LL.M. Student Profiles

2016-2017 Students

FT and PT indicate full-time and part-time students, respectively.

Mr. Othman Ahmed (PT) was born in Iraq in the Kurdistan Regions and is now a permanent resident of the United States. He graduated from the University of Salahaddin and joined the Iraqi Bar Association in 1998. He has 15 years’ experience as a legal advisor and attorney at law in the field of Iraqi business law including company law, and telecom law, as well as litigation, arbitration and tendering. He has given legal advice and expert legal opinion to a number of Iraqi and international law firms and companies on legal questions concerning Iraqi law, including claims arising from contractual liability and unlawful acts. Most recently he served as a legal counsel at Huawei –Iraq Telecommunication Company for four years. His goal for the LLM program is to improve his ADR techniques and become an accredited mediator to make positive contributions to growth and development in the northern Iraq/Kurdistan Region.

Mr. Clayton Farrell (PT) is a native of St. Charles, Missouri, and a practicing attorney residing in Kansas City, Mo.  He received his JD from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 2002.  Following law school Clayton spent three years practicing family law and serving as a guardian ad litem in Colorado, but returned to Kansas City in 2005 taking an account management position with Thomson Reuters (Westlaw).  After a period working in the “corporate world” Clayton returned to private legal practice and began working with Native American Indian tribes, consulting and advising them through the creation, implementation and management of their governmental regulatory agencies and commissions.   Recently Clayton joined the firm of Kennyhertz Perry, LLC in Kansas City.  He continues his work with the Native American communities and also performs general corporate law, contract law, transaction law, counseling consumer financial services businesses and representing other corporate clients in highly-regulated industries.  Clayton firmly believes there is a great need for highly skilled practitioners of alternative dispute resolution.  He hopes to apply those skills learned in the ADR LLM program to benefit his Native American clients but remains open to exploring other opportunities to which these skills can be applied.

Hon. Doug Gaston (PT) has served as associate circuit judge for Texas County, Missouri since January 2009.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as deputy state treasurer of Missouri, chief of staff and general counsel to the president of the Missouri Senate, special assistant United States Attorney, Texas County prosecuting attorney, and Missouri state representative for the 147th District.  Gaston serves as a member of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Civic Education Committee, and is the founder and chair of The Constitution Project, a state-wide scholastic crime scene, journalism, and trial advocacy competition.  Gaston received his BS from Southwest Baptist University and his JD from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Ms. Hilal Gulseven (FT) graduated from Marmara University Law School in Istanbul in 2011. After a 12-month compulsory internship, she became a member of the Istanbul Bar Association in 2012 and worked as a lawyer at Istanbul Dentons (local name is Balcıoglu Selcuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership) for four years as a member of the litigation and dispute resolution team.  In addition, during that time, she was an in-house lawyer at Ipragaz A.S., which is an energy sector client that belongs to SHV Energy, where she focused on energy, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution in the energy, media and technology sectors.  She earned an LLM in private law in June 2015 from Istanbul University, taking courses related to commercial law, contract law and law of obligations, and international law. She published a chapter entitled The Review of the 10th Article in United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) in a book edited by Prof. Naciye Gunseli Gelgel and Assistant Professor Kerem Giray.  Her LLM thesis was “Reduction of Penalty Clause in Turkish Law” which she wrote under the supervision of Prof. Saibe Oktay Ozdemir and published as a book in January 2016.  Her interest in the energy, media and technology sectors in international trade and intellectual property, as well as changes in Turkey that enhance the need for lawyers able to solve complex legal problems that span several different jurisdictions, motivated her to pursue an LLM at the University of Missouri.

Mr. Hwan-cheol Jeong (FT) is a public officer from the Republic of South Korea, where he graduated from the Chung-Ang University Law College with an LLB and LLM degree. He passed the 16th National High Examination for Legislative Service in the National Assembly and was recruited as a legislative expert. Since joining the National Assembly, he has worked there as a legislative researcher in education, culture, sports and tourism. Also, he has worked as a director for construction of the 2nd National Assembly Members’ Office Building in the management support division and as a director for the overall management analysis report on the annual budget of Korea in National Assembly Budget Office. He loves badminton and won the bronze medal in the national public officer badminton competition in 2008.

Ms. Ernestine Johnson (FT) is a native of Chicago, Illinois.  She obtained a bachelor of social work degree from Western Illinois University (1994), a master of social work degree from Governors State University (2001), and juris doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law (2016).  She worked in social services for about 20 years, the majority of her experience in child welfare and health care.  In March 2016, she became a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator.

Ms. Ugonna Chiagoziem Kanu (FT) hails from Imo State, Nigeria. She obtained her LLB Hons at Madonna University in Nigeria in 2010. She went for her National Youth Service in 2011, where she contributed in the community development scheme especially as it relates to prison decongestion. She attended the Nigerian Law School in 2013 where she got her BL and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2014. Also, in 2014 she became a certified dispute resolution specialist upon the completion of a three-month intensive ADR course. Currently, she is a junior associate at the law firm of David Onyeike and Associates and an independent consultant to some private companies in Nigeria where she proffers solutions to internal/external disputes. She intends to be a modified dispute resolution expert in order to help solve the growing conflicts around the world.

Ms. Lyn Lawrence (FT) is from Cape Town, South Africa. She obtained her LLB from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 2015. In 2016 she began her LLM in international trade law at UWC while working as a graduate lecturing assistant in the law faculty. The University of Missouri’s LLM in Dispute Resolution Program has provided her with the opportunity to gain experience in the field of dispute resolution which is still in its infancy stage in South Africa. She hopes to use this experience when she begins her Articles of Clerkship in 2018 at one of South Africa’s leading law firms. She is the first member of her family to have the opportunity to work towards a master degree. She hopes to inspire future generations to persevere towards a higher education.

Ms. Cheryl Miller (FT) grew up in the small, rural town of Mexico, Missouri.  She received her BA in history and political science from Columbia College in 1999.  While working as a paralegal in a Columbia bankruptcy law firm, she completed her JD in Taft Law School’s executive track program in 2016.  She serves as a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate), and hopes to use her LLM in dispute resolution to help address issues of child welfare, juvenile and family law, and restorative justice.

Mr. Alexandre Augusto Fiori de Tella (FT) hails from Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. He graduated from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (PUCCAMP) with a bachelor of laws and social sciences degree and earned his master’s degree in civil procedure law at the Universidade Paulista (UNIP).  Alexandre joined the São Paulo Bar Association in 1994 and owned a law firm that worked for banks, insurance companies, and oil distribution companies for more than 15 years. Since 1998, in parallel with the law firm, he has been teaching civil procedure law and civil law at UNIP. At the bar association in 2012 he served as general counsel to the president of the 17th Ethics Tribunal. In 2013 he reevaluated his career, priorities and goals then decided to study dispute resolution. In 2015 he was nominated as a member of the committee to study mediation and arbitration and from January until July of this year, presided over the commission overseeing courses and lectures at the bar association. In March 2016, Alexandre was certified as a mediator by the São Paulo State Court.