The fields of engineering and dispute resolution may not seem to be a natural combination. For Tojan Rahhal, ’20, however, the LLM in Dispute Resolution program at the University of Missouri School of Law was the perfect transition to prepare her for a leadership position in the engineering field. Now serving as CEO and President of Engineering World Health, Rahhal says that the LLM program inspired her to “think outside of the box,” and encouraged her to leverage her skillset to her current position.
Rahhal first came to Mizzou for a position at the College of Engineering. She had previously earned her doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State University.
“I lived in Columbia and started the LLM while working in the College of Engineering for two semesters,” Rahhal said. “I had the pleasure of attending 2-3 classes in person, which was wonderful.”
While her start in engineering was unique for the LLM program, Rahhal said her background aligns well with the dispute resolution field. As she began to grow in her field and started to do work related to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE), Rahhal knew she was missing one key component: dispute resolution.
“While I am a scientist and engineer, I have also continuously done work related to IDE including starting my own company in this field, and in my previous roles at the College of Engineering,” Rahhal said.
Rahhal said it was classes like Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution and Organizational Change in a Community and Global Context that gravitated her towards the LLM program. She added how the ability to take classes both online and in-person as well as strong communication from Mizzou Law made her feel comfortable that she could earn her LLM at a pace she could maintain.
“The discussions were wonderful and meeting fellow students from all over the world was enriching and different from any previous program I had been in,” Rahhal said. “The professors are very knowledgeable and open to questions, discussions, and guiding students. I look forward to staying connected with all of them.”
“In my current and previous roles, and as an educator in the realm of inclusivity, diversity, and equity, it is important to work with the community at all levels, which means understanding the intricacies of disputes that will ultimately arise when addressing these topics, as well as those that are a part of being culturally different,” Rahhal says.
For future Mizzou Law LLM students, Rahhal advises, “The professors are unlike any other. They are supportive, very knowledgeable and have an array of experiences that make the classes more interesting and engaging. I would say if you see it fitting into your future path or if you are curious, talk to some of the professors immediately.”