First Pakistani female lawyer earns SJD, the most advanced degree in law

Dr Nudrat E. Piracha has become the first female lawyer from Pakistan to earn a Doctorate of Juridical Science. Abbreviated as SJD and equivalent to a research doctorate, the qualification is the most advanced degree in law. Dr Piracha is one of few women globally to have earned the qualification, which is awarded primarily to candidates with exceptional academic and professional credentials.

She is also the first Pakistani woman to be appointed as a member of an Ad Hoc Committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the first Pakistani lawyer to become a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the UK.

Nudrat began her career in Islamabad before receiving a Fulbright scholarship for George Washington University School of Law. The interplay of law and policymaking mesmerised Piracha, who sees immense potential for social and political change in Pakistan through legal reforms. But when she started her career as an intern, she quickly realised that the Pakistani court was largely a man’s world.

Her decision to go into Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was due to the massive delays in the Pakistani legal system. ADR refers to processes for the resolution of legal disputes outside formal adjudication. It involves the participation of a neutral third party to help parties resolve a dispute without the court’s direct involvement.

In her impressive career, Piracha has represented clients before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Chamber of Commerce, and Ad Hoc tribunals. She was designated by the Government of Pakistan on the panel of arbitrators of ICSID for a term of 8 years, and two years ago, obtained the prestigious Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship.

She is also passionate about promoting young female lawyers in a field historically dominated by men.

Source: The News