he received an internship to the International Legal Foundation of Afghanistan. He adds, "I finished my law studies in 2008, and I established a nonprofit called the Association of Youth and Students. I tried to improve the lives of other Afghan students through civil seminars, conferences, and educational centers."
In 2009, Mohammad won a spot in the National Assembly Fellowship Program. He explains, "The program was established by the National Assembly of Afghanistan with assistance from USAID. During that period of time, I worked closely with lawmakers in the legislative committee." After finishing the fellowship program, Mohammad was recruited by the U.S. Army, working as an attorney and ally to the U.S. government. "Serving people is in my blood," he notes. "I love to spend a great deal of my life fighting for peace, human rights, and democracy."
He later became Chief of Staff to the Governor and later Lieutenant Governor, serving Afghanistan and cooperating with the U.S. Army to help further improve his home country. Mohammad moved to the United States, and decided to study and work on the same profession that he was doing in Afghanistan. "I was living in San Diego when I heard that McGeorge School of Law is one of the best law schools in California," he said. "I needed to study American law to be able to pass the bar exam to practice in the United States."
Deciding to come to McGeorge has been an ideal fit for Mohammad, as he appreciates the McGeorge community, explaining, "Studying and being a student at McGeorge has opened my mind to learn about different cultures and values. McGeorge has established an amazing, diverse environment filled with qualified and talented students from around the world. I believe that strength lies in differences not in similarities, and the McGeorge community replicates the diversity of our society. On campus, classes, and around the school, I see people of different races, ethnicities, and faiths. These differences in racial and ethnic backgrounds are an integral part of McGeorge School of Law. In addition to that, highly educated and experienced professors are preparing us for the real world."
"Through McGeorge, I expanded my legal knowledge, and during my last semester, I got an internship at California General Assembly," said Mohammad. "Now, it is an opportunity to expand my experience in California state law and politics, gain lifetime experience in a dynamic and competitive field."
In his free time Mohammad enjoys public speaking, political discussions, playing billiards, and listening to classic music.